Style is a vast, intimidating realm of topics, choices, and tastes. And as time goes on, it just becomes more intimidating as more wearable options present themselves and social expectations about coverage, chicness, and variety flux and expand. This, I believe, is why style rules are so popular. For many of us, having some sort of expert-blessed guidelines for what works and what doesn’t, what’s fashionable and what’s passé can help us navigate the realm of personal style with some measure of confidence.
Originally posted 2013-09-06 06:34:20.
When I was in college, I got scolded by a guy for not caring enough about my clothes. He took it upon himself to tell me that I’d be so much prettier if I’d just put on a dress once in a while. He was an acquaintance, not a friend, and he felt it was important to let me know that my lack of interest in fashion was affecting his perception of me. And potentially the perceptions of others. I did not care enough about fashion.
The receptionist at my old job was an older gal and famously grumpy. She was one of those people whose compliments always felt backhanded and acidic. She made a point of commenting whenever I wore something she perceived to be new – items that, nine times out of ten, I’d had for years but not yet worn to the office. When I told her I was writing a book, she lit up. When I told her what it was about, she pulled a grimace. I cared too much about fashion.
Originally posted 2013-09-26 06:04:47.
Reader Judy sent me this request via e-mail:
One of my fellow engineering students made the comment that girls in engineering are either “hot” and dumb, or really smart, socially awkward, and “ugly.” Upon remembering that I am, indeed, a girl, he babbled something about a happy medium, but the meaning was nonetheless clear. Time spent with power tools can limit my skirt and dress wearing, but I like to believe that I can be perceived as a woman, even an attractive woman, and also as competent and intelligent.
Originally posted 2011-08-09 06:22:31.