Why does fashion matter? I mean, what does it say about a person that is fashion coordinated? Only that the person spends a lot of time thinking about fashion. Is that such a good thing???
Why can’t I wear a black belt with brown shoes or visa versa? Why is this such a faux-pas? And when I do this, why does everyone chastise me to no end?
And why can’t I wear my blue faded jeans? How can a good pair of Levi’s go out of style?
Fashion is stupid.
Whoa!! Do I dare say that? Yes … I’ll even say it again … watch out … here it comes …
FASHION IS REALLY STUPID!!
Yeah. I can understand trying to look clean and presentable but why are ALL the men wearing those diagonal stripes these days? I mean is everyone a lemming and just needs to follow the oracle of the "trend"???
Ok … something else that bugs me .. Ties. I mean, what is the purpose of a tie except to suffocate you and to land in your lunch? I just do not understand the point. I mean, how did all of western society conform to such a stupid fashion? Don’t we have an sense to change this fad?
Guess what else is stupid??? Grammar. And spelling. Huh? Yeah, Spelling. And table settings.
OK. I admit it. I don’t know a thing about grammar. I never learned it. And frankly … I don’t care. I’m sure this post will be riddled with grammatical errors … but guess what? You’ll still understand what I am talking about. You’ll understand me just fine.
So what’s the big deal about grammar???
I find huge joy in ending my sentences with prepositions.
And spelling. So Dan Quayle spelled potato as "potatoe" — so what’s the big deal? Is there anyone who speaks English who doesn’t know what he means? Spelling is really important to avoid confusion — and so is grammar by the way — but beyond that it as little value except to take a whole lot of brain power and to attempt to draw class distinctions — neither of which is really useful to society.
And … while I am on a role … who really gives a hoot about which side to set the fork??? I mean, come on!!! There might occasionally be some practical purposes (like so you do not steal your neighbor’s fork), but overall, table manners is a lot of hooey. When I’m at home alone … with no one else around … I like lick my plate. I mean, I just cooked something tasty, finished it, and there is some scraps on my plate (or in a bowl). So I lick it. Delicious. But I wouldn’t dare do that in front of company (or even in front of my best friends) … I’d be an outcast, a pariah, a fool.
So I sit there, sitting on my hands, staring at this delicious plate … and I bemoan things fashionable that are not purposeful …
Well a few thoughts.
– “fashion” in the sense of the latest, seasonal “in” stuff is indeed fairly foolish. But “fashion” in the sense of high quality, comfortable clothes that fit well – that’s not foolish at all. Seperately from how it effects how others perceive you – for me, at least, it effects how I deal with the world. When I am in a t-shirt from a tradeshow, worn blue jeans, scuffed shoes, and a worn coat – I project a more casual, less serious air to the world.
In contrast, when I am in a pair of pants that fit, are well made, and clean, an interesting yet well fitting shirt, perhaps with a nice sweater or a good jacket, polished shoes, and a clean outercoat – I project an air of confidence and comfort that changes how I deal with others. It can be a subtle thing – but by reducing minor aggrevations (slightly scratchy fabrics, shirts that don’t quite fit right, etc – there is less negative and more positive surrounding me as I deal with the world.
I have clothes that range from Italian designer to thrift store specials – when I spend the time to care a bit about how I appear, it follows me into the rest of my interactions that day.
Likewise, with respect to grammar and spelling – especially online – I find it can be a proxy for context and seriousness of the interaction. Casual, hurried interactions with little (usually) thought given to them tend to also be full of grammar and spelling errors (SMS messages being the perhaps worst case of this, though it might be argued that they are evolving into communications in a new, pidgin language)
In contrast, a well thought out and edited email or long-form blog post/webpage shows a different level of focus and attention than the majority of blog or email communications. This extra step communicates to me a greater investment in the communication – and hence in the interaction.
For example – if someone sends me a request to forward an introduction via a service such as LinkedIn or Spoke that is full of spelling or grammar errors (or is even just to casual for the type of communication) I tend to refuse to forward it for the very reason that the communication appears unprofessional.
In contrast, a well written, clearly written, concise email, even from someone I know only loosely is much more likley to get read and acted upon – as their attention to detail is telling.
My first screen in any mail or email I get is often right on the addressing of the communication – anything sent to me as “Ms. Clark” or “Mrs. Clark” is immediately significently negatively viewed (I am male – something that anyone who meets me or spends a little time looking me up online should easily be able to determine). It takes a great deal to get past that initial gaffe should it be made.
If you think of Fashion as being related to Design – perhaps you can also rethink its seemingly lack of purpose. Good, classic, well fitting clothes do serve purposes – they employ various tricks to hide/emphasize different aspects of the wearer. They change how the wearer stands, sits, perhaps walks – all of which then, in turn, change how he (or she) interacts with the world around them.
In part this may be a West Coast vs. Midwest thing – here in the midwest, clothing besides being comfortable/covering is also often functional. In the winter, especially, layers offer great protection from the elements.
(my rule of thumb for ties – I try to wear only ties that random strangers on the street might stop me and remark “cool tie” – that is a piece of clothing that goes beyond “working” with my suit to commanding positive attention – usually works pretty well, though it can be hard to find ties that fit this some years, especially the past few)
Slow news week Auren?
Hilarious! very enjoyable read!
well aren’t you opinionated mr shannon, mr think your words are the answer to the worlds problems, mr think you’re answering a question but no one actually asked you anything. And as for you Auren.. nice name bra, i wonder if it’s the real deal. I think the same crap myself all the time but i hate it, i’m sure thinking that way is more likely to drive a person nuts than being a complete fashion following drone. Life is tough, life is tough
Well, there’s this thing called aesthetics. Some people possess it, some don’t. Another word for aesthetics is TASTE. Again, some people have it – and some don’t. Some people don’t care if they look like a circus clown when they leave their house. It’s readily apparent. And yes, there are quite a few people in the world, like yourself, that can’t be bothered by the “details” and are – without meaning to insult – SLOPPY.
At home, I’m sloppy. I don’t care if I leave an empty pizza box on the coffee table overnight. Some people would find this horribly offensive. I don’t. BUT, when I’m out in public, I like to portray a polished, smooth, well put-together image that compliments not only my body shape, my coloration, my “style” – but that fits in with the activity that I’m attending. Speedos and flip-flops at the beach is appropriate. The same would NOT be appropriate at church.
As with most things in life, there are trade-offs and repercussions. If you adhere to fashion and style, you’re called anal and obsessive. If you don’t, you’re called a slob and thought of as uncouth. Your picture (above) doesn’t show you to be an excessively sloppy person, but I’ll bet that people’s attitudes towards you are much better when you’re sharp and polished than when you look less well presented.