Saturday, September 19, 2015

A world without fashion

Imagine life with just two kinds of clothes, work and play.  Two pairs of shoes, two belts, maybe two kinds of socks ... kind of like when we were children.

Everyone could wear pretty much the same kinds of clothes for work and travel and socializing regardless of the occasion.  It could be really simple and much less troublesome.
Early feminists spoke against the fashion culture. “It was associated with triviality, and blamed for confining women to frilly subjects instead of loftier matters. An interest in fashion was perceived as pandering to the male gaze.”

Women are still criticized for the time they spend on fashion and wardrobe.  It's suggested that women would come into their own in society if they quit focusing on being attractive.  Studies reveal that some women do indeed spend much of each day deciding what to wear and thinking wishfully about the couture they might accumulate.  Some women, but not all.

Why would a woman force herself to endure high-heeled shoes? Painful, harmful, and expensive, they deform the bone structure over time, yet she chooses to play the game.  And why would she allow a size zero model on the runway to set the standard for her own self image?  Is it just women?

Of course not. Men are aware of such things but perhaps they respond in more subtle ways.  'Dress for success' has its own set of rules from cuff and collar to manicure and accessory brand.
On the up-side, a portion of the adult population gives but little attention to fashion and style issues.  Their lives are full enough of things that actually deserve their attention. Somewhere along the way, they realized that their clothing had absolutely nothing to do with their worth or their benefit to others.

A successful businesswoman explained her choice of apparel as, "It needs only to not distract."  Another said a bit more firmly, "If they need me to dress to impress them, they don't get my attention."

A world without fashion ... "Would you find it liberating? Finally - never having to wonder what to wear because no one will care. People would see you for the person that you are and not dismiss you because they didn't like your shoes." 

An interesting note; we respect and admire people for their skill, their intellect, their courage and grace, their willingness and ability to serve. We don't admire them for their appearance.  At most, we're entertained or perhaps envious, but there's neither respect nor admiration involved.

We shouldn't expect the fashion/advertising industry to help us or our children think clearly or live a worthwhile life.  It should receive but little attention and no respect at all.  

From another perspective, the way we dress is a form
of nonverbal communication. We choose a particular message
we intend to convey, perhaps. But that's another subject entirely.