Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Oh My God, Are You Really Wearing That?


I’ve seen some fashion disasters in my life, ranging from the girl (at the races, no less) wearing the halter neck dress with the standard bra (never heard of a convertible, sweetie?) to red shoes with a fluorescent pink dress. You may choose to disagree, but I was taught pink and red do not go together, but at least that was at the mild end of fashion faux pas. 

To be honest, a friend and I got more pleasure out of critiquing the wardrobe of niteclub attendees than from actually going to the club. Yes, I am aware this is judgemental, and yes I know I posted this last week – Judgements – Are You Making Unfair Ones? As I said there, some judgements are justified, and some are not. 

Is it an unfair judgement to assess someone’s clothes? I’m not judging who they are by their clothes, just whether the ensemble works. This is totally within the wearer’s control. If you’re that concerned about what people might think of what you’re wearing, check the trusty mirror on the way out the door. And if you don’t care – then no harm, no foul. And it’s not like I went up to these people and told them what I thought. No, it was just a private chuckle. And I most certainly wasn’t judging them based on what someone else had done. 

Fashion can always be a fickle beast. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because it’s in fashion, it automatically looks good. You cannot wear a mini skirt just because it’s in fashion unless you have great legs (I don’t and I don’t wear them). I read somewhere ‘Style is wearing what suits you, whether it’s in fashion or not’ and I’m a big believer in that sentiment. 

Personally I don’t wear:
  • Mini skirts – I never had legs that great. I should have taken up dancing, huh?
  • Cowl neck tops – Made for women who were less blessed in the chest department, no woman in a DD cup needs or want this style of shirt;
  • Skirts with frills or ruffles around the derriere area – Made for women who have no hips or arse, they just make me look like I should be wearing a ‘WARNING: wide load’ sign.
The latest fashion in Sydney has been mullet skirts – skirts ankle length in back and almost mini-skirt short in front. It’s… interesting. But like the mini skirt, should be worn with caution. 

Umm... Just umm.
There’s also been an increasing trend for girls to dress skimpier. Now, I was (and still am) known to show off some cleavage, and let’s face it, when you have an ample bosom, sometimes it can be difficult to keep it under wraps. Tops that were never designed to reveal cleavage can become positively plunging on the right bosom. Very occasionally, when I was younger, I would wear a short skirt (not mini-skirts though). But I never teamed the two together because I believe in retaining some class and/or elegance. OK, I fall on my face too often to be elegant, maybe I’ll just settle for some dignity. 

These days, though, girls have gone far beyond lowering their neckline or raising the hemline. In fact, in some cases it seems the skirt or top is entirely optional. 

I haven’t been blessed with seeing this ensemble, but apparently this one is doing the rounds in some parts of Sydney. It consists of a very short t-shirt teamed with sheer stockings and garter straps. The t-shirt is so short the girl’s underwear (besides her stockings, I mean, which are also underwear!) are on display, together with her garter straps. In short, she forgot her pants. Or skirt. This one can’t be too common (yet) as I haven’t seen it personally, and I hope it stays that way. But I have seen the shorts that are so short the pockets hang out the bottom. Would you like a side order of shorts with your pockets, miss? This just looks daggy, not to mention if I am behind you, I don’t really want to see your arse hanging out the bottom. 

Is that supposed to be a dress?
Also, I’m sorry, but let’s face it - rightly or wrongly, someone, somewhere, will judge by your clothes. If you dress like a truck driver, is it wrong to assume you are a truck driver? No, although it might be wrong to assume that because you are a truck driver you must be, for example, a bit slow, or a bit rough, since this is not necessarily so and is a generalisation.  

As a lawyer, I dress reasonably soberly at work, no short skirts and generally no strappy tops, and I don’t dye my hair spectacular colours or have facial studs. This was particularly so as a young lawyer, when you’re even more likely to be mistaken for the receptionist if you indulge in these types of fashion fads. My hairdresser wanted to do something ‘interesting’ with my hair and I had to warn her to keep it within limits because of my profession. I accept that as a natural consequence of my career choices and the fact we will, like it or not, be judged by our clothes. 

If you’re wearing scrubs, people will think you’re a doctor. If you’re wearing robes and a wig, people will think you’re a lawyer or a judge. And if you appear to be missing some vital parts of your wardrobe…. Well, there is a very ancient job that has this trademark and you can connect the dots. 

Now there's a wedding photo you want to have on your wall for all eternity...

This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge Series. If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N.  

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19 comments:

Cassam said...

Hi, I had a good laugh at those photos. I people watch too and sometimes even at our local shopping centre I wonder if people have mirrors at home ir did someone tell them they looked great and then snigger behind their backs. I'm have 60's & 70's as my A to Z theme and there are sone fashion disasters there.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Some things you see you just can't help but wonder 'What were you thinking?'

Moody Writing said...

I think judging each other is part and parcel of human society. It's how we make decisions. Some people just like making those judgements as easy as possible.

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Ha ha, you make an excellent point when you say some people just make those judgements easy!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

LOL I do sometimes wonder what were these people thinking!

Dionne Lister said...

Lol, well said! As another ample busted woman, I too cannot wear the cowl neck jumpers and I hate frills - were we separated at birth? Ha, the really short skirts are Gosford shorts - they finish just below The Entrance lol (ok Australian reference sorry you international peeps)

Angeline Trevena said...

I love judging other people's wardrobes. But I really don't get this thing of going out in barely more than underwear. Then again, if I had the figure for it, maybe I'd think differently. Perhaps not...

Visiting from the A-Z Challenge.

Scarlett said...

Haha I love the opening sentence! There are some shocking outfits at the races!! I just wrote a post with some tips, I was going to be so much harsher but I didn't know where to start! You're right about, at some point, people are always going to judge you on your clothes - but that's the beauty of fashion. Your clothes are a way of expressing yourself, and for different situations you dress differently - as you said, as a lawyer you're not going to "get get your slut on" in the office - but then again you're not going to wear your work clothes for a hen party. Great post xx

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Holy Cowabunga! Even if I could get away with it. I would not. But more power to 'em, I guess.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Ack!!! Yeah, that wedding outfit is one for the album!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

LOL definitely separated at birth! I love the Gosford skirt, what a cool reference! (international peeps, Gosford is a town located just south of a town called The Entrance).

Ciara Ballintyne said...

No, I don't get it either. I believe in 'appropriateness' i.e. wearing what's appropriate for the setting. Underwear alone is rarely appropriate in a public setting.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

100% correct, what I wear to a hen party is totally different to what I wear to work1 this comes back to wearing what;s 'appropriate' for the setting, which I touched on in my reply to the below comment.

And the races is definitely not the place to have one's underear hanging out. These days there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about the fact that UNDERwear is worn UNDER your clothes.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I'm with you - not even if I could! And there are plenty of women who could but don't.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Just what you wanted to show your grandkids...

LynneinPborough said...

just catching up. sorry I'm late. took me hours to work out what to wear to this blog. Great post!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Ha ha, too funny! I hope after all that pondering you managed to avoid a fashion faux pas!

Claudine Neal said...

The white pant suit with the pants missing could be more approriate for the float at Mardi gras. Very true about dressing for the profession. As an experienced teacher being paid I can be a little more relaxed. As a prac student, it is professional dress. There are variations for primary and secondary teachers. Primary - no short skirts as kids sit on the floor it is not best to have the potential for 6 yr old boys to see up your skirt when they sit on the floor. You may not have a job very long. On the other end of the spectrum; 16 year old boys may also see your religion (cleavage) if the shirt is ill-fitting.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It could work at mardi gras, yes, but that's about the only place!

Teaching is absolutely another profession where it's important to dress appropriately, for all the reasons you've raised.

thanks for stopping by, Claudine

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