30 July 2006

Soapboxing: My Anti-Generic Manifesto

“The difference between style and fashion is quality.” - Giorgio Armani

When I decided to start this blog, I was trying to pinpoint why I wanted to. The first thought that popped into my head was "I Hate Generic." That's not to say that I'm a brand snob, but rather that I dislike generic or inauthentic style.

Now, I know that not everyone has the time or money to buy nice clothing. I know that putting food on the table is a higher priority for many people.

And no, I pass no fashion judgment on a tired, paunchy mom wearing a purple tracksuit as she chases around her screaming children. That's perfectly acceptable chasing-children attire.

I'm casting my disdain on the people who obviously do spend the time and money on themselves, and come out looking like clones of each other. People who try very hard to project a "fashionable image" when in fact they're projecting a generic image.

I know a girl who has a knock off Hermés bag that she got at a purse party, but she flaunts it around like it's the real thing. (It's beyond ironic to flaunt the knock off of a $20,000 bag, in my opinion.)

I know girls who still think a Tiffany charm bracelet is the height of fashion, so they buy the Claire's version and wear it snottily around and tell people it's Tiffany.

Certainly, not everyone can afford Hermés. I sure as hell can't. But what is the purpose of lying about an obvious knock off? I appreciate well-made things, and if I could afford Hermés, I'm sure I'd own Hermés. But in the mean time, I most certainly will not fabricate an upper class facade and carry around a plastic knock off made by a child sweatshop worker in Vietnam so I can pretend I'm rich.

I know a young-twenties pageant princess who is constantly dressed up with full-on pageant makeup and a blowout. She has chunky acrylic nails, suspiciously puffy lips (thank God for restylane) and carries around plastic knock off purses (Guess knocking off Gucci, for example) with an air of superiority.

Little does she know that I do not find the Steve Madden pleather stilleto with Seven jeans and an Abercrombie blazer look attractive. I find it very middle class trophy wife. Especially when paired with war-paint makeup. It's mediocre faux riche bullshit.

Just like girls with brassy highlights wearing Target's version of a Juicy terry tube-top, walking around the mall wearing their knock off sunglasses indoors, practically screaming, "I'm Jessica Simpson... don't look at me, wait LOOK AT ME!"

This is the generic bullshit that I hate. If I saw just ONE girl dressed like that who projected individuality and confidence and personality, I would change my mind. But the girls I see like this ooze insecurity. They're trying to compete with every other version of themselves they see walking around the mall in the same outfit. They have no personal fashion sense, they just scan through People and wear whatever Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton are wearing, only the Wet Seal version.

This is why I never go to the mall. I shop almost exclusively at thriftstores and antique stores. No pretense in those places.

I like seeing what people used to wear. There is nothing exciting about terry tube-tops from Target (or Juicy tube-tops, for that matter). They're boring, and I'd feel like my personality was literally draining out of me if I wore one.

So that's why I created this blog, so I can post pretty clothing that represents something nice or inspires my personal sense of style. I really believe that what I wear should represent me honestly. I'd be terrified if I felt like a knock off Birkin represented me.

Perhaps I've made this a bigger deal than it is. Perhaps fashion is petty and it absolutely shouldn't matter that people flounce around in chintsy outfits.

But I'm not sure that's true. It's not necessarily what you're wearing, but how it makes you feel and act, and what it says about you.

As Stella Blum says, fashion reveals a person's inner feelings. Generic styles signify generic personalities.


JLTH said...

"Don't ask me what to wear
I have no embroidered
headband from Sardis to
give you, Cleis, such as
I wore
and my mother
always said that in her
day a purple ribbon
looped in the hair was thought
to be high style indeed"


Anonymous said...

amen, sister