By Anna Sadovskaya, Daily Fine Arts Columnist
Published March 11, 2013
After trying it on four times, frowning at myself in the mirror and giving it upwards of 22 minutes of uninterrupted thought, I bought a denim blazer. It sounds hideous in print, but there you have it.
More like this
There’s something so absolute in the sale process. And OK, it’s not like I can’t wake up tomorrow, scream at it in terror and return the fashion faux pas. But there’s an undeniable finality to the whole exchange. I chose to spend money on an item of clothing — I decided I needed it, wanted it, was willing to pay for it. In that moment, I made a promise to wear it.
That’s the thing with fashion: Make it your own, wear what you choose, but that’s how you’re defining yourself to a world that is largely appearance-obsessed. I’m not a denim blazer kind of girl every day. But as soon as I put it on, I become her. Who is she? Does she also wear combat boots to the beach? Is she trying to make a casual-work-attire comeback? Is she trying to be grunge chic?
The real problem is I don’t have any of these answers because I wear clothes I feel look good. I’m not making a statement per se; I’m simply trying not to fall into the trap of sweatpants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But some people eat, sleep and breathe fashion — every outfit is a conscious decision to further their style and worldly impression. I’m like, ‘OK, these maroon pants would look acceptable with this white sweater,’ and I’m off to the races.
During a casual late-night perusing of the Internet, I somehow ended up on The Man Repeller, a fashion blog dedicated to those whose fashion sense and ensemble choices repel the opposite sex, namely men, who have no idea who the hell Proenza Schouler is. The entire purpose of this website is to show current and upcoming trends, give style tips and discuss the pros and cons of various fashion shows.
As a fine art, high fashion takes the beauty and expression of painting and sculpting, turning it into a tangible masterpiece; a design can take anywhere from a couple months to a couple years to perfect, and designers take immense pride in their work, as shown by the bi-annual fashion week shows. Couture I understand, surprisingly: It’s not ready-to-wear, it’s art. It’s about creating something to evoke emotion just as any work of art does.
The biggest disconnect happens when people take that art and adopt it into their everyday wardrobe. ‘Oh, is this a geometrically inclined cardigan? I’m going to wear this tomorrow. Yeah.’ But even then, it’s not a big deal, right? Fashion, like I mentioned before, is in the eye of the beholder. What you want to wear, you wear. So why do I spend 22 minutes deciding on a blazer?
It’s like this: I wear something, and for the rest of the day, I’m going to be either consciously or subconsciously worrying about whether or not I look good. And it, surprisingly, has little to do with self-esteem, and much more to do with the fact that I, and every other person, assess others based on their looks.
Don’t even pretend you don’t. Some might be nicer than others, simply noting that someone’s outfit either meshes or clashes with their style, while others full-on decide whether to extend friendship based on denim choice. It’s like everyone woke up one day and collectively decided our fashion choices were ideal, and everyone else was either overdressed, underdressed or, God forbid, better clothed than us.
I’m not one to speak. I wear denim blazers and maroon leggings, and I think the last time I wore jeans was my senior year of high school. But I speak anyway. I’ve talked about people’s shoe choices, their love of chambray and how ugly neon orange is. I guess everyone’s a designer and fashion critic wrapped into one.