Posts Tagged ‘divide’

The fashionable divide

April 11, 2010

“And the key differences between women in the North and their fellow fashion lovers in the South-East?”

‘In London,’ says Justine, ‘women will dress down their Louboutin heels with skinny jeans or leggings and less-is-more hair and make-up, which they see as being very cool.”

‘In Liverpool, that would be criminal: the girls here make sure the rest of their outfit is as glam as the shoes themselves.”

“My own view is that Northerners are finally asserting themselves when it comes to what they wear. We love glamour and we’re no longer afraid to flaunt it.”

As I read the article that these quotes came from, many questions arise.  Fashion brings many people together. No doubt that we have bonded with a friend over shopping, or a common massive shoes addiction. We may also have met a new friend while shopping, or working in retail. This love of all things fashionable brings many together. This being said, I wonder how many people we alienate with our style preferences. It is natural, that we as humans look to others for reassurance in ourselves. We are drawn to others that resemble our own appearance. We do this not only because it is comfortable to us, but also to reaffirm our own choices. So if we are naturally drawn to others that are similar to ourselves, then who are we missing out on?

I find myself wondering what makes me comfortable. Am I calmed by the presence of those who are like me? Of course I am. I have a friend who is like my twin. We were obviously separated at birth. She enjoys all the same things as I do, arts, crafts, and always challenging herself. She loves fashion, and would never sacrifice her style for functionality. We buy each other the same gifts, and pick out matching items without trying. My friend, soul mate if you will. Being around her makes me at ease. It’s like hanging out with a dark-haired version of myself.  While I enjoy being comfortable with familiarity, I also enjoy meeting others that do not share my tastes. Meeting someone who is a polar opposite of myself is a challenging experience. I do not mean it isn’t enjoyable for me, I just mean it pushes my limits. It pushes me to an uncomfortable place. That uncomfortable is not a bad place to be, and it doesn’t last. This uneasiness means I am doing something right. I am growing. When you befriend someone who looks different, enjoys different things, or lives in contrast to your life how do you feel? I find that I am unsure of myself at first, getting a feeling for the new dialogue. Questioning internally whether I am good enough, and whether they are good enough to continue the adventure. Not only is it rewarding to learn from someone else, the way they see the world, It forever changes a tiny piece of you.

As a girl who loves her high heels, and leggings, fashion is my friend. One of my many outlets is the chance to style myself, and others. When I befriend someone who is not worried about appearance, or enjoys a laid back sense of style, I am curious to learn how my fashion choices effect how others feel around me. Do I make them feel under dressed? I on a regular basis admit to feeling overdressed. What types of people am I drawing to myself, and on the other hand who am I alienating?

Not only are these questions interesting on an individual scale, but expanding them world-wide makes this a complicated, and fascinating topic. How does fashion divide us as people? Naturally as humans we divide ourselves into like groups. We judge ourselves, and others by appearance. We decide on first glance whether or not you belong, followed by getting to know you to justify the initial judgments. There is a fashion style for every belief, and lifestyle. Whether you are conservative, country living (cowboy inspired), fashion forward, successful business person, or poverty striken. The preconceived image is already in our minds. The fact is you are entering a room, only after someone has already met you in their own mind. Leaving you to break down the existing walls.

The scary truth being fashion is really making your first impressions for us, making our friends, and effecting our careers. With this being the reality of now, I ask you this…. what image are you putting forth? How is your style effecting your life?



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