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24 July 2013

The art of dressing like a child again

Aila, Alexander Wang's niece. Ph/ Google

Ask me how I feel about PDA (Public Displays of Affection, you know, the couple making out next to you on the bus?) and I’ll probably fake vomit or curl up in a ball on the floor while my friends realize they underestimated my melodramatic moments. I’ll let you all in on a little secret, though; I’d love to be on the receiving end of some PDA. You know, from someone other than my mother. I’d be freaking adorable in a relationship. However such is not the case, and the pros of being just 17 means that I don’t have a single human to impress other than myself, sartorially at least. Here's the thing though, why should I ever have to impress another human with my outfit choice? As such, I’ve devoted the last few years of my adolescence to rejecting flattering clothing. Smocks are my go-to of choice and since maternity wear doesn’t suit those merely hosting a food baby, I’m probably not doing myself many favors. If I wear skinny trousers, I counter it with a baggy top. If I wear huge trousers, I still wear a baggy top. In fact the older I get, the more I dress like a toddler. As I write this I’m wearing a Marvel comics t-shirt and Winnie The Pooh dungarees. It’s awesome; I quite literally look like an abnormally large toddler.  I say that with absolute pride, and here's why:

I like unflattering clothing, I like baggy clothing and I like it because I just do. It’s liberating. I think it’s one thing to feel confident in a cat suit, and a whole other level of self-confidence when you feel confident in a sartorial potato sack. The entire concept of ‘sexy’ that has become accepted in society is based on the male interpretation. We base our own concept of our own beauty on how we think others perceive it; something that should be incredibly personal is globalised. In her book ‘The Second Sex’, Simone De Beauvoir discusses at one point that one-way women become ‘the other’ is when they dress and conform their image to the male concept of beautiful. I do not believe fashion objectifies people as long as they dress for themselves. Wear lipstick and heels because you want to, not for the man at the bar. I think that this ability to dress for ourselves is lost over time. At the age of five, we leave the house in our childhood hero’s costumes. Cinderellas, Tinkerbells, Spidermen. Our mothers advise us not to, and we ignore. We don’t care what people think, or how they judge what we deem as acceptable clothing. Then at some point, we learn to perceive others ideas of attractive and adopt them. Is that how definitions of beauty become so narrow-minded? Why can’t we wear exactly what we want, if it isn’t offensive then what is the stigma around dressing for yourself? At what point do we lose sight of dressing for the person we want to be that day, because sometimes I want to be Cinderella. By that, I don’t necessarily literally mean a Disney store costume; my Cinderella comes in the form of dungarees, or bodycon dresses, or jeans or smocks. For others it's a bodycon dress and smocks, because you're a different person everyday and why should you conform to even your own set 'style'? What’s strange about the whole focus on socially acceptable trends is that often the style we celebrate is that which ignores the expected, and truly represents a person’s personality that day. We are not absolute and neither is style, fashion is subjective. So next time someone tells you you’re dressed inappropriate, take it as a compliment that you’re dressing for yourself. The only definition of style that matters in terms of what you wear, is your own. Sometimes toddlers just coin it.

29 comments:

  1. FINALLY someone's put that down in words !! thank you so much for that. I can so relate to this little article because this is pretty much what I've been thinking the past few months- that I should do this whole dressing-up thing for me, and not to show someone "oh hey look I'm so hipster/high fashion/whatever" <3

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  2. Cute!!!

    www.shareasecret.wordpress.com

    xoxo

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  3. gooosh i love your texts !!! always full of truth haha :) unflattering clothing ? didnt notice !! :D you always look very nice and flattering :D
    xo

    http://franchemeetsfashion.blogspot.cz/

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  4. Aila must be the most adorable (and fashionable) creature to have ever walked the planet! I totally agree with what you're saying here though, and i love how you've linked dressing for your self to other's perception of what is 'sexy' or 'appropriate', or even what is seen as 'fashionable'.
    Nothing will ever stop me venturing out in my dungarees and jelly shoes...despite the resemblance to the outfits chosen by 4-year-old me.
    -Kate xo
    bleached mort

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  5. This is such a true and honest post - I completely agree! Thank you for voicing this xo

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  6. I complete agree! It's so important to dress for yourself, and Camilla you always look great doing so! x

    http://ellenunderwater.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. wow she's so stylish!!
    If you wanna win 2 pairs of sunglasses by a vintage shop of barcelona (Vintage Minds) you can go to the following link in my blog: http://wastedyouthwithyou.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/sunglasses-giveaway.html
    xx

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  8. Well said! However I think often people can go too far the other way and judge women who dress very conventionally or "girly." The girl who wears heels and a fur coat to brunch is likely wearing that because she wants to, like I am wearing my ripped jeans and converse

    Jess x
    http://aroseandapeony.blogspot.com.au/

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  9. So true we should dress for our selfs and then whatever you wear it's fine. It's when we start to dress for other people that we get the problem.

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  10. Amazingly written, and I could not agree more!! We should dress for ourselves and not others.
    -And I also love baggy clothing, I mean, who doesn't put on sweatpants and a t-shirt as soon as they get home? ;)

    -Isabelle xx
    http://isabellemaries.blogspot.co.nz/

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  11. Oh this is just the cutest! Your details are always so wonderful- these details are perfection!

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  12. Everything you said is true. We care about what others think because we want to be accepted but the truth is that we have to accept ourselves first and wear what we want. And that's the key to happiness :)

    Fashionably Sparkly

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  13. I lovelovelove the way you write, you're amazing!

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  14. You said it all! This is so true and also really liberating, fab post x

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  15. AMEN - I dress for myself and yeah, I get weird looks- but haters gonna hate and I feel great #poet

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.nz/

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  16. I always love your posts.


    Delilah,
    dancinginmyawkwardarms.blogspot.com

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  17. I think this is my favourite article by you so far! Totally true, my style changes every day and in a way, adapts to who I'm around and what I'm doing. I've learnt so much over the past year to dress for myself and, not-so-surprisingly, I feel SO much more confident in what I wear.
    Keep writing! :)
    Abbie xx
    abservations.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. AnonymousJuly 25, 2013

    i haven't read something so awesome and true in a long time thank you :)

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  19. I love the way you write! super creative!
    xx

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  20. I absolutely loved this post. It was refreshing and just the pep talk I needed as a new blogger on the scene.

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  21. I absolutely loved this post. It was such a refreshing read and a much needed pep talk as a new blogger on the scene. This definitely needs to published on a higher platform or gain more press

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  22. I love these extended posts/opinion pieces you do! More please :)

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  23. This is amazing. I love your articles with your personal opinion, you write beautifully and it just...works. I find it crazy that you're only a year older than I am, yet you write with such maturity and it is like I am reading a columnist in an edgy magazine or newspaper that has been a writer for many years. Brilliant.

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  24. So wise for one so young. I loved this post more than I love a skinny jean. Which is a lot. xx

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  25. So wise for one so young. I loved this post more than I love a skinny jean. Which is a lot. xx

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  26. Really love the way you wrote about it!

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  27. Dressing like a toddler just seems to match my personality- I'm a four year old trapped inside the body of an adolescent species.

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