It has been often pointed out to me that I tend to colour coordinate my outfits, which is true in the winter (but in the summer….long live the patchworks!). What makes me wonder is this: why is coordinating outfits a weird thing? I mean, if you put the slightest effort in your appearance then things have to go nicely together, or at least not clash gruesomely, right? Sure, I tend to stick to monochromes during the winter, but if you see some of my summer dresses you’ll understand. Winter is my take-a-break-from-(too)-flamboyant-outfits time.
That and I am aware enough of colour symbolism to play around with it. Granted, I should ever choose outfits while in a bad mood and sleepy or I end looking like Morticia Adams. Honestly, most of the time I don’t consciously think about it. Like most women I have my lucky pieces and sometimes I may structure an outfit around them, or if it’s the first day of a module I might dress up. (Which is why I showed up in my first Old Icelandic Literature seminar wearing a dress with a hood that would have made 13th century fashion designers weep in delight.)
But you can’t tell me I’m the only one doing it. Sure the “first thing my hands grabbed” look can be popular in a university environment. And I’m not going to say that every time I had to make an appearance in public I spent two hours on my outfit (that only happens when my hair refuses to cooperate). Still sometimes I get this feeling that there is a sort of expectation. That just because we’re students we cannot be bothered to keep a tidy appearance
(much like some students clearly are incapable of taking out the trash, but I haven’t bitched about flatmates here so far, I think, so let’s not break the good trend now). And yes, I have seen outfits that made me cringe on campus, just like I’ve seen outfits that make me want to walk up to complete strangers and ask where they shop so I can go there too.
For me dressing up (in meaning of the phrasal) is just another way of expressing myself, my likes, my mood…I may not want to talk about what’s wrong (or most often I may not know how), but I can wear darker clothes and a hood that hides my face and feel a little safer. Or I may wake up in a ridiculously happy mood but, since it is not socially acceptable, I cannot just randomly burst into song and dance in the middle of the street. I can wear bright clothes though, or a humorous t-shirt or a pair of funky earrings and it’s not a creative means of sharing my thoughts and feelings but a fashion statement.
It may be my flair for the dramatic (there’s a reason why I completely empathise with Kylo Ren) or the ungodly amount of time I spend snarking online, I don’t know, but does anyone else ever feel like fashion is double guilt trap? I mean you can’t completely ignore it without being called a hundred different names (and most of them not good; I know, I was the girl that combined Hermione Granger’s and Luna Lovegood’s looks during Middle School) but you can’t follow fashion trends exactly either, unless you plan on blowing up your bank account and/or being called a sheep for following what “them media”dictate blindly. Yes, personal style and middle ground and all that jazz are nice and good in theory. Well then, what happens when MY middle ground is about 10 km from the middle ground of the person next to me?