For this week’s Stories, there will not be any #throwback, but a somewhat discussion about a common fashion problem. Or a common problem in general to be honest. If you can’t relate, congratulations. If you can relate, I feel you. Folks? Here are some thoughts on the pressure to dress like everyone else.
The concept of dressing like everyone else goes back to societal pressure in general, but peer pressure in specific. Especially in school and at work places, it exists some kind of code structure for how one should dress. Sometimes, the structure consists of rules and it’s not much to argue about, but other times it comes down to common perceptions. An outfit should not be too weird or make too much of a statement. This comes back to dressing quite minimal and basic, with a generalized love for basic jeans, a simple top and trendy shoes. Defying these fashion rules (by dressing in a statement top for example) is to break the code. You might not have said anything wrong, but you are looking wrong. And no one wants to be wrong, right?
The problem with looking like everyone else, from a fashion point of view, is not only utterly boring but also depressive and suppressive to a point where fashion becomes anxious. Stepping beyond an outfit that’s accepted as “normal”, you risk getting comments and be judged for superficiality or being an attention-seeker. As some of my readers have fashion blogs on their own, I’m sure you can relate to having several fashionable pieces at home, but barely wear them because they’re not accepted within your circle of friends nor society? And it can be anything from a colorful hat to a crazy jumpsuit, depending on your social circle or fashion confidence. Not to forget, whenever a new trend emerges and you kind of wanna try it, but it’s yet a bit too uncomfortable for the general opinion. Please note though, that I’m not going after you that likes to dress more subtle. I’m tired of you who judge others for how they dress, not dependent on how you dress yourself.
I could write a book about the endless of annoying situations I’ve found myself in that are related to fashion. I remember when I was 12 and I wore black jeans, a white tee tucked in and black suspenders in school. Who if not me was the perfect target for all kinds of different jokes of looking like a nerd, clown or whatever you can be associated with for wearing suspenders. Or when high waisted pants became trendy and I was 15 and had a pair that I always wore with a buttoned up shirt tucked in. I got the nickname grandpa.Or when I, the other month, wore my jumpsuit that kind of looks like a pyjama (but a very fancy one) and people asked if I had forgotten to get dressed that morning. *Sigh*
What’s the most annoying part about stepping outside the societal pressure is not the comments on their own, but the judgement in whole. You want to wear whatever it is that expresses you and your style. And when pushing beyond the normality, you are already insecure as you are with your outfit. You’re experimenting on your own. So when met with comments or negative looks, of course it gets to you. It shouldn’t, but it does. You are feeling chic and you get judged for it. I don’t know how many times I’ve been standing in front of my mirror with a statement outfit, only to realize all different kinds of looks and comments I’ll get, only to change into something more socially acceptable. Something less noticeable. Which is mad, but also boring and disencouraging.
How to go beyond
I wish I could say that the solution to this would be to reprogramme all the judgemental people out there to a more open and accepting mind. However, the only way you can move beyond societal pressure, is to wear it with as much confidence that it can’t get to you. To realize that your opinion is the only one that’s of importance. You are the one that is wearing the clothes you choose. The same way you protect that pizza is the most yummy food (ya know?), you have to defend what you’re wearing. With passion and confidence in your style. I wish this wasn’t the case, but it’s easier to build yourself up strongly than to rewrite society, obviously. Building up a fierce and strong fashion confidence is hard enough though.
Folks, I’m sorry for a messy and -not making any sense- text, but I’m curious about your story too. What are your moments with the pressure of dressing like everyone else? Did you struggle in school? Are you still struggling? Leave a comment! Xx