The Pressure To Dress Like Everyone Else

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

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

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.

Personal experiences

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

36 thoughts on “The Pressure To Dress Like Everyone Else

  1. A big ole yes to ALL of this. It’s so easy to be swayed into wearing something “normal,” something “just like everyone else.” Good for you for never giving in. I deal with it often even though I don’t find myself dressing too extraordinary…at work they call me “Fifth Avenue” LOL

    PS: Suspenders are a great idea

    xx http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

  2. I feel you. why can’t we just be us? sometimes I get tired because everybody else is wearing he same thing. Being unique and you is great.
    Xo, Christianne
    Htp://simplychristianne.com

  3. Ah story of my life! I am sick of these people too, so tired of them to even respond. You can’t imagine the feedback I got from people I know regarding the Kenzo x HM skirt I wore with a pink sweater! Even last week when I wore a pleated skirt with sweater and ankle boots (what simpler than this right?) a friend said it was “too extreme”. Yes, extremely basic haha! I will show you which one it is when I post it on the blog to see yourself how “extreme” it was! The other day I was having coffee with friends, and I mentioned I love hats and someone said “yes but you can’t wear hats here, you can only wear them to Paris, to Vienna etc” ah I wish people could think before they open their full of crap mouth… If I got a dollar for every ridiculous comment I get, I would be super rich! “Ah I see you got out with your pyjamas”, “it’s nice to see someone feel so confident with what she wears, no matter what people say”. I think their real thought behind these phrases is “I am so jealous I can’t wear this/afford this/wear it like you do”, or “I wish I had 1% of confidence to wear something like this”.. Pff sorry for the long comment but this topic and people really push my buttons lately! Glad to know I am not the only one! 🙂
    Love,
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    1. Pffft, keep standing up for your perfect sense of fashion Stella and don’t let the people get to you. So true that their comments should more be of admiration, I do think that a lot of the times that people think that a fashion choice is chic but they wouldn’t dare to pull it off themselves. So that’s why the meet a chic look with disgrace instead. But keep wearing that Kenzo skirt ffs, it’s too chic!! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

  4. Wow, this was such a great, thought-provoking read, my darling! I think you’re spreading a very important message here, so I hope that many people will read this post! I think that what you said is applicable not only to fashion, but to many other areas of life, also. People are judgmental by nature, and wherever you go and whatever you do, you can’t really avoid that judgement. The thing that we get to decide however, is whether we care about that judgement, or not. I used to really care, I’d be too anxious to wear anything too colourful or put on too much makeup because I just wanted to blend in. These days, I REALLY don’t give a damn, haha. I wear whatever I feel like, which is normally pretty tame in terms of fashion, anyways! Thanks for sharing this fab post, my lovely, you’re a star! xoxo <3 🙂

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

    1. I’m so happy to read that you’ve found the courage to wear your makeup whatever way you like it! And perhaps makeup is not on the same level as fashion when it comes to certain aspects, but bold makeup is nevertheless a statement and there are several makeup looks I’d love to wear that I’d never dare to do so! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

  5. I can definitely relate to this! I’ve always worn whatever I wanted and not everyone gets it but that’s okay. My friends expect me to wear blue faux fur or green boots and a yellow coat. They know its me and accept me for it. It doesn’t hurt that I live near NYC and people there tend to be more daring/accepting of out there style.
    When I move to a new city I’m hoping it will be the same but I think I might be in for more judgement than I’m used to. I just have to remain confident and steadfast in my style choices.

    -M

    Violet Roots || Instagram

    1. I’m so happy that you have a “safe place” for your fashion and that your circle of people are accepting it. I hope too that things remains the same for you when you move, if not, that you keep the courage to pull off fashionable things! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

  6. Please be my friend! I am all there for this post. I used to dress so conservative because I feared people’s comments. I remember a phase when I tried rebelling around 14 and I wore gold cuffs and earrings every day at school haha. But I truly stopped caring after my blog. I wear fancy shoes and every comment I hear is like” oh they look amazing but I wouldn’t wear them”

    Dora http://www.BangsBang.com

  7. Loving the whole concept of this post babe. I definitely find that as a fashion blogger you can feel pressured at times to look like those around you but ultimately it’s up to you to either give in or not. I definitely don’t find that my style fits into any cookie cutter form of fashion and sometimes that makes me feel uneasy but most times I feel happy about it. How boring would the fashion world be if we all just looked like clones. I definitely do like to play around with the current trends but I think I have my own unique way of styling them.

    Thanks for this thought-[provoking post. You’ve reminded me that it’s okay not to look or be like everyone else!

    xoxo Rina
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    1. I think your style definitely has a personal touch to it, which is truly what makes your style your own and not the social media’s idea of how a fashion blogger should dress! So happy you liked this post babe! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

  8. I had to wear a school uniform during the really socially challenging years of my life (10-14) which I think helped make all of us feel a bit more like we were on a level playing field. High school wasn’t too bad either, though I have to admit we all dressed like one another for the most part. There wasn’t a whole lot of expressing oneself on a fashion level going on. I think now that I live in LA I probably take for granted the fact you can basically wear whatever you want without somebody blinking an eye. Your 15 year old outfit with suspenders would be totally embraced in Los Angeles!

  9. I enjoyed reading this article. The thing that I noticed is that even if “in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”, people are more likely to accept something that they have already seen than something new. They first have to see it on several people to convince themselves that it’s ok wearing it. That’s a pity
    Stay inspired

  10. This is avery interesting matter, and I’d say I totally agree with what you wote here.
    I’ve experienced school uniform on all my school years and I total hate to wear (and look) the same of everybody, so when I’ve finished school I’ve started to try almost every trend and edgy look I’ve happened to see!^^
    Now I can understand the importance to not to looktoo edgy to let others feel “comfortable”, but I’ve even learned how topersonalize my outfits in my way. 🙂
    xxx
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it

  11. People tend to make fun and judge things that they don’t understand, I don’t know why but that seems to be the case. I don’t understand fashion and I don’t pretend that I do but hey, if they are happy wearing bright pink sequin dress with bright cobalt blue feathers drape around their neck then good for them. I would never have the gut to pull off such outfit so my hats off to anyone who does. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. So true that no one needs to go after each other for daring to do things differently. I know you are bold when it comes to choices of makeup, which I’m not, but I’d never go after you for it. I found it admirable when people dare to mix colors and wear bold lipsticks for any occasion! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

  12. This is such an important and reliable topic and I’m glad you brought it up. For starters, all those who laughed and mocked your fashion-forward style choices must be thinking of you when all the celebrities are spotted wearing those looks and pieces you wore first. Or better yet, as they’re putting them on themselves, haha, because let’s face it, chances are some of them are embracing those trends they once made fun of; that almost always happens. I have to be entirely honest and say that I’m getting a little annoyed with the lack of individuality I tend to see on social media. Either so many try to look just like a Kardashian/Jenner from head-to-toe or I see the same running theme with the beanie, blanket scarf and Starbuck’s cup in hand. Now, don’t get me wrong, like you’ve stated, I’m not judging the people who wear these styles at all, I just feel that not everyone who sports this image is being true to their own personal style and self. I can say this because there was a time when I felt I had to look like the latter. I tend to prefer bolder, brighter pieces, at the same time, my style is more eclectic and dependent upon how I feel on any given day. I hate feeling as though I need to put on a uniform to fit in and to be liked (literally, to get more likes on Instagram, haha). I think this is a major part of the success of both Chiara and Leandra. Both women stepped waaaaay outside the box and wore the most interesting outfits that most wouldn’t wear, yet with such confidence and pose, that it made it intriguing and admirable. I hope many young readers stumble upon this post because I know for sure it will inspire them to be true to their selves, especially after having read that the editor of this site experienced a bit of ridicule herself, yet continued to embrace her style. Thanks so much for sharing, gorgeous, and I hope you have the most amazing weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    1. It is so true that one often ends up wearing what one used to mock. That’s why I’m trying to stay humble when it comes to ditching certain trends, or commenting on people’s outfits I dislike, because I’ll probably look like that in awhile haha, lol! But you are so true with the lack of individuality in fashion today. This neutral fashion trend á la the Kardashians/Jenners is so frustrating on so many levels. It could be anyone wearing those clothes, there is nothing in that style that hints about personal preferences extending from the clothes themselves. And it makes me crazy, where is the individuality of fashion?! You can’t spot an outfit any longer and connect it to someone, it’s rare to do so. But as you say with Chiara and Leandra, they have an individuality to there style. So does Mira Duma, Olivia Palermo etc. You can see their outfits, without seeing their face, and identify the clothes as belonging to them. But it’s so contradictory when it comes to fashion/trends/style. Because a trend is worn by the majority, the only problem with trends today is that they’re not worn with the touch of individuality. Which is frustrating indeed! Xx

      https://www.thefashionfolks.com

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