I’m not here to decorate your world is a vivid example of learning about fashion from genetic women and this example comes from Sally McGraw, a fashion blogger from Minneapolis. I write on fashion from personal experience, a lot of research and comments from the real world of women and it can be an eye-opening experience as they can be really snarky with each other. If you haven’t figured it out yet, women dress for other women as much as themselves.
In this post, Not Here To Decorate Your World, Sally was talking about accessorizing a twinset to take it from “dull” to “stylish” by switching out materials and adding accessories. Don’t know what a twinset is??….usually a sweater on sweater or matching top and cardigan combination. This outfit was popular in the 50s and equally popular today as it’s a no-brainer, quick and easy outfit to create, ideal for casual wear or dressy enough for a GNO or date.
Well, one reader left a comment that started a string of 65 comments that were sometimes snarky but also showed how divided women can be in their opinions on fashion and style. It’s worth reading the whole thread just to see the dividedness a simple attempt at creating a stylish outfit can be. Here’s the comment:
What, exactly, is wrong with dull clothes? It seems to me this falls into “I’m not here to decorate your world” territory. An unadorned twinset and black trousers constitutes a put-together, simple, un-fussy, functional, casual, comfortable outfit.
The responses ranged from if you want to be dull, be my guest to why are you reading a fashion blog if you don’t want to be stylish. It was really quite amusing. Most women defended their right to wear what they want even if it was uninspiring, after all, we all have a bad hair day sometimes, right?. Sally thought the comment was downright combative, but after some research, found the phrase is rooted in the male gaze and a response to the notion that women have a “duty” to look their best at all times. Now you get into the endless arguments from Feminists but of course, that was not Sally’s intention.
One commenter said “dull deflects attention, but elegant attracts it. Apparently some women want to be faceless. Another commenter said, “I mentally redress people on the street sometimes. I have noticed though, that sometimes my zeal for being well dressed turns into judgment of those who chose not to. I have noticed that my “gee, she would feel so much better if she would clean herself up” has somehow shifted into, “Geez, why can’t she just pull herself together.” It has been a very slow and uncomfortable realization. The desire to look presentable and express oneself through clothing in my case often turns into some self-imposed obligation”
I wonder sometimes if we don’t see the same thing in transwomen that have transitioned. I’ve read enough times have they present just as scruffy as non-trans women. Crossdressers, on the other hand, rarely have that problem. Theirs is a different one. Me, personally, I love bling. I will decorate myself and am rarely without earrings, necklace, watch, bracelet, and rings. The joy of being able to dress myself this way is endless.
Then I love this comment, “Lastly- “I’m not here to decorate your universe” – haha, for some reason that statement really makes me laugh. I’m guessing it’s a defiant way of saying that “I don’t have to look good for anyone else”…? To be totally honest, I think it’s kind of sad. Because if you’re angry that other people are seemingly holding you to some kind of standard, it’s still your own assumption. And then you waste lots of energy feeling rebellious and wanting to look “non-decorative” that could have been spent on lovelier things, like figuring out how best to decorate (or not, if that’s your preference) your OWN world!”
Here’s another comment, “storiteller said that dressing to decorate the world sounds like a beautiful concept. I would be extremely happy if the way I clothe myself would actually contribute to make the world a little bit brighter, or someone’s day a little prettier” I’m in this camp too as why not be the most stylish woman that you can be. As I said in my post on TG Forum in “Are You Playing Dress-Up”, we take on the characteristics of the clothes we wear, a phenonmen called enclothed cognition. Look it up. Clothes can boost your confidence, bolster your self-esteem or lift your mood.
And again another woman said, “fact that life was simpler when I didn’t have to actually interact with anyone, and dressing to be invisible practically guarantees you won’t have to.” Is that what you want, to be invisible to other women (and men)?
There were so many more amazing comments…real eye-openers. Go read them. I’ll end with this reader comment, “. But I will say this, to those that like to dress in a more conservative manner – get yourself some hot pink(and lacy) underwear and smile to yourselves every day you wear it J”
This shouldn’t be a problem as the latest Sister House poll on lingerie clearly shows panties are our favorite item of lingerie.