January 2, 2008

Wednesday Rant - Kill the Kitch!

So I decided to treat myself to the portabella and goat cheese sandwich at Au Bon Pain and on my way back to the office, I saw the most horrific sight…

A woman, around my age (early to mid 30s) wearing a pink corduroy hip-length coat with pink faux fur trim around the hood, brown trousers a tad too short so I could see her rainbow-striped socks, brown loafers, brown leather gloves and a knit hat that had a face and ears on it so it looked like a cat/mouse/non-human creature. The hat tied under her chin in a pink-ribboned bow. She was talking on her cell phone and carrying a Coach purse.

Ladies, WHY do you do this to yourself? WHY?

Yes, the hat was very cute, and pink is one of my favorite colors as well. Heck, as I type this I am wearing my favorite rainbow-striped socks (completely hidden under boots). I just don’t understand why adult women feel the need to dress as children. This woman was obviously working at a corporate job, made an attempt to look professional with her trousers and shoes, but seemed to… give up.

The majority of women running around this globe in Disney-gear, hats made for toddlers, cartoon tee shirts and toe-socks are usually compensating for something. More often than not, frustration at a typical women’s clothing store causes one to give up, purchase an oversized fleece or tee shirt with Tigger and Pooh embroidered on the front. This purchase is justified by saying, “but I LOVE Pooh!” or, “I’m just a kid at heart!”

Men, you aren’t off the hook, you do this as well. Gain a few pounds, you trade in your oxfords for football jerseys and tee shirts advertising your favorite cartoon/dead musician/Nascar driver. I swear if I see another “Family Guy” tee shirt I think I may scream.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love Barbie. Okay, not that shocking of a secret, considering my passion for fashion and my love of the color pink. However, my love goes so deep for the top-heavy blonde one that I own a Barbie. No, this is not a Barbie from my youth, this is a Barbie purchased in this millennium just for moi. And not only that, she has outfits to change into. She used to sit on my computer monitor in my home office, gazing at me with her perfectly shadowed plastic eyes.

Do I own any clothing that makes mention of my Barbie fascination? No. Do I attempt to dress like Barbie? Heck no. Does this mean I love Barbie any less? No. It means I have accepted that I can be an adult, a well-dressed individual AND still have a place in my heart for my childhood toys. That I can wear stylish, flattering garments and STILL be a “kid at heart.”

Dressing like a child does not make you look fun, child-like, cute, creative or endearing. It makes you look foolish, stunted and confused.

Now, you KNOW that I am all about a woman celebrating her personality through her clothing. We should not all be cardboard cutouts of one another. Wearing your Hello Kitty backpack with your business suit, or a hat in the shape of a rodent to the grocery is not showing your personality. Your personality is far deeper than your adoration for a cartoon character or childhood fairy tale. Blatantly advertising your hobbies and interests makes one wonder if you have any depth or other interests, and it trivializes any other passions in your heart. You are not a flimsy magazine or pamphlet, you are a novel. Your clothing is the cover of that novel, attracting readers, making them desire more, to read every page and not skim the inside flaps of the jacket. Wear your favorite color of Care Bear, purchase a watch from your trip to Disney World, get a Hello Kitty bag to hold your cosmetics in your purse, wear Underoos under your power suit. Embrace your hobbies and interests, but remember that you are a woman of depth, intelligence, creativity and heart. There is far more to you than your passion for Pooh. Let the world see your depth, and not dismiss you as a shallow person stuck in the past.

None of these pictures are from personal sites or blogs; out of respect all pictures are from online retailers and those photographed are models.

28 comments:

  1. Gah - there's a picture of this very phenomenon over at The Satorialist from 12/19 - did you see it?? I completely agree with you on this topic, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I prefer a simpler or cleaner look as well. This ties well to your "Polished" post on keeping it simple.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to give in to this fad until one day I woke up and realized that I didn't look "cute" I looked foolish. I now love being a grown-up and dressing like one

    ReplyDelete
  4. Agreed! As someone with an unhealthy love for Coach, I am personally offended that she put one of their lovely bags next to that outfit. ;P

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are not a flimsy magazine or pamphlet, you are a novel.

    great line! i am committing it to memory as it is the perfect summation of who we are completely, not just in relation to our wardrobes. brava!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have said what I have always felt but couldnt quite describe in words when seeing grown women in pooh bear t-shirts (sadly, more common than you would think). well done!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah I must confess. My current bag is a limited edition Hello Kitty tote. There is not a trace of pink on it (in my meager defense). I love it. It is the perfect size, great for holding odds and ends for my kids when we go places and it makes me smile.

    I vow to keep everything else simple and I only wear my fitted Mighty Mouse tee on weekends at home.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am TOTALLY with you.

    Except... I do wear a "I LOVE SUSHI" shirt when I eat sushi at home.. *embarassed* :) I've worn it out once to a sushi shop when I was at a sushi buffet but to my credit, I had a sweater over it :P

    ReplyDelete
  10. The vaudeville exposed socks bit ran out with Kosmo Kramer.

    An entire look based on living a cartoon life looks ridiculous and you're right, they're probably compensating.

    That said, I'm a proud mostly jeans mom. I wear cute well fitting jeans with adult tops... most of the time.

    Sometimes when I get together with other mommies, I wear a silly monkey t-shirt with a grown-up cardigan or short jacket. I like looking neat, but sometimes I need to feel silly to really get into some serious playtime. Plus, if I have to go into the outside world, I can just button up.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah, I have a few witty tee shirts in my collection - one that says, "Good Grammar Costs Nothing" and one that says, "WWAD - What Would Alison Do." They are fine and fun for hanging out at the house, heading to yoga or chilling at the beach cafe. However when I see it for daily streetwear is where I have the problem. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are a woman after my own heart! I said just the same thing to my husband at lunch over the weekend when a 30 something couple walked by with their MATCHING pooh jackets on!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Snaps to you, Allie. Kudos, kudos, kudos, and thrice again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I completely agree...I told my mother (who seems to fall into this trap on a frequent basis) that she is NOT to buy anything that she thinks is "cute" under any circumstances. Otherwise, she ends up with 15 glitter santa sweatshirts in her closet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also loved your "novel" analogy! And I thought your suggestions for incorporating personal flair (like underoos) into a grown-up wardrobe were spot on.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I recently went through everything in my wardrobe, and got rid of almost all of my graphic tees. My only problem is my Alice in Wonderland shirt collection. At least they're not just baggy tee shirts with a picture slapped on the front: they're actually nice looking, and I only wear them when I go to classes. And since I'm still in college, I think it's okay. At least I'm not pairing them with pajama pants...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh how I agree with you! There's a 35 year old lady in this women's group that dresses in cartoon shirts and crazy jester hats. It angers me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm obsessed with Disney, especially Tinkerbell. But does that mean I need a Tinkerbell tee shirt for everyday of the week? Definitely not. A lot of people don't get that when giving me gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. yes, piling on a ton of garb dedicated to childhood fascinations and cartoon characters is a tad ridiculous but i think that throwing out every graphic tee or justifying having one (by only wearing it on the weekends or in the comfort of your own home) is just as ridiculous.

    why do we have to be focused so much on our age? age is only a state of mind an doesn't necessarily need to be reflected in one's clothing, and i find it appalling that we are constantly told to act our age, dress of age, and then told what is appropriate for that age.

    i don't go around wearing a pooh t-shirt and yes they irk me, but i do wear rock t-shirts (or "advertising my favorite dead musician" as it was so put) because this is one of my passions, this is the field that i work in. sometimes i wear a dress, sometimes a blazer, it all coincides with my mood. does that indeed mean that i am childish and have "giving up"? fashion is all over the place these days, it's nice to see not everyone wearing the same thing, i enjoy it and personally i would much rather see a lady of any age with a hello kitty purse or a panda hat, showing her sense of humor or style then a girl dressed like a wanna-be "supermodel", prostitute , or layered in whatever happens to be the latest trend that week.

    perhaps it's just the rebel in me from my youth, the old adage, "variety is the spice of life" has always spoken to me much more than giving up and giving in to what the rest of popular culture dictates me to do.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Our society seems to operate on the premise that it's ok to be different, but just not too different.

    Why? Just because we don't like to wear it, or heck, look at someone else wear it isn't a reason to look down on someone who does.

    Yes there's a fine line between giving up on making effort on one's appearance and tastefully expressing individuality through one's appearance.

    Often the journey to personal style is fraught with missteps even for the most dedicated.

    Quite frankly the fashion-world can be a bit hypocritical this way. One year a style is praised for its trendiness and the next it's maligned for being out of date. What?

    Yes, I am a novel. But I pity the people who judge based only on what they read on the cover regardless of how tastefully (or not!) I'm dressed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I actually laughed OUT LOUD at the pink lady with the socks. God, why oh why. I do that all the time too when I am out, just makeover people in my head, it just makes it right somehow.

    Love your blog! So much so, you've now been tagged! ;-)
    http://ragstyles.com/fashion/i%e2%80%99ve-been-tagged/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Even though I completely agree with your opinion, I also feel that it's only our opinions and not law. People should be able to do whatever they want. Celebrate our differences rather than judge them, I say :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. bravo... i have a friend who wears these tshirts that she thinks are really cute such as winnie the pooh or teddy bears tshirts, or tshirts that try to be really out there sexually like that one saying "i'm still a virgin- unfortunately this is a really old tshirt". she tends to combine these with blue mascara and ill-fitting and clashing combat pants/ ridiculously short skirts (way way too much info). Her two main complaints in life seem to be that people treat her like a child or some sort of a prostitute. sadly this girl is 22, in the professional world and still hasn;t managed to out-grow and leave her teenage clothing

    ReplyDelete
  24. I usually agree with your stance on many issues but not today.

    Fashion should be fun.

    If these people are having fun who am I to judge their personalities based solely on their outfits! Sure the woman you described wouldn't be my stylist but I wouldn't assume she's a "shallow person stuck in the past" etc. Why not display your hobbies, interests etc on your person if you want to? Much better than some status symbol designer logo in my book.

    ReplyDelete
  25. When I read comments about how "fashion should be fun" and how we should all respect each person's individuality no matter how asinine their clothing, I wonder why the commenters read this blog. After all, it is a personal opinion blog about fashion, and gives advice for people who wish to look pulled together, stylish and polished.

    Grown women wearing kiddie clothes like t-shirts with Pooh Bear, catgirl hats and hoodies that look like toddler jackets look absurd, no matter what the context. Sure, if it floats their boat, let them wear them - but they don't look cute, or young or whimsical. To use a phrase used often before political correctness became the order of the day, they look as if they've been let out of the home for the day, and as if they don't have the sense to dress themselves appropriately.

    Sure, sure, I know, the catch cry these days is that we're supposed to be able to wear anything we want and be judged only on the content of our characters. Unfortunately, the world simply does not and will not ever work this way. When most folks see a grown woman dressing like a quirky pre-teen, they figure she doesn't have much sense. The protesting posters may not assume such, but the majority of people do and will. This is the way it always has been,and this is the way it always will be. People make that first judgment by one's appearance. If you look like a loony bag lady wearing kiddie clothes rummaged out of the Salvation Army dropoff box, guess what people are going to think of you?

    Of course, you can just not care, and go on being an iconoclast with your catgirl ears, toe socks and Tweety-Bird T-shirt. Apparently, lots of people do. But lots of other people would prefer to look mature and polished.

    Had a lady in my store the other day who had to be in her mid-fifties, who was wearing a t-shirt that showed a cartoon character wearing a hairbow and the words "naughty little girlie". This lady was neither little, nor a girlie and she didn't look particularly naughty either. The shirt was so ancient that the design was washed out and split in several places. She had plenty of money, so it wasn't a case of being poor and wearing all she had left from the 80's. Combined with her too-tight leopardskin capris that gave her a terrifying camel-toe and her unkempt hair and neon pink plastic clogs, the overall impression was one of sloth and slovenliness. Had she only worn something that fit and forgone the ancient much-worn naughty little girlie t-shirt, she would have been well on her way to looking dignified rather than tragic.

    She was nice enough, seemed fairly intelligent. She also seemed uncomfortable with the looks she was getting, which made me wonder why she made such a fool of herself in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I wear rock and movie t-shirts. And t-shirts with printed stuff like stars on it. I know that "classy women" are only supposed to wear plain t-shirts or an all-over print, but isn't that just... plain? I don't own anything with cartoon characters though.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I know a 35 yr old woman with a teenage daughter who suddenly went from overly matronly to child like. She rocks spongebob tees and sparkly plaid sneaks like my kids twinkle toes! Ridiculous! She doesn't have a boyfriend or hubby and has a lot if dogs. Maybe that could explain it?!?

    ReplyDelete

I thank you for taking time to comment on my blog!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
6c5d54ac3d8df550abd938bbf014fa224680a214e4d6ca31e3