Fashion is Stupid

I am often attacked for my belief that style is a necessity for all people. I am told that people don’t have time, don’t have money, and feel that trying so hard to look good makes one appear superficial, materialistic, shallow and not a true reflection of their intelligent/feminist/scientific/minimalist self. Here’s the down and dirty.

You are judged by what you look like. Accept it.

Whether people realize it or not, they make assumptions about you by your appearance. This affects how you are treated at work, in a store, by your peers, your neighbors, a waiter, a doctor, a minister.

You may say you don’t care, that if a person gets to know the real you, that appearance is no longer an issue.

False.

I had a coworker, a brilliant and hardworking woman. She worked in a different office from me, but we were on many projects together and got to know one another via phone calls and emails. She was a higher position than I, and she soon became a bit of a mentor to me, and then a friend. She admitted to me after many months that she was looking for a new job because she felt as though she wasn’t respected within the department. I agreed that she seemed to lack the respect, and I couldn’t understand why. She was poised, professional yet warm. As a mentor, she gave constructive criticism, challenging tasks and plenty of feedback. In her role, she was quick, detailed and talented. Clients wrote letters about her great performance with a project, however upper management spoke of her as though she was an idiot and a bit lazy. I never understood why until nine months after we first started working together, I met her in person. She was slim and tall, though seemed uncomfortable in her skin. She hunched over and let her long straight brown hair hang over the majority of her face. When she laughed she covered her mouth as though out of embarrassment. Her hair never seemed to be brushed, she never wore makeup and her clothes looked as though she inherited them from her grandmother – they were all too large, too short for her long legs, and seemed to be from the 1980s (shoulder pads, peplum jackets, weird large floral boxy jackets with matching long broomstick skirts, etc…). Though she was in her mid-30s one would guess that she was closer to 50.

She soon left the company and got a job where she telecommutes. When she left I overheard management discussing it, thinking it was no great loss, “not like we could put her in front of a business meeting!” I thought it was a shame, some of the best work and brightest ideas just left the company. But they were right… how could you put a person who seemed so ill at ease in front of clients trying to sell our company, and make them believe that we are the best decision?

When I was in high school, I was the previous millennium’s equivalent to goth. I had black hair, shaved off part of it, lived in a motorcycle jacket, Doc Marten boots and torn stockings. When I walked in the mall, mothers would hug their purses closer to their sides. I was once asked to leave a store even though I had done nothing but walk in and flip through a rack of clothing. As the statistician for my school’s soccer team, I once had a busload of players from another school taunt me and one player spit on me calling me a “psycho.” Funny thing was I was an honor roll student, president of many clubs at my school, attended church and had a very healthy and close relationship with my parents. I was considered a “goody goody” by my friends, not partaking in drugs, drinking, smoking or mature relationships with my boyfriends. However I had black hair and lots of eyeliner so those who did not know me considered me to be a derelict of society.

In college I was a blonde for a couple of semesters and saw how differently I was treated. People were more willing to come up to me and ask directions or speak to me, I had a more relaxed rapport with teachers, and people thought I seemed “happier” during that period of time. Funny thing was that I was actually having the most miserable year of my college career, but no one took me seriously when I complained. I guess I didn’t “look” unhappy enough to school counselors or friends.

I have a dear friend. She is a gorgeous woman inside and out. She oozes confidence and femininity and is incredibly intelligent. One place she does have problems is in everyday society. We meet for drinks and she tells me how for the fourth time that month someone has literally slammed a door in her face because he didn’t see her behind him. She goes from job to job, having much success in the interview but after a few months somehow ends up taking up the responsibility of the intern, the receptionist and the admin while those with less education and time with the corporation move up in the ranks. She goes to the bar and ends up standing there far longer than anyone else, never getting the attention of the bartender. She has found that in the love department, she has had the most success in online dating where a relationship via IM and email is established prior to meeting one another. Once they meet, the man is usually positively smitten. I thought about all of this while I sat across from this beautiful woman with insanely green eyes and long lashes, who has the cutest laugh and the most graceful movements. Then I thought about how she dresses herself. On that night at the bar, she was wearing a moss-green short sleeved cotton shirt, black trousers and black shoes. The shirt was fuzzy from far too many washings and looked garment-dyed probably from use and not from design. It looked to be 100% cotton and it looked as though she tried to get out the wrinkles with a run through the dryer. Her attempt was not successful as that the shirt looked like she pulled it off the floor of her bedroom. Her trousers were leftover from her 20 pound larger frame three years ago and bagged everywhere they shouldn’t. They dragged on the ground from the extra inches and the hem was torn and muddy. Her shoes were big chunky black loafers; a pair I had myself in the mid-90s that looked like clown shoes on her petite frame. Her hair was a blunt cut to the jaw, parted in the middle and tucked behind the ears. No jewelry, no makeup, no adornment whatsoever. I knew her as a fiery brilliant woman, but those on the street (and in her office and behind the bar) probably find her to blend into the woodwork, seem mousy and unsure of herself.

We discussed fashion and she told me that no offense to me, but fashion depletes brain cells. One hardly ever sees a person with a PhD and a pair of Jimmy Choos. My response is that looking good does NOT have to equate with current fashion. It is possible for every person n the planet to look good, look appropriate and look the part of their culture/personality/lifestyle. That your insides have to be reflected on your outside to truly have personal style. I thought back to my years of black hair and torn clothes and wouldn’t have changed a thing – though I may not have fit into a crowd, I fit into my life and my personality. When I went to church I traded my monkey boots for loafers and my plaid miniskirts for a more conservative sweater with trousers. I thought about her, and wondered how that green wrinkled top expressed what kind of person she was. Her wearing that top was just as conflicting as her wearing my leather biker jacket from high school, or a cabbage-rose adorned dress from Laura Ashley.

  • There is nothing wrong with having a uniform. The staples (see the sidebar) are tools to help it be effortless to look nice. I know many women who have just a handful of items in their closet all of the same color story yet they always look pulled together. I know moms who are always rumpled, and those who always look crisp. I notice how some of my mother’s friends look a decade older than the others, and some who look a decade younger based just on hair and clothing.
  • Like my good friend, I am not a “crisp” person. If I wear white, I will spill coffee on it. If I wear cotton, it will get wrinkled. My hair falls flat, I sweat, I eat off my lipstick. To battle this, I hardly ever buy things that need to be ironed. I rarely wear white, and I buy a lot of knits. I always carry a Tide to Go pen with me, and I have learned to wear my hair in a way that works with my afternoon-limp hair, not fight against it. Why spend money on things that contradict who you are and make you uncomfortable?
  • My friend’s favorite color is purple, yet I don’t think she owns a single purple thing in her wardrobe. She lives in neutrals, yet is a primary color personality. It is possible to be simple, classic and comfortable in a blue top as much as it is to be so in a tan one. Wear what you like, and it usually looks far better than what you think is easy, safe or comfortable.
  • If you love to travel, then show it with jewelry you pick up on your travels. Are you an artist? How will anyone know in your drab, neutral frocks? Be an extension of your works with the colors and patterns that you wear. Want people to believe you are smart and serious? Then wear smart and serious with clean lines, simple pieces and strong yet minimal accessories. Love the outdoors? You can be stylish and still wear clothes that let you hike and climb at a moment’s notice. Hate consumerism? You can show your beliefs and look good with great items from Goodwill or your sewing machine.
  • Be mindful of what you buy. Before you ever spend a dollar on a piece of furniture, an item in your grocery cart, or a piece of clothing take a minute to stop and think. Visualize this thing in your life – imagine it on your body, your plate or your home. Does it bring you joy? Does it make you better? Does it work with your life or against it? You have to buy pants, you have to buy shoes. Why not buy that which works for you as well as with you? Life can be tough, taking a few moments to think before you spend can make the road a bit easier and more pleasurable to travel. And you never know, that moment of mindfulness may get you a promotion, a date or a faster drink at the bar!

43 Comments

  1. Person
    August 6, 2019 / 11:55 am

    My experience has been that you get the best reception from people when you’re in a healthy body with forgettably appropriate clothing. I like plain black everything. I grew up a nerd but with a beautiful older sister. When she dressed me, people would approach me and say i looked like Catherine Zeta Jones. Lol. I tried doing my makeup and clothes like her for a while and the response from people was so strong. Women would frown when they saw me coming. When I set up my mat at yoga class people would stop talking and exchange looks. It depressed me. Men acted weird, like they couldn’t see me behind their throbbing dick. I have stopped wearing makeup, and wear plain black clothing and now … people smile at me when they see me coming and when they meet me. Men act normal and relaxed. I exercise at home now so that I can have more freedom to challenge myself without worrying about upsetting people. Since life is too short, and since there’s less resistence on all fronts, I just keep it easy and low key and it works better for me. I do enjoy dressing up on occasion but am very particular about the venue/circumstances and prefer to do so with my husband. I find that less people harrass me that way. Some men still occasionally stare (people are sexual beings and I think men look at almost all women all of the time), but they are more relaxed around me this way. It’s easier for me.

    My friend who blossomed into a beauty at a later age (she’s more akin to a model with long legs etc) she also has told me she has similiar experience. We were both two of the top students at our school and went on to high performing jobs. It’s easier to dress down. A confident smile that people can see (when they aren’t distracted by clothes or makeup), for me, goes a long way. I wish I had known that a long time ago. It’s just been my experience. No one notices your clothes’ condition if you’re in a healthy body.

  2. July 4, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Writing a novel on a blog post that’s ten years old written by a complete stranger is sad. Calling your daughter’s feeling dumbass is sad. Making major assumptions about me and what seems to be most women is sad. Not fully comprehending the blog post and the blog site you chose to leave your long winded opinions on is also sad. Happy Independence Day from this sad sad American.

    • gote
      April 30, 2018 / 8:44 am

      i wish i had the freedom to dress how i felt. male fashion is fucking boring, pardon my french. it’s all slacks and tshirts. anything out of the norm and you’re a weirdo or a faggot. i hate it.

  3. LadyKC
    March 30, 2014 / 10:15 pm

    I also think there’s a lot of grey area between completely ignoring your appearance and being a fashion plate. A lot of women don’t feel inclined to follow the latest fashion/hair/makeup trends but try to stick to a simple, classic style and look neat and polished. For both men and women, to look professional clothes should be neat and clean and should fit well in a flattering style. Now, I’ll concede that for women, looking professional may involve spending time on hair and makeup, which men don’t have to do. I simplified this for myself somewhat by cutting my hair very short – when I had a child, I simply didn’t have the time to spend on drying and smoothing my hair before work. I do wear makeup but always have, I am a woman who finds makeup to be fun. Not every woman feels that way, though.

  4. LadyKC
    March 30, 2014 / 10:02 pm

    LOL, I am not a “crisp” person either! My skin is oily, my hair is thick and frizzy, and anything that requires ironing is wrinkled again about ten seconds after I put it on. And that was even before I had a two year old! I solved this problem by using primer, cutting my hair into a pixie cut (which requires minimal effort to look polished) and wearing a lot of knit fabrics.

  5. crtfly
    March 28, 2014 / 9:42 pm

    Allie,
    I’m reading this also, because of your recent makeup post.
    To the folks who attack Allie-
    I too jumped to incorrect conclusions about Allie, the first time I read one of her posts. I wrote her a less than polite post. She answered in such a fair minded and kind way, that I decided to read a few more of her posts. Shortly thereafter I apologized to her. Allie is much more that a fashion blogger, not that there is anything wrong with that! She is a complex, thoughtful, caring, gifted, funny, and intelligent person. She has many interests, pursuits and projects – not all fashion related. I think she contributes a great deal to her RL community as well as her online one.

    I truly believe that her motivation for her style blog is not to spotlight herself and say, “Look at how great I look!” Instead, she spends her own time and money answering style questions and presenting a wide array of clothing/makeup choices for all women. You don’t have to be 18 yrs old, 6’3″, and size 0 to look good in her recommendations. You’ve heard of “stylists to the stars”? Well, Allie is “stylist to everywoman”.
    When my job changed somewhat and I had to start speaking at public meetings, I realized I probably should dress at least well enough so that people could stand to look at me (and pay attention!)for an hour. I do have information to convey that is important to my audience. It is unfortunate that we are judged by how we look, but we are. What’s important to me is getting my message across. If that takes me having to dress up a little, I think the price is worth it. I actually do dress better thanks to Allie. I am not at all unhappy about that.

    Oh, and although I have never met Allie or even talked to her on the phone, I consider her a friend.

    Chris

  6. Terry Fernandez
    March 27, 2014 / 8:45 pm

    I just came here from your blog post of today almost 7 years later. I am stunned to see how many critical posts you received. As a professional in the healthcare field I find that like it or not, appearance DOES matter. The clothing you wear, the personality you exude, the way you carry yourself, all matter, as do your intelligence, whether or not you are a team player, ect. It’s naive to think you are not being judged on your appearance.

    I will use myself as an example. As a professional, I have always prided myself in looking well put together. I am a 56 yo wife, mother and grandmother. I have been in my field for over 30 years.
    A few years ago, the company I worked for became more “casual” in its dress code (lol! revamped now because too many employees were coming in looking like they were going to the laundromat.)

    I fell into that, finding it easier to work in a self designed uniform of black slacks and different tops and for about 2 years, this was the way I dressed. I was not aware that I was insidiously falling into a funk. It was not just work related although some of it was. I felt I was not being taken seriously at work, that my colleagues were not taking me seriously or respecting my ideas. This despite receiving outstanding performance appraisals consistently. About 6 mos. ago, I decided to revamp my wardrobe studying fashion blogs for mature professional women.

    The change in how my colleagues, supervisors, student interns and supervisees respond to me now is very different. So different that many of my coworkers have mentioned how professional I look, how nicely I dress, how authoritatively they perceive me. People my personality hasn’t changed, I have been there a long time, my performance appraisals are top notch regardless of my attire. Despite doing the exact quality of work I find that I receive more respect from my team members, and the public at large.

    So, while in fact, we should not be judged on appearances the truth is that how we put ourselves out there matters. The fact that you are a brilliant, witty, creative individual may be overlooked if you don’t put yourself out there with regards to appearance. If you want to be managerial, you have to look the part.

  7. Emily
    March 27, 2014 / 4:42 pm

    Just found this on a link from your makeup post and it really inspired me! I work for a large corporate and continue to wrestle with my personal style – comfortable without being scruffy, colourful without being inappropriate. Work in progress… but your post was a great thinking point 🙂

  8. Sonia
    March 27, 2014 / 12:43 pm

    I just read your posting today, Thursday, 3/27/2014 and you referred back to this blog from 7 years ago. Wow! You weren’t kidding about the varied comments!!
    I can relate to both sides of the coin–I used to dress in less expensive (ok, cheap) clothing that was probably one size too big and not very stylish. I felt as if I blended into the wall at parties, at work and in society in general. I started my metamorphosis after receiving a very snide remark from a co-worker. I changed my clothing style, not expensive, but upscale. I got my hair done and little by little I grew more confident.
    Now, I am known for my clothing and style. I don’t spend tons of money on myself, but, probably more than most women. I am now in middle management and take great pride in how I look and carry myself at all times whether I’m at work or heading to the grocery store on weekends.
    Bottom line is that IT DOES matter a great deal how you look, regardless as to how you think others see you. Unfortunately, the world is a cruel place and your inner beauty will stay hidden unless someone takes the time to look at you at all. Fashion helps make that a reality.

  9. anonymous
    December 17, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    this is completely sad that you post something like this. First of all this is the most ignorant piece of writing i have ever seen, and you should be ashamed of yourself. You claimed that your colleague was your mentor but pretty much said she wasn’t good looking enough to become anymore than what she was. I’m 20 years old and i do like fashion. I love clothes but i do not think one should dress like me or wear the “cool” items in order to be my friend. This is sick and shallow. I have friends that do not give a shit about clothing or what they wear and i still hang out with them. Most people that dress nice in my personal experience is because they have no talent other than looking good. I know people who are so amazing but yet never ever spent more than 20 dollars on jeans. Have you heard of a thrift store? I have picked up brands like seven for all mankind and diesel jeans brand spanking new for five bucks. But yet people will think i’m “above it all.” Little do they know that i just got those suckers cheap and that they spent 100 plus dollars on. My point is people have no fucking clue. People don’t care. If that is the first thing you do when you look at someone than you are lame. I’m not saying don’t give a fuck about yourself. You should totally try to look good, but some people come from different backgrounds and different areas of life making them just the same as you.

  10. Simon
    June 28, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    With all respect and good intentions I have to question the implied suggestion of this article, which seems to condone conceding to the status quo no matter how immoral or destructive, rather than following one’s heart and trying to make the world a better place.

    The managers you described clearly aren’t good people, the way you suggest that they expressed themselves, and bad people do bad business. Was the woman really at a disadvantage for leaving a company run by managers who couldn’t see her value simply because they didn’t have the ability to resist the urge to bully? If that’s true, then what else are these managers failing to do? How long is their business going to last? How do their employees feel about working there? How many sick days do these managers cost the company by virtue of having destructive behaviors?

    I can imagine this woman ending up at a company composed of individuals who know how to set negatives aside and see people as the resourceful individuals that they are, or even better, maybe she’ll start her own company and do even better.

    Meanwhile, her former coworkers will be stuck kissing up to the captains of a sinking ship, dreading every monday for fear of having to spend yet another day under poor working conditions.

    Maybe worth considering.

  11. December 10, 2012 / 10:43 pm

    I think its so wrong to call the fashion industry stupid. For one thing, wether you like it or not, your appearance does matter. Would you go to a job interview in a “I’m with stupid” teeshirt and ripped jeans? of course not, because you’d look unprofessional, and wouldn’t get the job. First impressions are everything, and a big part of first impressions is how you dress. Your individual style is a reflection on who you are, and what kind of person you are. Also, fashion is an art, and as a fashion photographer, i find it rather insulting that you’d say high fashion is dumb. Do you know why those shoes are so expensive? The’ve been designed to be very comfortable and extremely stylish at the same time, plus they’re made of high quality materials that will last longer, and look better. Buy a pair of heels for 10 dollars, and not only will you’re feet be dieing, but they’ll fall apart within a month or so, and look drab.

    • Simon
      June 28, 2013 / 4:08 pm

      I used to only buy high-end brands, and despite treating them properly (and thus about ten times better than with cheap clothes) they were no more durable than low-end clothing pieces. In fact, some of them even had huge quality problems, despite being well-known high-end brands.

      I know that some high-end brands are produced in cheap third world production buildings right next to cheaper ones, and sometimes even in the same building, and usually ship together. Some stores even sell low- and high-end brands that come from the exact same factory, where the only real difference is the price tag. Sometimes clothing companies will set up factories next to expensive brand factories in order to utilize the same production flow and the same low costs, which effectively give them the same quality-equivalents of expensive clothes that they can later sell for a much lower price.

      Coincidentally I recently witnessed the conversion of a high-end clothing brand into a low-end one. Literally no change in production, they only decided to go after a different customer segment by slapping on a different price tag.

      I really find no motivation for the existence of high-end brands, other than the illusion of quality and exclusivity, and that’s coming from a guy who likes to be presentable.

  12. James Oblander
    October 21, 2012 / 12:14 pm

    I understand what you’re trying to say here but the reason you’re getting criticized is because, at least I believe, is because you’re missing some really HUGE lessons on appearances and personality. Ideally a person who puts so much time and effort into the appearance of their wardrobe or how it makes them “appear” would be a true and accurate portrayal of their character and personality – realistically though, as you get older, you learn more and more that clothes are like book covers, a book can have a really fancy cover but once you start to delve into it you realize there’s no depth and it’s not interesting at all… you feel let down and deceived Have that happen enough times (as it does for a lot of people), the value of appearances starts to decline and you subconsciously start “weeding” out the “overly fashionable” because it’s become learned they spent more time on their appearance and not enough time on the other more defining aspects of a person’s character and personality – is that necessarily true 100% of the time or all that fair?… probably not but just as you say – people judge based on appearances – get enough bad experiences with people who dress “nice” and well, you start thinking not so flattering things about the “fashionable”.

  13. klefsdf
    September 20, 2012 / 1:05 am

    It is certainly true that you will be judged by your appearance. That is because most human beings are shallow, vapid wastes of oxygen.

  14. Lisa
    September 3, 2012 / 10:23 pm

    Fashion is an art. And often, it’s a really stupid, funny art that a lot of really silly girls spend too much time thinking about, and too much money buying. Sorry to break it to you, but you realize that most fashion designers wear t-shirts, jeans and sneakers everyday, right? And that they laugh at you for all the trends you indulge in? Just something to chew on. I live in NYC and most of what I see is an amusing mental exercise for me, imagining girls standing over their beds, laying out dumb-looking neon skirts with hideous tops and god-awful sculptural shoes and bags, and then I get to see them strutting down the street looking fucktarded, but thinking they look great. You’re playing dress-up. A little girl game, a role to play in an imagined life you’ll never have, and everyone else is getting a kick out of how embarrassing it is to see grown ladies still playing like little girls. Sorry to sound like a douche, but it’s true.

    • September 3, 2012 / 10:47 pm

      Is this a general “you” regarding the women you see on the street, about fashion bloggers in general, or me? Well written but wondering who you are speaking to specifically.

  15. June 28, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    Sweetheart, your response to her comment isn’t very tasteful either, is it.  And since she wrote it a year ago I’m not sure your comment is even worth your time…

  16. June 28, 2011 / 10:40 pm

    Exactly.  Wear what you want to wear and be happy with your life.  If others want advice on what to wear or care about what others think, why should they not be allowed to?  Why aren’t they allowed to be happy?  Everyone should have the right to wear what they want and not be judged by their reasoning for it.  That includes those who care about fashion as much as those who don’t.  And if you hate fashion, it seems silly to write such a comment on a fashion blog… especially on a post that is four years old. 🙂

  17. anonymous
    June 28, 2011 / 10:24 pm

    What a tasteless comment.

  18. anonymous
    June 28, 2011 / 10:22 pm

    Fuck people who judge others on appearances, wear what you want to wear and be happy with your life.

  19. Anonymous
    July 15, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    Youre an idiot. This is why women rarely gravitate to positions of importance. Your priorities and general world view are beyond shallow and completely off base.

  20. February 16, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    Ah Gordon, you don’t know me, nor have read any other part of my blog have you? I think you are making assumptions based upon my exterior, my single blog post. I wonder what judgements you would make of me with first glance… 😉

  21. February 16, 2010 / 3:48 am

    Spent quite a while trying to figure out my argument here but know know what? It’s really this simple:

    There’s bad stuff going on in the world every single day. You can very easily do something/anything to help prevent this.

    But instead, you chose to worry about thing like how you look and put large amounts of effort into that.

    I should feel angry but all I can summon for you all is pity.

    Your looks do not matter because they will fade and you will die, and they will have made no difference.

    So ask yourself a question – what have you done to improve the world today? Could you have done more?

    Oh, and that discomfort you’re feeling right now? That’s reality catching up with you. Feel free to run. It never makes any difference.

  22. Kate
    November 30, 2009 / 11:57 am

    What an insightful and well-written post! I study and work in a field where technical competence greatly outweighs appearance. Even then, when I dress for work, I’m dressing to highlight my strengths (efficiency, reliability, attention to detail etc) and convey the image that I want to convey to my employer, colleagues and clients.

    I agree that ideally, everyone should be judged on their abilities instead of appearance. But people usually don’t have enough time to get to know you, so they have to make do with whatever information they can gather. Like it or not, people associate certain aspects of appearance with certain personality traits. It’s a fact of life, and blind rebellion without understanding is pointless in the long run.

  23. September 1, 2009 / 3:44 am

    “The people that judge me based on the way i look/dress, are not worth me bothering about in the first place.” Does that mean you only associate with people who have no taste?

  24. Matt
    May 13, 2009 / 8:03 pm

    I totally agree with most of your points. Clothing choices and grooming are important social tools. However, I still believe in the title of your post “fashion is stupid” because when I think of high fashion, or the fashion world, I often have that exact thought. It’s not that the fashion designers or models are actually stupid, it just seems like the culture is wrought with pretensions, catiness, arrogance, and often fails the “who cares” test. I also find it sexist and classist.

  25. Anonymous
    November 2, 2008 / 11:36 am

    Thanks for this topic; very insightful, and TRUE! I work in an academic enviro & people think the two are mutually exclusive (looking good, and intelligence, and they are NOT). People often assume if you are attractive (the best you can be), well groomed, and stylish you are not that bright, but, its not true. Let’s face it, people are human, and they are attracted subconsciously to pretty people. Even babies will stare longer at a nice looking face. I think it shows respect for those who must view you everyday to look your best. I have a good friend who eschews fashion, makeup, etc., and its a shame how people perceive and treat her accordingly. I have def. had much better treatment in stores, even church depending on how I looked. I did not get angry, just understood that is how people are.

  26. Anonymous
    October 27, 2008 / 1:53 am

    what he said.

  27. Anonymous
    October 26, 2008 / 12:25 pm

    The people that judge me based on the way i look/dress, are not worth me bothering about in the first place.

    I do not judge people on their clothes. My intellect transcends that sort of simplistic, animalistic stupidity.

    If YOU want to judge me based on my clothes, then I do not want to know you, you are not worth it.
    It follows, then, that I am not going to care what your opinion is, and your negative judgement will not pain me at all.

    I will leave you in peace to enjoy your colours and shapes. But in return please leave me in peace too, do not try to tell me that I am wrong, that fashion really is ‘valuable’.

    I do not give a damn what you think of me, I would rather spend time with those humans who live and think beyond such things.

    Have fun in the mainstream.

  28. May 25, 2007 / 1:42 pm

    Another winner!

    By the by, I understand your friend’s point of view – I’ve fluctuated between the “Let’s pay attention to what I wear” to “I can’t possibly be THAT shallow!” my entire life – and I still bounce back and forth between those two extremes!

    Your post points out the hard truths about all of us – we do, often unwisely – start out judging books by their covers, and are like-wised judged.

    Each of us needs to suck that knowledge up – and then find ways to present ourselves in ways that both show us at our best but stay true to who we are.

    Your tips on doing just that are right on point! Thanks for another great post!

  29. manasvi
    May 14, 2007 / 5:23 pm

    I like clothes that are easy

  30. May 13, 2007 / 2:37 am

    Up until recently, I worked in the non-profit world, an environmental organization. Looking good or even having a sense of humor (!) was at times looked at dismissively. I, however, upheld my style (and funny bone), as I felt that people would only see me a certain way (as a secretary) if I continued to dress that way.

    I still feel that that organization has a lot to learn in terms of its relationship with the outside world, and its staff too. A quality organization looks that way, inside and out.

    When you are interviewing, look at what the staff is wearing.

  31. Anonymous
    May 12, 2007 / 8:13 pm

    Many thanks for the post. I am a Ph.D and have been teaching for over a decade at a private university where the students sport outrageously expensive name-brand bags, shoes, and cars. However, I find that most women in academia–including deans and chairs–think that time spent on self-presentation is wasted. This, from women who spend a great deal of their lives in front of students, other academics, and administrators, in each case trying to gain respect (and soemtimes funding) for our “sexy” and “cutting edge” thinking… The time spent on simple things–like haircuts, skin care, and accessories, if one forgets anything else–is far from wasted. They make one look professional, rather than frumpy, old-fashioned, and irrelevant to the world around her. I have a collection of scarves and jewelry gathered from my research travels, and always get a little more respect, a little more laughter, and a lot more self-confidence when I wear them.

  32. May 12, 2007 / 3:15 pm

    I often worry my friends and co-worker think I am stupid of shall0ow because I am so “into” cosmetics and fashion. Then I think, “Eh, who cares? At least I look good!”.

    Seriously though, I am good at the other thing I do in my life (parenting, my job) so I think anyone who really knows me must know that, even if I am into beauty and fashion, I am not shallow or stupid!

    I think how much you are judged by your looks and how much it impacts your opportunities (outside of dating, obviously) depends on what you do. In the corportate or retail worlds? For sure! I am a social worker though, and am nearly alone in my obsessions!
    Many of those above me wear acid wash jeans and teddy bear sweatshirts to the office! I also have a few friends who are successful treachers (even moved up to head of their departments), and don’t give a poop about their looks.

    Life is more fun when you look good, though!

  33. Anonymous
    May 11, 2007 / 3:11 pm

    I work with a lot of brainiacs who are like this, they think that caring about their appearance will make them look less smart. So dumb. I think of some of the most brilliant minds and successful people out there… they care about their appearance because they know that it adds to their credibility.

  34. andrea
    May 11, 2007 / 10:39 am

    Yet another inspiring post, thank you!

  35. May 10, 2007 / 9:08 pm

    That was great!
    Forwarded to my dad who doesn’t believe in fashion… Maybe this will help 😉

  36. May 10, 2007 / 7:32 pm

    Ah yes, I feel you as I am 32 and shop at both J. Crew and Hot Topic!

  37. Anonymous
    May 10, 2007 / 7:02 pm

    Thanks, Dilly, for this post. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while and really enjoyed it– and this hit on something I’ve been thinking about a great deal as I prepare to enter a Phd program in the fall (sans Jimmy Choos, tragically…). I’ve had a lot of fun with fashion as a means of expressing the multiple–occasionally conflicting!–identities we all have (doc martins or neutral twinsets? black granny boots or Indian cotton? tailored jackets or army surplus?) Now I’m inspired by the women I see who have both flare and brilliance, and I hope to combine the two as gracefully as they do. (and I can save my beloved Docs for off-days!)

    keep posting!

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