I’ve always thought of fashion – hairstyles, shoes, clothes – as a way to genuinely express your creativity and individuality, but I also like to think that I don’t give two hoots what other people want to wear, or what they think of what I wear.
I like to think that this is the truth, but in reality it’s pretty bloody hard to do. I am probably guilty of judging books by their cover and I am absolutely sure that I have been judged the same way by others.
Ironic really because I am a pretty good example of why you should NEVER judge a book by its cover.
Back in the day I used to like to proclaim my hip, alternative grooviness to the world by wearing loud skirts, Doc Marten boots, dyeing my hair pink, piercing my nose. Oh I was a veritable monument to Indi Fashion. I liked to think I was sticking it to the man. I wanted to look different from everyone else.
The terrible truth, though, was that while my outfit screamed “I am a crazy free spirit who marches to the beat of her own drum”, on the inside I was begging people to “LIKE ME LIKE ME PLEASE WON’T YOU ALL LIKE MEEEEEEEE”.
Whenever my pink hair or loud skirt got attention – and it often did – I felt humiliated. I wanted to crawl into a ball and die quietly.
I craved acceptance.
These days I get about town looking like a sedate mother of two. You know, I guess because I am. I work in a conservative environment and often wear things like suits or frocks with cardis and sometimes even (faux) pearls. When on mummy duty I embrace a smart casual vibe. I am no stranger to a jegging and a ballet flat.
I look demure. Yes, it’s true. I no longer challenge the dominant paradigm, clothing wise. I shave my armpits. I occasionally don a heeled shoe. I wear plenty of slap. I like to look groomed and I generally just blend in and am innocuous looking. I like nice clothes and care about how I look but I no longer rock the sartorial boat, so to speak.
But looks can be deceiving, as we have learnt already. While I may seem like a sensible working mother of two, believe me, my inner monologue is often downright outside the square. My demure appearance belies the heart of a true revolutionary. Passion burns in my ample motherly bosom. I sometimes swear like a truck driver.
I’m sure the same goes for many people out there. That elegant woman with the grey bob and the smart cream jacket? Planning her next hiking tour to Nepal! That nun in her wimple and habit? Moonlights as a DJ on independent radio! That bloke in stubbies drinking a stubby in a stubby cooler? Is a renowned specialist on antique Royal Doulton!
The point is, one should never assume they know what another person thinks or stands for based only on their clothing style or choices. You might get quite a shock!
Do you agree?
Are you your clothes? Do you embrace a Prue and Trude aesthetic but enjoy writing revolutionary poetry? Do you sport pink dreadlocks but yearn to join the Masons? Perhaps you are a high achiever in the legal profession but a keen devotee of the sleeve tattoo?