Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fashion Forward?

I had sort of a sad encounter yesterday.

I was at Panera grabbing a bagel and a lady commented on the fact that she liked my tights. I love to wear tights, especially colorful ones. They are the easiest way to create a new outfit or add a pop of color and, frankly, I wear tights and stockings all year round. So, getting a appreciative response is always fun.

I said "Thank you" and went on to say how I had wanted to dress cozy and comfortable that day. It was raining/snowing out and (being still sick) I had dressed pretty simply - black sweater dress, the tights and black patent mary janes. Nothing to crazy or over the top at all.

The tights I was wearing were this pattern:



The lady went on to say how she wished she could wear tights like that and I said "of course you can! I have a ton and wear fun and bright tights all the time!" But she dismissed this saying she was worried she would look like she was trying to look like her teen-aged daughter.

I tried again to assure her she could wear them - heck, she couldn't have been that much older than me - but she acted as if there was no possibility she could pull it off. This made me so sad.

First of all, I don't think colorful tights are that crazy or pushing the envelope. I mean, you are just as covered as if you were wearing tan hose or black tights, which most ladies would not bat an eye at. Plus there are all ranges of colors and patterns. I can see how some patterns could be considered too strange but there are people I know who are unsure about wearing solid color tights in any color outside of black, brown or grey.

Is it that colors outside of the "safe" zone are too attention-grabby? Is that a bad thing? Why do you think many women feel they can't or shouldn't wear fun colors and resign themselves to blending in versus standing out? Even when they want to?

9 comments:

StyleScrybe said...

I think a lot of women are scared that they won't be able to pull off bright colors correctly. They're concerned they'll end up a Glamour "don't" by being too matchy or selecting the wrong color combination. Bright colors are attention grabbers, and most people don't want to draw attention to something unless they're SURE they've done it right.

Lara said...

People are terrified of color. I'm more of a black/grey/white kind of girl but I love to wear brights once in a blue moon to shake things up and the people in my life freak out! Once I wore the most plain grey shift, grey patent mary janes and bright pink knit tights. Everyone made such a huge issue out of the color but it really wasn't a big deal. Then, there was the incident of the pale aqua mini dress I paired with some strappy gold sandals in the summer. Barbarella was my nickname for the night.

I think it's intimidating to some, unfortunately. It's also the easiest thing to do and you feel so powerful when you embrace color once in a while.

I wish more women weren't so afraid to give it a shot and that they would also refrain from snarky comments to their friends who are brave enough to try.

What would life be without color?

WendyB said...

How weird that this matches my post today so perfectly!

I mean, really, if you can't loosen up enough to try on a crazy pair of tights.....life is too short to be that tense!

blukats said...

As an older person, I have to say society at least here in the US is biased against older people not dressing conservatively. I mean how often do I read or hear someone talking about an older woman wearing something colorful or different and they state the person is crazy or trying to act younger than their age?

I guess as someone older who tries to dress the way I want, it may stand out to me more when people have that attitude versus someone younger who it doesn't affect.

When a woman is young and wears interesting clothing it's thought of as daring. When she is old, it's thought that she's getting senile.

Maybe once society stops with this, then it will be easier.

SMC said...

I agree...so many women think that patterned tights are over the top but every time I wear them I get so many compliments. I am not a fashion blogger....but I even wrote about them:
http://socializedintrovert.blogspot.com/2008/10/fashion-forward.html

TheShoeGirl said...

I love you in tights. SO good. I think people are scared to try new things. Lame sauce.

Vyque said...

I was thinking about might fall under non-age appropriate tights, maybe red thigh-his or fishnets. Not really about the color, but the style tho.

creb_mo_ said...

A good point.

Robo said...

Echoing what everyone else said, I also think that when you wear something bright and fun, it does attract attention, but perhaps also a bit of jealousy? It seems people in general are afraid of color and pattern, so when someone pulls it off brilliantly (like you), it's kind of like "Oh, the AUDACITY to wear color! Pattern! How dare she?!" And that's at any age. Even though that kind of attention isn't what the wearer intended, it happens, hence the semi-snarky comments, e.g., people calling Lara "Barbarella" when she wore her aqua mini dress.

And that kind of sucks because there are SO many beautiful patterns and colors to try on, even in small doses. In my opinion, it's kind of necessary to throw in colors when you live in a dreary place. I live in Newcastle, England at the moment, which is such a stark contrast to Southern California, both in terms of weather and fashion. The office is often a sea of black and grey. *Yawn* Bo-RING. Sure, some days black/grey is easy, but when it's grey outside, who wants more grey inside? Anyway, that's my two cents, and it would be great if people were a wee bit more adventurous.