What Not To Wear Wisdom...

Tonight I sat on the couch and watched What Not to Wear... smugly laughing at the hideously dressed contestant and scoffing at her outfit choices. "Those sweats are so wrong!" "I wouldn't be caught dead in that shirt!" "Has your hair ever seen the light of day outside of that ponytail?" Come on, you know you do the same when you watch it. 

I also laughed at the comments that the contestant was making, mostly because nearly every woman who goes on the show says something to this effect...

"I like my clothes!" No one else does, sweetie. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE.

"I would never have picked that out for myself." Precisely- THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE. 

"It's not that bad." But it's not GOOD either- THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE.

And, like always (especially after the hair and makeup), the light bulb comes on and after all the intense inner struggle and emotional parting from years of pilled Old Navy sweaters and teen-store tshirts, the woman comes out looking and feeling like a million bucks. Only a handful of times have I NOT seen the final product and thought, "Wow, she's really pretty!" (BTW, I have a ton of Old Navy sweaters.)

Over the last ten years, the thousands of contestants have all pretty much heard the same "rules"- dark wash jeans are more flattering, a structured jacket will take you places, sweats are not okay for public consumption, defining a waist is always flattering, every woman should have a dress that makes her feel fabulous, and flip flops are NOT appropriate for the office- do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Honestly, even a casual watcher of the show has heard these principles enough to be able to understand them. So, why is it then that Stacy and Clinton are still able to find women to transform (and why I see women DAILY that need to be nominated)? 

Where is the disconnect between seeing how much better a woman looks and feels after spending even just a few days on the show making herself look presentable and deciding "that's not for me"? This nation has spent a decade in the WNTW era, but the typical style errors (either horrifically under-dressing in nothing but shapeless loungewear OR skanky "putting it all out there" that is so grossly inappropriate, or somewhere in between on the no-no spectrum) are still happening allll the time. WHY? 

Why leggings as pants?

Why Uggs with short shorts?

Why short shorts?

Why total lack of effort? (Not money, effort. You can find cute clothes at any price.)

Why plunging necklines (like, down to China...ewwww)? 

Why muffin tops?

Why the clothing as a second-skin/stuffed sausage trend? (Thank you, Kardashians... we'll attribute this to a chlorine spill in your family's gene pool.)

Why, America? Why????

We have magazines. We have Stacy and Clinton. We have Pinterest. We have MIRRORS! I'm not talking about any particular style, because I know everyone's taste is different. I'm not talking about looking like a model or an actress, because goodness knows I don't. I'm not talking about spending a lot on clothes (hello, I wear $3 dresses from Walmart!) I'm just talking about taking some very basic principles of looking nice, presentable, and not like you just rolled off the crazy train, and applying them to your life so that you represent yourself well. 

It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "I can't afford to dress cute." YES YOU CAN! I find things on clearance all. the. time. that are cheaper than even Goodwill prices, so there's no excuse. Now, I do have a supernatural gift for finding good deals, but come on. You can do it... you just have to look.

I'm not one to get all psychoanalytical about clothing, but it's like we've heard before- it's not about the clothes, it's about looking and feeling and being the best version of yourself. And I'm not saying I stand with Stacy and Clinton or TLC personally (just wanted to throw that out there, fact-checkers! =) but their philosophy about this is spot-on. If you look junky, you feel junky, and the vicious cycle continues until one day you wake up and your closest friends and family have gathered on national television to tell you you are a mess and they are ashamed of your collection of Christmas sweaters. 

So, I'm not necessarily trying to inspire anyone to dress better (although, if you're inspired I will be more than happy to take credit. :) I was just watching the show and suddenly got riled up about it (and a little nostalgic, since this is the last season.) So take two seconds and put together a cute outfit... I bet you will have a better day knowing you look nice!

P.S. Did I mention I was watching/writing this post while wearing flannel pj's and my husband's hoodie? Yes, it's ironic... but don't worry... I won't be "running to the store" in this any time soon. Or ever. My inner Stacy London would never allow it.


1 comment

  1. I think the problem is that you are preaching to the choir. We all agree with you-- the people who don't aren't reading blogs (or so I'm presuming). In undergrad, I never dressed up, and I made fun of girls who did, mostly because I felt they were trying to impress someone. I wore jeans and hoodies to class because I didn't care to impress, I was there to learn. I prioritized comfort over appearance. I wonder if that's what the people who dress horribly are caring about, too. Just a thought.

    At the end of the day, I don't get why people wear pajamas in public. I can understand the excess cleavage: for attention, the short shorts: for attention. And sometimes, we just don't know we are sporting a muffin top, or we hope no one will notice. Regardless, it's crazy. Or maybe just lazy?


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