Who am I dressing for?

who do i dress for telegraph man repeller trend response article
With each new season comes new trends, new designers, new cuts, colours, and favourite shops of the moment. It’s a great time if you’ve felt a bit creatively drained or uninspired by your entire wardrobe as the weather changes and we hit transitional. But as with all things new, criticism is hot on its heels, which is fair play; but as with all things fashion, that criticism is less about shapes and materials, and more about what men like and if this seasons new looks repel them.

The world is changing so quickly, and yet we’re still having articles shoved down our throats from ‘reputable’ news sources that tell us we should be more concerned about whether the lads in our circles or potential beaus are keen on dark florals or split hem skirts and raw edging than whether or not we actually like the pieces ourselves.

Like, what the fuck???

I’m honestly so tired of it. 

It’s taken me around 12 years, a trip to Korea and a very supportive group of friends to wear the clothes I want to wear, irrespective of current trends, weird looks, or the constant suggestion of what I should be wearing according to the media to reach whatever goals society says I should be aiming for. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but: newsflash! I don’t dress for anyone but myself. 

And this isn’t one of those trying-to-be-controversial statements a la The Devil Wears Prada when Andy snorts at similar (but very different) belts and Miranda schools her on cerulean as a colour and ‘stuff’. I don’t turn my nose up at trends and I appreciate the effort that goes into creating them. 

But I am a strong believer of the idea that fashion is a form of self expression. It’s an outward portrayal of internal feelings, a canvas that doesn’t really harm anyone other than myself if I make an awkward shoe choice. I take trends and assess whether or not they’d work for me, in my personal style, and buy accordingly. I make my own decisions when I put outfits together, when I spend my money (that I’ve earned), and when I get dressed in the morning. 

At no point in that process does the issue of not being man approved come into the equation. 

who do i dress for telegraph man repeller trend response article
me walking away from these awful opinions (you can catch more of this outfit here)

I don’t really care if ‘men’ don’t like skorts or culottes or tennis skirts and cropped sweaters or the cute victorian-esuqe necklines on blouses. I don’t really care if russet isn’t on their colour-wheel or velvet breaks them out in hives and the thought of a pussybow or choker makes them vom. Which ‘men’ are they asking??? And really, who actually gives a toss? 

Why is there still so much emphasis on whether trends in women’s fashion appeal to a male audience? Aside from patriarchal society and historical decision making, it baffles me that this is something that still comes into play. They’re not the target demographic. Sure a lot of womenswear designers are male, but the end goal is to have their pieces hung in wardrobes across the globe, and thus must be appealing to women, not whether or not men understand or like the trends.

I don’t like all the trends that come into play season to season. The ‘pointy’ end of fashion (as the Telegraph article deems the more ‘forward’ areas) is supposed to make people look twice. It’s supposed to be a statement, a step away from the norm of high-street style, something that resonates with that person. It’s not supposed to be cookie-cutter production line, and that sort of artistry creates  a differing of opinions. I’m openly not a fan of Yeezy, I’m not keen on the way that current high-street trends seem to be bleeding out individuality, and I’m still not sold on flares. But I’m also not saying that no one can enjoy these and that if you do wear them you’re alienating all people who don’t like them alongside myself.

Because that’s just fucking dumb.

Dubbing trends ‘man repellers’ instantly limits the amount of expression a woman (or anyone) has. In the minefield that is this segment of the market, we constantly have to deal with double standards and so many mixed messages about what is or isn’t perceived by our clothing choices. We’re a society that still values people by marking how attractive we are to the opposite sex (whether or not this matters to us at all), and, especially in the case of women’s fashion, putting labels such as man repeller on certain trends restricts the ability to experiment, discover and create. It also perpetuates the idea that anything outside the norm is weird and not to be welcomed or celebrated. It’s a constriction that very rarely appears in menswear.

It’s a sad sort of hilarious to me that one of the industries that is portrayed so often as incredibly feminine, and those with an interest in it are horrifically superficial, is at the mercy of what ‘men’ find appealing.

Here’s the thing: the most attractive quality is confidence, and if wearing certain trends makes you feel like an actual badasses mofo, then wear those trends.

Similarly, if you dress for your other half, or yourself, or anyone else then that’s fab too. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll all agree to stop writing articles that are really sodding ignorant.

What are your opinions on this matter? Do you dress for yourself? Let me know ~

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6 responses to “Who am I dressing for?”

  1. Eline Punt says:

    Amen. I completely agree with everything you just said. I mean I like looking at the different styles that come into fashion season after season, but you should use at inspiration to find ways you can express yourself the way you want. You can use it to decide what you want to look like, but you shouldn't let it dictate you. Love, Eline | http://www.elinesreturnticket.blogspot.com

  2. Meg Siobhan says:

    Yes to everything you have said in this post. At the end of the day as long as the person wearing the clothes is happy and confident…or however they want to feel in the items they are wearing? THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. I'd never dress for someone else's opinions and what they want to see me wear. I'll wear something because it makes me feel a certain way. Simple as. That article peed me off so much, I could have wrote so many tweets on it (but resisted because I get carried away).Meg | Elmpetra

  3. Girl from North London says:

    Thank you! You've put into words how I've been feeling for years! xo Ayawww.girlfromnorthlondon.co.uk

  4. Carina Chung says:

    Men dont like girls wearing jeans, men prefer dresses, men dont like short hair. men this men that. OH SCREW THEM Hahhaa. IMMA WEAR A PAIR OF JEANS AND CHOP OFF MY HAIR IF I FEEL LIKE A MIL WHEN I DO IT!LOL. <3 I really love the way you put it though, way more tasteful than i would hahaxxBlog-Running White Horses || YouTube

  5. Martha Edwards says:

    There is nothing I can add to this post to improve it! It's perfect – totally agree with everything you write. I buy clothes because I like them, and for that reason alone xMartha Jane | http://www.marthajaneedwards.com

  6. Rosa Fairfield says:

    I love your points about not dressing for men. My ex-boyfriend used to try to tell me how he would like me to dress, the relationship soon ended after that.http://ohduckydarling.com

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