Everywhere you look, there’s another internet article trying to tell you how to dress. If these articles are to be believed, ladies shouldn’t wear fashions that are “too young” for them, nobody should wear sweat pants or flannel pants outside their home, and no one should EVER wear pants with a waist low enough that underwear can be seen. Seriously, who the hell cares? Maybe these people are trying to be helpful, or maybe they don’t realize how sexist, matronly, or plain classist they sound when they tell strangers what clothes best suit their lives. Or maybe, these people should keep their eyes on their own mirror and not worry so much about what other people wear. Dressing down is your right as a human being.
Fashion elitism would still be rampant even without “helpful” articles telling you that you need to spend more on clothes so you’re dressed right for every occasion. Apparently, dressing down for air travel is a no-no, even though flying is stressful, long, and irritating under the best of circumstances. Why not be comfortable? Some say people have “forgotten how to dress” because they dare to wear sandals or shorts to a theatre production. Does it occur to these fashionistas that not everyone can afford a fancy set of theatre clothes on the off chance someone wants to take them to a play? Have they considered what someone else is wearing has no bearing on their own enjoyment of the performance? Surely what people are wearing is less important than whether or not they have their cell phone out, are unwrapping candy loudly, or talking during the show. But some people can’t be happy unless they’re looking down on others, right?
Making fun of other people’s clothing is even monetized on sites like People of Walmart. Apparently it’s hilarious to photograph strangers without their knowledge for the purpose of mocking them. You know, because people who dress differently than you do are super funny. Is this the mindset that fuels these scolding, admonishing fashion articles? How fancy do you have to dress to consider yourself above reproach?
Made-up fashion rules that insist on demanding certain fabrics, styles, shoes, and even colors are as classist and judgy as they are nonsensical and elitist. Not everyone can afford to dress up every day. Not everyone can find flattering clothes that fit them well. Not everyone thinks life is an endless fashion parade, and that appearance is vitally important. Besides, there’s very little difference between the appearance of $200 slacks and that of $15 pajama bottoms when it comes to walking down the street. But guess which pants are more likely to be mocked. Right—the comfy ones. The ones you won’t want to remove and throw across the room once you’re safely back in your home.
The idea fashion rules are anything but made up nonsense is an irritating example of people making life more difficult than it needs to be. Across the nation, towns are actually passing laws that forbid saggy pants. Some say this is just a racist tactic to oppress the demographic most likely to don saggy pants. Others hate the saggy pants trend so much they actually began a (ridiculous) rumor the trend began in prisons. Not only is this demonstrably false—but it presumes urban youths need affluent suburbanites to explain their own culture to them. What?!?
Since most of us are no longer in high school—spending taxpayer money to legislate fashion choices is beyond ridiculous. If your clothing is clean and covers your privates, whatever else you’re wearing isn’t anyone else’s business. If you like expensive clothes and can afford them—by all means, knock yourself out. If you prefer a Tony Soprano-style velour track suit or Bjork’s famous swan dress…you should wear the hell out of that thing whenever and wherever you want to. Anyone who doesn’t like it is free to avert their eyes.