Tuesday, August 21, 2012
We Interrupt Your Regular Frilly Broadcast for a Special Message
I've never really thought of myself as a particularly stylish person. I know, I know: I run a clothing blog and yet I think that. It doesn't jive. But the truth is that I jump headlong into alternative fashion, and I am used to people on the streets simply not getting it. If they do, great. If they don't, no problem. Not everyone is going to understand why I usually look like I do. I dress in a way that makes me happy, and that is honestly the closest I get to being what the rest of the world deems "fashionable."
Or so I thought.
As of today, I have had four very kind retail workers tell me, this week, that they liked an article of my clothing and wanted to know where I had purchased it so that they could get one like it.
I understand how working retail works. I worked a job selling fast food for seven-and-a-half years. I know the mind-numbing boredom that sets in when you're wage-slaving. And, yes, occasionally one chats with the customers. But it's not often that a retail worker walks up to a complete stranger and asks them where they got their tights, especially one who bustles quickly through the store like a woman on a serious mission, checks every single petal of the floral barrettes on the clearance shelf, and looks like she mugged a life-size china doll before getting dressed. And yet there I was, standing with a store employee in the Kohl's, the Target, the Shop-Ko, and another Kohl's explaining where I had purchased my frills.
It confused me, to say the least.
I was polite and answered them, though. Every time somebody compliments my clothing or asks me where I got it, I feel like it's one more person who will accept alternative fashion when they see it, and I don't want to screw that up for myself or for the next person by being rude.
I have this to say, though: all right, world, apparently the way I dress has become socially acceptable. Thank you. Please to be stamping my fashion card and show your appreciation for the way I dress by making ruffled, Victorian-esque blouses and full skirts available for cheap (or cheap-ish) in plus sizes.
And I mean that. I don't dress the way I do because it's unique or special or underground or whatever. I dress the way I do because I love it, and I would like for things that fit into my style to become more widely available so I didn't have to spend quite so much money or work quite so hard to find things I want to wear. And, as The Lady of the Manners says, "Mainstream culture shows its acceptance by easily available consumer goods."
I'm getting the acceptance and working to keep it. I'm ready to be rewarded with pretties.