Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clothing as Hobby: At What Point Does "Enough" Become "Too Much"?

A while back, I was talking to my cousin about how I like clothes. I like them as a means of creative expression, as a way to build my skills as a seamstress, as a way of bolstering confidence. Clothing is a hobby for me, both designing it and coordinating it, and I enjoy talking to her about it because she has a similarly artistic mind when it comes to clothing. But, at certain point in our conversation, she declared that clothes are fine as self-expression, "but everything in moderation."

This, of course, got me wondering: at what point does enjoying clothing go from something we praise to something that is to be condemned?

As girls, we are often taught to believe that there is a line between the girls who care about clothing and style and, well, "the rest of us." The media tells us we are supposed to think long and hard about clothes, to be stylish, to be fashionable and pretty. The media also tells us that the girls who do this are shallow creatures, unable to see past the veneer of fashion and popularity. It's a serious mixed message.

Is there a line between fashionable girls and the rest of us? I don't think so.

I am more than how I dress, but how I dress is an extension of myself. As long as we do not reduce ourselves or others to that single facet, I don't think there is anything particularly bad about enjoying clothing, fashion, or makeup.

Can there be a point where enjoying clothing becomes too much? Well, there are points where anyone can have too much stuff or be spending too much money. You can go beyond your means. But gaining enjoyment from clothing, using it as creative outlet? I don't think so.

Be you. Like what you like.

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