Some do, some don't

fashion isn't for everyone. it's a choice you make, or maybe it's not even a choice. maybe it's just a natural instinct. it either is an interest/passion/career/hobby, or it isn't. for me, it's always been live and let live in response to the disinterested. i have never given any thought to why someone wouldn't care about fashion or their appearance, or have any particular feelings about clothing at all, until today.

what are some reasons why a person might not be interested?


Michelle said...

Someone might be preoccupied, or working from home a lot...I know that for me, those two factors have made me less experimental with style. It's not that I don't care how I look, but I'm more willing to put on simple things because my creative energy is being taken up by work.

On the other hand, I wonder about fashion designers who design wonderful things but are themselves content to wear the same thing all the time - I'm thinking of Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren...I'm sure there are others.

But oddly enough, I still want to *acquire*.

editor said...

busy, low priority (would working at home fall under this? no audience, no motivation?), shy, scared, intimidated... simply disinterested.

i do know that sometimes people who are not interested in fashion regard my interest with suspicion and/or judgment. thought i would look for once at their choice.

this post sort of talks about that point of what designers wear, versus what they design/promote.

Carlene said...

Some of the hard-core simple living people view what they consider excessive interest in fashion/appearance as overly materialistic, or even downright vain, and seem to (try to) limit their appreciation of beauty to nature, music, the nonmaterial. I do appreciate the beauty in those things as well, but can't imagine not seeing art in a blouse or a pair of amazingly crafted shoes or even a beautiful fragrance or bar of soap.

editor said...

carlene - SOAP! omgd, i have totally admired soap. usually then i see the price and put it down again because it is = to a t-shirt or something, and with me, yeah, it's always clothing first.

Allure said...

There is a misconception that fashion is shallow. Therefore, those who believe that, avoid trends.

editor said...

allure, interesting - the first part, yeah, i see that A LOT, but then your explanation as to how that leads them away from trends, interesting. and then how come they don't find a trend-free way to wear/convey personal style beyond yoga pants while out doing errands? why is there then no interest to develop an independent (or timeless) style? still too shallow? very interesting to me that there would be an intentional rejection of fashion, like a personal ban.

TravelGretta said...

Apathy. Lazy old apathy. Living in Seattle, you see this at it's, erm, finest? People attending the ballet in jeans and fleece jackets. It makes me a little bananas and I'm praying for a venture-capital firm to give me money to perform on-the-spot makeovers to random people on the street.
I could go on and on (and on) about this topic, as it is something that frequently irks me, but I have to go shop for accessories =)

La Belette Rouge said...

In academia and intellectual environs, they see people who pay attention to appearances as shallow and insipid. It is a Cartesian split---mind being more important than body. They've got it wrong.

editor said...

travelgretta - i used to feel rebellious wearing jeans to certain places. now it feels, and by that i mean it actually feels as if it is viewed as rebellious to dress with effort and intention.
welcome back from your trip, by the way!

la belette rouge - i feel that vibe in environs that are not intellectually ambitious (the market...). they do have it wrong! :)

Anonymous said...

Travelgretta - yup, Portland girl here seconds that ole' Northwest thing, mmm hmmm....I see that here too.

And, as La belette rouge illustrates, that too, I notice a lot, having grown up in an academic family. Fortunately, academics and artists intermingled - but I saw plenty of academics whose body seemed only a vessel for stultifying intellect to be carried around in.

That's totally cool and and all, it's only the judgement that anything other is shallow. Which I will argue to the grave, since I find the academic who doesn't acknowledge the importance of visual expression in a socio/historic context, too narrowly focused.

Also, most of my friends are boys - and from this I see that men especially, unless prone to individualism from the get-go, are subject to a lot of pressure "not to care". It seems to be some sort of manly statement, and it's a relatively modern phenomenon, if one thinks back to Fred Astaire.

That's why we see the boring man-work uniform.

Plus we've got entire generations now raised on the idea that comfortable = jeans and Tshirts. Which to me is always funny because I'm never that comfortable in jeans really. Casual Fridays etc etc., everyone can't wait to slob out.

I'm still working on what that all means...

Michelle said...

I find the comments about academics not being interested in fashion rather amusing, because I'm in academia and most people I know seem to be! But maybe it's because I'm an art historian...

editor said...

^^oh yeah, art history is a whole different ballgame. but in general yes, i think we cannot say people in a particular field are or are not, universally, interested in fashion/style.

Autumn said...

For the past several years, fashion has been my sole passion and hobby. But I still appear to the outside world the same as I did before, for 2 reasons. (1) I'm too shy to dress differently, to try something other than jeans/tank/cardigan. (2) I have a difficult time imagining myself in anything else. Although I have a general idea of where I want to go, every time I shop (every day) I am unable to identify the pieces that will get me there. I've spent way over my budget in this effort the past 4 years, and have finally given up. And with no other style-conscious women around me to give input, I'm too afraid to buy something different, only to wear it a few times and realize it looks awful on me. I've done this, and it's become frustrating and dispiriting.

I suppose my case may be a bit different from the people who have *chosen* not to care, but it wouldn't be obvious to anyone who looked at me.

Michelle said...

Thanks by the way, editor, for the link to your earlier post. I am really enjoying these discussions!

editor said...

oh no, michelle, thank you. i try not to stop and wonder what i'm doing, posting every single day, or if anyone is reading. i really appreciate it when someone lets me know it's of any value/interest.

Autumn said...

My previous comment may have come off as a bit obsessive. I'm not, really! I just enjoy studying fashion but haven't yet figured out how to make it work for me.

landis smithers said...

ok, you all will love this.

i'm at a big fashion party last night in beijing. opening the "barney's" of china. i'm wearing (if i do say so myself, and you know by now, i do.) a pretty cool outfit, which entails some metallic elements, including a prada overpainted sweater in this pewter.

this guy walks up to me and plucks at the sweater and says "why would you wear this? it's silver."

and i said "why wouldn't i? and actually, it's kinda pewter. if you care."

and he says, smirking, "cause it looks stupid."

and i pause. and let it hang in the air.

and then i look him up and down, in his half-zip black nylon jumper, khaki pleated pants, and black tennis shoes, and say

"honey, dressed like that, i'm not sure you know the meaning of looking stupid"

ta da!

(i mean, i get it. i was a bit over-the-top. but there was effort involved for a fashion event. and he? he just didn't care. i think its just a complete lack of comprehension of the FUN of fashion. kinda like me and sports.)

Iheartfashion said...

Landis brings up a good point. I'm completely baffled by people who follow professional sports obsessively, as if it had some relevence to their lives. I tried to explain my (inexplicable, to him) interest in fashion to a co-worker who was a rabid Red Sox fan (camping out for tickets, planning vacations around baseball games, etc) by making the analogy to sports: I follow the different designers online, view the collections, trade information on blogs....see, just like sports! Except, I actually wear clothes every day, so it is a hobby that goes beyond just passive participation, unlike my baseball-fan friend, who doesn't actually play the game himself.
Since everyone is making a style statement every day in their clothing choices (conscious or not), I don't get people who aren't interested in fashion, or at least choosing something that flatters and looks decent. Is that too much to ask? Like Travelgretta, I'd love to apply for a grant to do on-the-street (or in-the-grocery-store) makeovers.

editor said...

landis, you're right, i did love it. love love love. i think the only thing 'over the top' was his nerve!!! i would have handled the situation exactly the same - but not the 'honey' because i can't pull that off. i've seen the shoes - i am fully confident that your outfit was beyond, but more importantly (i could just tear out my hair) he HE had no right to judge - you of course did. ;)

autumn - no one is going to judge obsession here. :D

iheartfashion - sports? ;)

Carlene said...

"...cause it looks stupid."

Obviously can't use the academia excuse in his case, hmmm?


TravelGretta said...

LANDIS! You go, sister. Unsolicited comments from strangers should only be positive, or they're really asking to be smacked.
I had a similar encounter with a know what? I'm going to blog about this right now. I am just too fired up!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, no major statements about all of academia or anything (I loved growing up around it - all my parents' crazy friends were totally inspiration and in the arts there was lots of interesting fashion! :)).

More... merely an individual thing I have come across in my academic years - a minor subculture wherein someone is so in the head that the body - in fashion or in any other physical manifestation - gets little attention. Which I actually think is kindof awesome. Just one of many reasons someone might not be interested in fashion.

a. said...

some other reasons that haven't been mentioned:

1) people who aren't visually oriented. there are a lot of people who aren't! i was always into art and design, and fashion for me is an obvious part of/extension of that. but there are people in this world who are definitely not visually-oriented, visually critical... it's just not the way their brains work.

2) money and time. despite what some insist, an interest in fashion definitely takes both.

autumn, i can totally relate to what you're talking about. even though i've loved fashion forever, it took me quite some time to really start changing up how i dress from what my sister called "gap style" (eek). and my closet definitely contains some adventurous stuff that i still haven't mustered up the courage to wear. not sure if this will work for you but... i started out by trying things slowly - say, one "different" item worn with other things you normally wear, and then slowly going from there. also, seeing pictures of real outfit possibilities really helps me. in this vein, the high-fashion mags (vogue, elle et. al.) are much less helpful to me than lucky has been. actually, i must admit love lucky. i just started a new full-time job, and i have to look professional, but i still want to have fun/express myself. i'm so glad i've saved my lucky mags over the years - i have been scouring them and getting really good ideas for clothes/outfits i can actually wear to work.

also all of the fashion blogs out there, particularly the ones where ppl post either pics of their own outfits or of "street style", have been enormously helpful for me to imagine more unusual outfits for myself.