Sunday, November 20, 2005

Are we being judged?

My experience in the past week proved again that fashion is very subjective and even judgmental. I posted my daily outfits on two different fashion forums where I participate actively. The members on the two forums have totally different cultural backgrounds: most of the members in the first forum have more conservative or classic taste; the second group of people is adventurous and lots of them are fashion insiders. (Okay, let me tell you, the second forum is http://www.thefashionspot.com/ (tFS).

I posted seven days of outfits on both forums and they are consists of conservative office outfits and bold looks worn on weekends. While the reactions on my office outfits were similar, tFSers were very fond of the more adventurous pieces and the other forum was exactly the opposite. For instance, I recently got this asymmetric red Ann Demeulemeester jacket. The jacket doesn't fit as a traditional jacket with the fabric snagging and draping on different parts of the body. I paired the jacket with a pair of mud color Stella McCartney drain pipes. The entire outfit was just exciting and amazing for the folks on tFS, but it was just wrong for some people on the first forum with one guy even asking me why my jacket was off-center and one girl feeling so bad for me wasting my money. Reading the opposite comments from people with different tastes, especially reading the mean words, I suddenly felt I was being judged.

I am not alone. There are lots of fashionistas on tFS such as the beautiful guys whom I can only see on Dior Homme's runway show or in the fashionable cities such as NYC or Brussels. Are they going to be judged if they live in, say, Boston? Sure they are. Maybe it is the price we have to pay to make different fashion choices.

Ms. Maureen Dowd wrote about how women were judged too much on what we wore in her book "Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide", but I found the judgment towards both sexes. Men seem to be judged less because most of them are more afraid of being judged and so they dress more conservatively. Men and women are all judged based on our appearance and our fashion preference.

Luckily, there are still people such as the tFSers who enjoy the coat from Yohji Yamamoto, the jacket from Martin Margiela, and the belt from Ann Demeulemeester despite the potential judgment. TFS is like a cult with the people who enjoy looking at each other's unique outfits and encouraging each other to be even more adventurous. When we are off the internet and face our city or simply a different fashion forum, we are judged, sometimes in a bad way. It's good to know, but it doesn't affect how we dress and express ourselves.

15 comments:

Carrie said...

Hey there,

It's tortoisie from TFS :)
I just want to say I love the way you write your blog. It's amazing. :)

I'm glad you love TFS so much, because I love love love it too. :)

I would love to see your Ann Demeulemeester and Yohji Yamamoto outfits. (excuse my spelling please :p ) I think fashion is about expressing our personality. We should never restrict ourselves to one kind.

Dressing in your own way makes you comfortable and happy. So who cares about what other says?

Have a lovely day,
tortoisie :)

Fashion Critic said...

Go Caffeine,

Give those conservatives a nip in the butt... may be it will push the stick ouf of it...

Anonymous said...

Hey

I've been reading your blog for a while and I like it very much.I think you have a great taste of fashion and I think you are a very interesting and out-spoken character.
I also follow some of your posts of your daily outfits.All the coats, pants and dresses are great and there is nothing wrong with how you put them together.However,when I first saw your outfits,I feel there is something not quite right.Let me put it this way:outfits are great and you have a nice body,but they just don't fit each other.I am not talking about the size.Some of the clothes are slightly big but most of them fit you well.It is just your body did not bring out the essence of the clothe and the clothe did not express you.To say it bold and short:you have a teenage figure but you dress mature.There is nothing wrong with it if that is the way you want.It is just they don't LOOK that.....right.

I feel so mean to say this and I know you will think I am judgmental.I think everybody has his right to dress however he wants and nobody should judge.But everybody has the right to say how they feel (So I am not telling you what you should do,you do whatever you want)and sometimes listen to it won't hurt.

I think you can be a good stylist or columnist for a fashion magazine,but unfortunately you did not listen to your own body.

Greendrv said...

It's Greendrv from tfs. I've also been following your blog for some time, and LOVE it. I know that it is a labor of love for you, but wanted you to know it is appreciated. Just brightens my day when you have a new post. I agree that most people don't "get" avant garde fashion, but I'm not looking to impress them. The way I dress makes me happy and I love the personal challenge to come up with a great look each day. For F/W I'm stuck between the London "IT" girl envisioned by Christopher Bailey of Burberry Prorsum, and the CD Mod girl. I don't think people in Kentucky "get" it, but ha! I love the way I look in the mirror!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand...

BTW,which board from TFS do you usually go? I sometimes check TFS, but always got lost, so many boards there, do not know which ones are good :(, please give me some advices, thanks. ----dinosaur

Jing said...

Thanks Carrie:-) What I like about tFS is that people do not talk others down. People give positive suggestions instead of saying negative things. I've learned so much and make so many new friend there and it's really a heaven to me:-)

Have a nice thanksgiving tortoisie:)

Jing said...

Faust, glad to see you around Sir! I've been checking out your blog so often looking for updates.
hey hopefully you get everything in your wishlist:)

Jing said...

My anonymous friend, thank you for all the candid comments. I assume that you are from huaren,right?
You mentioned that I have a teenage figure but wearing mature clothes, but I can't picture myself wearing anything else. I'm working my way up to be an executive, not a school girl. I'm in my late 20s, not 18. In addition, I don't think that skinny jeans and Marc by Marc Jacobs dresses are considered "Mature clothes". Really, everytime when people say things like that, I couldn't help asking what you think that I should wear. Nobody answered yet.
I guess that you don't know me as a person, and I wish you did. I appreciate what you said though:-)

Jing said...

greendrv,thank you for the nice words. I know that some people will never get it, but hey, we are happy with how we look!

Jing said...

dinosaur, I actually go to lots of board. Personal style board is very interesting and I've learned a lot from there. Designer and collections is a place to gain knowledge about fashion. Shop till you drop board gives me good suggestions and ideas all the time. I guess that those are my favorite. They are all good:)

Anonymous said...

thanks for your information about TFS, will go check those later.
You go girl, waiting to see more of you. ---dinosaur

isis said...

Love your blog & really loved the recent article about fashion & judgement. I am a lurker on TFS & my favorite thread is the What are you wearing thread... Ive seen your outfits there & I must say they are great! Very stylish, unique & womanly! DO NOT pay attention to others when it comes to negative criticisms of your own personal style. They dont know you and Ive noticed at times that the negative criticisms are often rooted in jealousy!

Other than that I say keep up the good styling... I so look forward to seeing more of you outfits :)

Anonymous said...

I like your style. And I am also impressed by your story about how you survived from graduate school and began your career (you posted your story before). The thing suprised me is that you felt being judged after posting your outfits. Aren't we always being judged or making judgements ? You labled people in the first board as conservative. Even jealosy was brought out by some of your readers. Are these judgements too?

I think, the reason you dress conservative for work is that you don't want people's possible negative opinion about your clothes affects their judgements about your work. right?. So when you choose be unique and bold in fashion, it says to me that you are in the situation that you don't care people's cristism. Then why are you suprised? It is impossible to get plaused for any outfit you showed from everybody. I doubt you will still come out this article if you got similar responses from the first board as TFS. What you wrote sounds a little defensive to me, which is not necessary at all.

Agathe said...

Maybe I have just overlooked it, but where can I find these outfits? I would love to see the outfits you are talking about.

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