Stockings and Stereotypes (N.B. sometimes I like to have a rant…)

In a world where fashion is liberation, and women are no longer bound by the strict dressing rules society would have once imposed on us, you’d think by now we’d have gotten used to the ‘anything goes’ rule. Sadly, this isn’t so.

2009 saw the underwear-as-outerwear trend make its mark, with fashion seeing the inclusion of stockings, corset-style tops and slip dresses – but it doesn’t mean the world welcomed it with open arms. There were those that called it ‘slutty’, those which said it appeared as if the wearer had just stepped out in their outerwear, whether the trend was tastefully worn or not. And yet, in this ‘liberated’ world, you’d think a girl who decided to wear a hint of lace or show a bit of hosiery may be allowed the freedom of expression.

Photo: Christian Dior, Spring Summer 2010

Personally, I love the trend. Call it what you will, I don’t see a problem with stockings or slip dresses. Tastefully done and not taken to extremes, I love an outfit with a bit of underwear-as-outerwear, stylishly so . But it doesn’t stop the odd disapproving look being thrown at me in the street, and it definitely doesn’t stop my mother having lectures over my dress sense (even though I’m pretty sure I’m old enough to dress myself, thank you very much…).

Photos: lookbook.nu

Wearing lace does not make you a ‘whore’…in the same way that wearing black doesn’t make you a ‘goth’ or wearing flowery prints doesn’t make you a ‘girly girl’.  We all know, or have the illusion of knowing, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

An outfit can make a statement, but it can’t make you who you are. So why is it that people can make an opinion of a girl based on what she’s wearing? Can it really be justified to assume things just based on how people choose to express themselves?

I only say this because I’ve come to notice recently the stereotypes associated with fashion. For something which is meant to create individuality and personality, sometimes we are as constricted and typecast with it as we are set apart. Sometimes you’ve got to look past the clothes and find the person underneath.

Fashion is expression. Take it as you want.

Rachel xxx

25 comments
  1. Eva said:

    I think the big issue here is that a lot of people still perceive fashion as trivial instead of a form of self-expression and art (I once wrote about it here). Another problem is we as a whole are so quick to judge. Someone might judge a person wearing lace, someone might judge a person in a bad outfit, someone might judge a person in a great outfit. In essence, of course, I agree with you; unfortunately there are just as many stereotypes in fashion as anywhere else.

    • Definitely, I agree with your blog post. I think fashion can be as much of an art as you want to make it, and I personally see it as a way of expression. I guess opinions, and the stereotypes that come along with them, are only what people make them out to be. Just like music or art or theatre, fashion will just always have its typecasts.

      Thanks for reading!

      - Rachel

  2. Treacle said:

    As someone who is super passionate about lingerie and happy to see a lingerie-inspired look back on the runways, I really enjoyed reading this post. Excellent work!

  3. Dude, you are so right.

    I wear a lot of ‘manly’ clothing, but I’m really into skirts and boots and stuff, so people are like, “What?!” I get the emo thing a lot too…

    But that might be the amount of obscure-band references I make.

  4. Christian Dior is really a fashion genius, i like how he designs clothes and other stuffs`’-

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