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In Critique of Critiques


One of the things that drives me a little crazy about being a fashion blogger is having to talk about it. Friends and family are much more likely to tell new acquaintances what I do and inevitably the first question I receive will be something along the lines of "how would you rate my outfit?" Usually people are rather joke-y and self-deprecating ("oh I bet you don't think too much of what I'm wearing…"), but part of the question is earnest; people want to know "as someone who regularly writes about fashion how do you judge others based on their clothes?" The truth is (and this is rather difficult to expound upon to a new acquaintance) I'm against fashion criticism--I like fashion as a form of self expression and since it's a very personal choice for me I consider other people's fashion choices to be equally personal and therefore outside of criticism. I understand where the question originates--most of mainstream fashion dialogue revolves around Worst Dressed lists or the equally loathsome "Who Wore It Better" columns. Most articles you stumble across in a newspaper or magazine that aren't covering fashion week are dedicated to tearing-down celebrities fashion choices. So naturally when what most people hear about fashion is so-called experts mocking a pregnant lady's dress choice on the red carpet it becomes the assumption that that is fashion. That criticizing "poor" fashion choices or telling people how to dress is the focus of fashion conversations. I wish this wasn't the main public discourse on fashion and naturally, it's not my view of fashion. I don't enjoy reading articles that tear-down other people's appearances, let alone hold a a desire to add my own opinions to the fray. So yeah, I like clothes, I blog, I'd be happy to discuss fashion color theory within Mad Men with you, but rate your outfit? Not so much.

Outfit details:
Shop Ruche coat (sold out, similar)
Anthropologie shirt (old, similar)

16 comments:

Cecelia said...

Great post! It's refreshing to hear (and I admit to being a little bit relieved, as well *grin*). Also, your outfit = fantastic!

Miche said...

I couldn't agree more. As someone who blogs or likes fashion as well, people are constantly asking me similar questions. For me, what you chose to wear is what you chose to wear, fashion is a wonderful way to express who you are without having to verbalize it and I LOVE that everyone does it differently.

CoolAllure said...

Nice post! I kept it more for myself when I firstly started to blog. After a while people heard at my job, and then their opinion rapidly changed, asking questions about clothes, and other stuff I didn't wanted to talk about. Then, they changed their mind, criticizing me about my fashion opinion ...and it sucked. Now I learned not to care much and refuse anyone my gut tells me to.

http://coolallure.com

Miranda said...

In Portugal we have a phenomenon - that led to my ending my personal style blog that featured pics of me wearing my daily choices - of blogs whose only intent is to criticize other bloggers' fashion choices, make up, bodies and faces, demeaning said bloggers and making fun of their features, calling them fat or skeletons and ugly. I have been into fashion for the last - nearly - 30 years, reading fashion mags and absorbing as much as I can of the fashion industry, and never in the 2 prior decades have I seen this need to associate fashion with the kind of rudeness perpetuated by that show - honestly, who are those people to think they have a mission on life that is to criticize and make fun ane be downright mean about "famous people"'s fashion choices and tastes?? THe only one I know there is Kelly Osbourne because I have been a huge fan of Black Sabbath since I was 12.

Maria said...

I hate when people feel entitled to criticize harshly one's fashion choices... Who gave you the right to make me feel bad and/or uncomfortable in the clothes/style I like? If you can't bear the sight, just turn around, there is enough space in this world for my dress and your radius of vision...
The annoying thing is that when people tear you down they claim that they have the right to dislike your style/were just joking/they're not politically correct, using these as excuses to be rude and unpleasant.

Alexandra Marie said...

Lovely words, and ensemble <3 Alex

tobebeautifulingodseyes.blogspot.com

Jade Sheldon-Burnsed said...

Fashion is so personal and even if I don't like what someone wears, who on earth cares!!? That just means it isn't my style, doesn't mean it isn't theirs. I really relate it to making art. You create something and love it, then that is all that matters and if you care what someone else thinks about it, you better do some self searching...

Shannon Willardson said...

Loving that long red coat!

Shannon
http://GBOfashion.com

Sarah K. said...

I feel the same way. people are always asking me what top to pair with which jeans, what to wear this dress with, whether I like their new shoes... when really it doesn't matter! who cares what I think? I wear what I like and I don't expect everyone else to dress to please me! and I can't give fashion advice because "style" is a personal choice.
and why would I want everyone to dress the same?
anyways that's a little ramble-y, but I like this post. :) and your outfit is darling! (in my humble opinion haha)

Sora said...

I agree with you so much...! It always makes me feel uncomfortable when people tell me "you must think I dress like sh*t" just because I am into fashion :/ I've never really understood people who criticize the way others dress - it's none of your business! Just because someone else enjoys a piece you don't like, doesn't make them a "disaster".

Anonymous said...

Hola!

Te escribo , para felicitarte por tu blog.
Para mí, la moda no es muy importante, pero sí tus fotos, tus post de cultura y arte en general.
siempre comento a mis amigos que en tu blog, está todo lo bello que me interesa.
Un saludo desde España.

~K said...

Completely agree and very elegantly put. I enjoy reading another opinion when it is so well thought out and put across, even more so when it agrees with mine ;).
Berating others for the clothing choices seems such a waste of energy yet people seem to enjoy it still.
As someone with not so average hair colours or clothing choices I see more of a silent judgement than a verbal one. What can I say, Belgian people are strangely conformist and are very absolute on what they consider outside of normal. Me being outside of their norm. I admit to 'dressing down' to please them at work but I'm beginning to realise how unhappy that makes me in myself and I'm just not comfortable that way.
Fashion or style should be about yourself and only yourself... Maybe if others focussed more on their own personal style they may come to realise that it's like that.

K

AnnaMarie said...

I agree with you completely! I have a feeling that people could ask you what you think of their outfit because they may either be self-conscious around you or they desire to have your knowledge. I have run across people asking those who have the knowledge or expertise on a certain subject who do this. Are people asking you questions to learn tips? I know I would! I really enjoy your outfits and your pictures. Have a nice day!

Tilly said...

Incisive and articulate as always, Rebecca.

A. said...

I understand where you are coming from, completely! My friends and family members ask me constantly too even though we share completely different fashion styles. So of course I'll share with them what I would like, but how they should wear what feels right for them. That's the best part of fashion: being able to express your true self.

Anonymous said...

Neat backgrounds for your photographs! That Polaroid brings back memories.