One of the things I’ve tried to do, especially more recently, is to get rid of stereotypes. Up until a couple of years ago I was very concerned with things being ‘cool’. Maybe it was because I never was part of that ‘cool’ group at school, I don’t really know, but I always strived to fit in. On home clothes days I wouldn’t wear anything quirky or anything that would overly stand out. More simply, I didn’t dress as me.
However, during Lower Sixth I went to Berlin for a weekend. A group of 15 students from the UK and 15 from Germany all brought together for a Media Seminar. I wouldn’t know anyone; I didn’t even have a particular interest in Media…all in all I didn’t want to go. However, it was the first time that I felt I could truly be myself around my peer group, albeit one I didn’t know yet. I dressed exactly how I wanted – bright colours, rainbow socks, lots of jewellery, multi-coloured make-up…so much so I managed to acquire the nickname ’Rainbow Girl’! Oh well But the point is, I felt a lot happier and didn’t worry about what other people thought. Back at school, however, I went back to trying to fit in and not stand out.
Then I came to Uni. Suddenly I was thrown into an environment which includes so many different personalities and styles that nothing is ‘normal’ or ‘cool’ anymore. Within days I think I was known for my vast collection of jewellery, brightly painted nails and quirky clothes. By the end of October, What Liza Wore was born. Looking back on some of the outfits now, I have to wonder what I was thinking! But even with all the crazy outfits and strange combinations there were still things I wouldn’t wear. Everybody has their own ideas and associations for things, especially clothing, and I am no different. For example, I have never been a fan of the 1970s…it is just a decade that doesn’t appeal to me. However, I recently visited the vintage shop in Oswestry and found a dress I really liked. It is early 1970s! It just doesn’t fit into that stereotypical image I have of clothes from that era. This supports my point – stereotypes aren’t all they are cracked up to be, and instead need to be challenged.
High-waisted jeans. First thoughts? Throwback to the 1990s (although also popular in the late 70s!), a very common dislike for them generally, and now they are coming back into fashion (apparently). Previously, all good reasons to give them a miss. However, about 5 or 6 years ago I found a pair of very high-waisted Versace jeans in a charity shop for £6.50! I’ve never been one for taking notice of labels, but this was too much of a bargain to pass up. So, I bought them. I wore them a few times, and then saw a photo of me in them and relegated them to the back of the wardrobe! I think the main problem was that at the time they weren’t the greatest fit. I mean, they were too long, and I had no curves with which to fill them out! Anyway, fast forward to last summer and lo and behold they are still hanging up in my wardrobe, forlorn and collecting dust. Then, Day 217 of WLW – old fashioned. I had been trying things on that morning and rediscovered the above jeans, and therefore decided to give them another chance. I have to say I was still unsure – maybe because it was that stereotype, maybe because it was just unfamiliar (and maybe because they aren’t the most practical jeans in the world…let’s just say, they now fit ‘really well’ :P). I put them in the ‘to go out’ pile. But, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t help feeling that they deserved more. Last time I went home I was sorting things out for a clothes swap and guess what was in the bottom of the bag? Yep, that’s right, the jeans. It was now or never, so they journeyed back to Bangor with me in the hope that I would finally work out how to challenge my opinions. Here is what I came up with. Ok, so not very exciting, but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. I think I may actually be converted! Also, because I have now started wearing them again, the denim is beginning to stretch which is much more comfortable 😛 But, I’m curious to know what you think? Have I managed to change your opinion on high-waisted jeans, or did you like them to start with? Or, have I just managed to channel the exact image I tried to avoid?!
I was going to discuss more stereotypes…but seem to have managed to waffle on and on about this for hours, so will have to leave it for another day! If only I could write this much, this quickly for my assignments…:P So, for now I shall leave you with this:
‘The novelties of one generation are only the resuscitated fashions of the generation before last.’ George Bernard Shaw