Challenging the stereotypes

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



About awishisarainbow

I have recently finished my degree in Linguistics, and now living back in Mid Wales facing the real world. I love to travel and take photographs. However, I spend more time making clothes and jewellery, and just generally filling my wardrobe with all the colours of the rainbow!!
This entry was posted in Outfit posts, Random Ramblings. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Challenging the stereotypes

  1. yeeeeed says:

    I totally agree with your views on the whole argument of being seen as ‘cool’. I too used to dress much more conservatively than I do now – not in a bid to fit in as such, but more through a desire to go unnoticed. Yet, I always had a love for the more quirky things. Since coming to uni, as you say, I’ve just worn what I want – and I think I have you to thank for a lot of that confidence! 😛

    I really like your jeans – high waisted suits you! 🙂 I have a skirt which is high waisted…but I always wear tops over it so you can’t tell…maybe I’ll have to take a leaf out of your book! 🙂

  2. ibc4 says:

    I think Versace would be very happy to see you in these jeans.
    Like pretty much everything (including purple shoes) you wear them so well.
    Lovely to hark back to WLW. I miss it 😀

  3. ibc4 says:

    Just spotted the shoes and the scissor necklace in the photo, too! Double-bubble 😀

  4. I agree with Kate that you’ve also given me the confidence to wear what I want at uni. At my school if you didn’t dress the same way as everyone else- skinny jeans, flat shoes, a top and a cardi- you would be ostrised. I hated mufti days at school because I never had anything fashionable enough to wear- I just couldn’t afford it! Here, we’re friends with you- so however wackily we dress- it won’t matter!

  5. I meant wackily in the most loving and revered way 😛

  6. here says:

    It seems to me that this site doesnt load in a Motorola Droid. Are other folks having the same issue? I like this blog and dont want to have to skip it whenever Im gone from my computer.

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