Non-Fashionista

I was watching Emily in Paris the other night, feeling an uncomfortable mix of annoyance paired with just-one-more-episode. But what stood out even more than the scenery which brought me there in the first place, was the clothing of the skinny American girl in Paris.

Like a younger and lonelier version of Carrie Bradshaw, she too was an everyday princess with long locks and high heels – a true fashionista. And because she was in Paris, she occasionally chose to wear berets and blouses with the Eiffel tower on them, because who doesn’t dress in symbols of the country they are visiting.

To get to the point, her outfits annoyed me. And I wondered why.

Yes, they were tacky and weird, but isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder? Am I against self-expression? Do I want everyone to dress the same?

Yes, no, and no. Then what was it about her, besides the fact that whatever she touched seemed to turn into gold? Throwing ideas and posting “clever” social media updates, she was successful both in her day job and on Instagram. Her IG profile quickly grew out of proportion and she became an influencer.

Realistic or not realistic? Maybe a bit of both. Annoying? Yes. Jealous? No. Maybe. (I’m not on Instagram so I most likely won’t gain a million followers overnight.)

I think back towards my personal fashion history. Let’s take a look…

80’s: uniform to school, everyone dressed alike
90’s: I wondered why anyone would use their allowance for clothes, how boring
00’s: traveled to London with my friend and she bought two pieces of the same coat – one beige, and one “camel”. I still didn’t have the answer why
10’s: uniform to work in a metal tube in the sky
20’s: almost held a video presentation at work for 100 colleagues in my pj’s, simply because I forgot!

Hmm. Does anyone else hold uniforms responsible for not developing a taste for fashion?

To be honest, I do care about what I wear. I just don’t like what’s called fashion. Sometimes I’ll like the jeans that are on trend, sometimes not. Most of the time, I’ll buy them because when something is trending, nothing else seems to be available.

But my busy past also includes a stint as a sales rep at a large clothing retailer. I loved their clothes and actually the job, too. The only bad part was when people I used to know came in and wondered why I was working there since I had a uni degree. (Long story involving dreams of flying – so what?)

A colleague there told me that I had a casual look, and that it was a good thing, since most of the customers did, too. Another one said I could make any cheap clothing look like Filippa K. I’m not sure if it was a compliment.

I wonder what they would say about my Covid era WFH uniform and unattended hair!

Luckily, no one will ever know. It feels like the movie Surrogates.

95 responses to “Non-Fashionista

  1. When I was a teenager, early seventees, I wanted to look like my generation, long hair, faded jeans, ditto jacket with a packet of fags visible in the breast pocket. Thinking this was the summum of individuality, I later had to admit this was as much as a uniform as, well, uniforms. On top of that, what I considered to be a whole generation turned out to excist out of just a subculture of school kids in a fairly prosporous country in the north west of Europe. That made me realise that fashion was place bound and by nature temporary. When I got older I more and more lost interest in what appeared to be in fashion, not just clothes but also things like glasses, facial hair (or not), hats and caps, shoes. I did notice, and was annoyed, just like you wrote, that a certain fashion made me buy jeans that I didn’t fancy because nothing else was available. Now I don’t care at all anymore what I weas, as long it is clean and more or less intact. It’s very well possible it’s easier for guys then for women to choose this position! I read your post with a lot of joy, as always, and I very much like the picures coming with it as well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Peter, for this interesting comment! I agree all the way. And trends are a bit of a uniform. Often I see young girls walking together and they look quite identical – I remember how important it was to have some particular brand of shoes/handbag/jeans etc, though growing up, I never really had those ”it” items. Also business suits are uniforms. I actually didn’t mind working in uniform, but then again a flight attendant’s uniform was a nice one – not all uniforms please their bearer. Oh, and the photos are from 1-2 months ago. Now when you look out, all you see is darkness and bare trees. 😊 Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I just finished watching Emily in Paris and also (do I dare admit) loved the Sex in the City shows…maybe not my idea of fashion, but then again I love my sweatpants when I’m at home and can’t imagine dressing up in heels everyday! haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s nice as fantasy, although I do see a lot of Carrie Bradshaw type of dressing over here in young women. Which is fine, of course. I didn’t manage to finish Emily in Paris, there was an episode somewhere that was just too much (when she became an influencer overnight) and I quit 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I get so annoyed when I want to find something but it’s not a trend at the moment so it doesn’t exist. I’m hanging for overalls and variations of that to come back again so I can relive my childhood haha!. Each trend that comes out seems to only flatter a certain type of I think we all have a look despite having to wear uniforms be that for school or a type of work. Nothing wrong with a casual look!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love looking casual, though ”casual cool” would be even better, hahah! 😁 I used to know a girl who could make anything look cool and I guess for that type of person trends don’t matter because they have such a strong sense of personal style. Like with your overalls, I guess that kind of style guru would just sew her own! (I can’t sew though, not me!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the ‘uniform’ excuse. I grew up with school uniforms and wore them in my first job, so now I can explain my complete lack of fashion sense.
    I often go to a couple of ‘photos of the day’ type sites and, pre-Covid, almost always one of the photos would be of some fashion show. They all looked the same – robotic-looking people in outfits I couldn’t imagine anyone wearing even if they drank heavily.
    A plus side of living in Hawaii is that shorts and a t-shirt are always fashionable and acceptable even for business people. Now that’s paradise.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love Carrie Bradshaw, Selena and Blair (Gossip Girl) but are there clothes realistic – hell no! I couldn’t bring myself to watch Emily in Paris because it seems like such a cliched story. But I think the reason behind her outfits in Paris being such are that the general perception is that all kinds of fashion is accepted in Paris even OTT fashion. Whereas in another part of the world – one might be ridiculed for wearing that outfit out on the street.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, interesting point of view! What I remember from living in Paris (ages ago, things might’ve changed) was that locals dressed super casually. Well, women wore pumps but they made oversized sweaters look cool. Not a lot of regular blue jeans for women, like over here in the north, but otherwise quite subtle and discreet. Emily’s looks would definitely have caused some staring and snicerking! But, as I said, maybe things are different now. (I feel old all of a sudden!) (btw, personally, I felt London was a place where all kinds of looks were accepted, whenever I visited… wonder why there aren’t that many shows where an American girl lands in London and explores the cultural differences?or maybe I just missed them…) 🧐

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fashion? -Whilst I like to look smart when going ‘out’ – I dislike wild fashion that dates rapidly. I prefer clothes that won’t date, are comfortable and functional and that last from an environmental perspective. So I often choose neutrals, and natural fibres that breathe. You know why, Snow. But I have to say stretch denim is a godsend as you get older.
    There is so many girls unaccepting of their own body image and the the fashion industry and throw away fashion overtly or covertly supports.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also loved/hated Emily in Paris. It is such a fantasy. No one would ever be able to build an instagram following that quickly with that kind of content! Even though I had many, many gripes, it still made for addictive watching.
    Fashion should be about wearing what we love and feel comfortable in. 2020 is the year for pyjama’s and lounge wear. There are so many issues with it being about trends, especially for the people making clothes and the detrimental effects on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, her content was annoyingly lame, but presented as witty – I would never follow posts like that, but then I guess many younger kids do. Maybe it was addictive to watch just because of that, and her clothes… and the Paris clichés.
      2020 is so the year of pyjamas!! Hahah 😆 And I’m happy we’ve all been consuming less. During the 1st wave, there was a point where I thought of how pointless for example going to the hairdresser’s is. Now, almost a year later, I’m starting to regain appreciation for grooming simply because I’m getting tired of my tired look 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well the trees in your lovely pics are well dressed! I agree that fashion can in fact be a type of uniform. I prefer slightly quirky ways of wearing clothes and some people have a natural, unpretentious and even unconscious flair. My clothes last for ever. I am so sad when a favourite item finally wears out.
    I am finding under the lockdowns that I am developing a different relationship with my clothes – it is a new experience getting dressed knowing that the only person seeing what I wear is me (my husband is unlikely to notice 🙂) and sometimes I lose complete interest too. But then why not mix things up a bit just for a bit of unobserved and indulgent eccentricity? Thanks for your enjoyable observations and thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As I read your post I have mixed feelings. As an ordinary person always struggling with my weight (and looks), I have ups and down with my fashion sense. I love to look good, but also be comfortable. When I gain weight that is tough to do (as I am feeling now with my COVID gain-yes, I’m blaming COVID). Over the past couple of years (after living with my parents for 5 months during a house remodel/repair situation) I am working on simplifying. I still do want to lose that weight again. But I no longer want a closet full of clothing I have to rummage though each day. I want simple comfortable nice looking clothing at my finger tips. And I am getting rid of my fantasy stuff. I am what I am. Now, I just want to be comfortable, look as good as I can quickly, and have fun in life!
    But, to be honest, if I could just lose 15 pounds I would have the cutest little t-shirts and jeans/shorts… 😉😁

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I haven’t seen any of the stuff you mention in this post (I googled Surrogates. Is it any good? Do you recommend it?) I don’t even know who or what Fillipa K. is. Not some queen of yours? (Ahhh, right, Finland is a democracy.) (I know who Carrie B. is but only just.)

    I have never worn any kind of uniform, come to think of it. The closest was blue skirt and white shirt when I had to perform in the school choir, often with the red kerchief and blue cap, the Tito’s Pioneer uniform. But never a daily school uniform.

    And I really hate the fashion tricks they pull to make us buy more. Really really really. I love people who dress with taste and disregard the current fashion, even if they are outrageous.

    And finally, I really love your photos, especially the one with the single leaf. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember parts of Surrogates quite well, but I can’t remember if I liked it. I don’t think it was completely crap – and at least it wasn’t totally forgettable 🤷‍♀️ (Sound tempting??)
      Thanks for the photo compliment 😊 As for fashion, I think it’s the same as with books: all the plots have been used already. All the clothing designs have been created already, no need for more and more and more 😆😆😆😆

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved to read your thoughts about the show and your sense of fashion! Even though I do like to “dress up” and wear something nice, I was also quite annoyed by some of her outfits, which seemed to me so “on trend” that they were just tacky – but maybe it’s just because I am a lover of timeless basics! In this COVID era though, I found myself much more drawn to fashion and nice clothes than before, simply because even going groceries shopping feels like an occasion!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, shopping irl, as opposed to online, feels thrilling to me too! Just the other day I was in a bookstore, itching to buy something, and the smell of new books was intoxicating!! As for clothes shopping: I’m addicted to buying cute but functional clothes for my boys, but always ar bargain prices or second-hand. They are my little dress-up models 😋

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful expression of thoughts…
    Having spent most of my life in uniforms..I do tend to agree that it does to an extent ‘controls’ the fashion sense of the brain…
    Clothing for me should that suits the individual and is functional…a casual add on here n there is okk..
    Stay blessed 🙏😇

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Your current clothing sounds very comfortable, Pj, yoga pants.. I too like to be in comfortable clothing, usually oversize than my own size, haha. Most importantly, it has to be functional and able to sustain rough usage. Cheers and I have not watch Emily in Paris because its trending? haha @@

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Confortable is my first rule. Second-hand comes right after. And finally, never never neutral colours! I feel awful in grey or beige. So I guess it sums up all the rules : not feeling awful is my own definition of style.
    Now that I think about it fashion and style are not quite the same thing… Humm well you know what I mean! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like grey clothes, but not all the time, just sometimes. It suits my pale white skin. I used to think a lot about which shades compliment me and chose them instead of what I really liked. (Bright yellow or orange on white-pinkish skin? Yikes.) But luckily as I age, I don’t really care anymore and now wear more colors, yay! Oh, and yes, fashion, style and trends are not the same – true!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve heard about Emily in Paris. but couldn’t get past 30sec of the trailer. A much better show is ‘Queens Gambit’. Have you watched it? It’s engrossing to watch and the cinematography is remarkable. Great use of light, mood, costume etc. and the story line ! The director is a marvel to make such a droll subject riveting. If you haven’t yet seen it, do check it out.

    I predict two things. (1) a surge in popularity for Chess (already happened, chess sets are flying off the shelves) and (2) Beth Harmon’s wardrobe will kick off a classic 60’s style fashion trend. I think the trend will kick-off when people can finally get out Covid isolation. Everyone will want to dress up, just so they can! In the meantime, we’ll just wear lots of eye liner and hats for those video conferences 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I skipped right over Queen’s Gambit but now that you praise it, I’ll definitely have a look!! 👍💪 Thanks for the tip! I love watching stuff that’s well made and visual.
      As for hats on video calls, hmm, never thought of dressing up! I’ve even stopped wearing makeup (1st time EVER!) because the webcam seems to loose the makeup anyway so it’s pointless. Then sometimes I see a colleague with visible makeup and think they must have put heaps of it on for it to show!!! Another 2020 trend: extra super heavy blusher! Only for video viewing! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I had the same feelings when watching Emily In Paris. I didn’t find her realistic or relatable. Nothing she achieved would be as effortless in reality.

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  17. Snow… I loved loved loved this!!! When it comes to ‘fashion sense’, I am afraid I may have none, at least according to the way the world dresses now:( I was lucky, I think, to have school uniform otherwise had it been like it is here in the US, I would be at a loss. And also when in college, I remember one of my friends saying ‘i thought uniforms ended with school, you seem to be continuing that tradition’:D I had a handful of clothes that I preferred wearing to college and never bothered to think along the lines of my very concerned friend! I am yet to watch Emily in Paris but I can see what you mean by how she achieved success so easily…don’t you think that this plot has been used so many times in so many ways, with little changes here and there? And how unrealistic!! I am most comfortable in my pjs and a ponytail and I see nothing wrong with that, except for when in the company of people 😉 While all the photos are beautiful, the second one is my favorite. Warm wishes:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Moon for the warm words! ☺️ Uniforms can make everyday choices so easy. The ones I had as cabin crew I was completely okay with, because there were many pieces you could combine to your liking. And as for plots, yes, Emily in Paris is far from original! Hope you and your little ones are well! xx

      Like

  18. Loved this read! I took don’t consider myself to have a sense of style, and never thought about my 12 years in school uniform and 7 years at a job with a uniform attributed to that. Who would have thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I had zero interest in watching Emily in Paris and now I’m intrigued 😂😂

    I wonder what people would say about my WFH attire. I’ve got a business on the top: fun earrings and a nice shirt , with a fuzzy socks and pajamas on the bottom vibe going right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Very interesting post! I’ve heard of Emily in Paris and wasn’t sure about it – I will definitely give it a miss now though, it sounds very annoying!! I’m definitely not a fashion junky by any stretch of the imagination. I like to be comfortable, jeans and a jumper these days will do…if I am seeing anyone! At the moment, that’s fallen by the wayside too and my WFH attire is track pants, slippers and then a decent jumper, as that’s the only part of me that anyone will see online haha! Completely stopped wearing make up too…I’ve gone feral haha! I don’t know how I’m going to cope having to wear shoes all day when I do finally have to go back to the office 🙂 I grew up in uniforms for school, so that took quite a bit of pressure away when I was younger, but I also spent a lot of that time in the hot sunshine, so it was just shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops outside of school…now ideally that wold be my fashion of choice for me, even now 🙂 And as always, love your photos, the colours of autumn are just gorgeous aren’t they!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dusty! Same here, my school uniform years were in the sun and when I wasn’t wearing my uniform, I was usually in a swimsuit. I even remember going grocery shopping with my mum in my ”togs” (what we called a swimsuit). Flipflops are my fave shoes, although over here I don’t have much use for them. But I love that kind of casual. Just today I ran into a young couple in the elevator who were dressed in bathtowels and bathrobes 😁 They were going back to their flat from the top floor sauna in our building. I love the idea of just wearing what you want!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You have a sauna in your building? That sounds amazing! Ooo yes, I spent a lot of time in a swimsuit back then too. We’d often get picked up from school and head straight to the pool, where we’d spend the afternoon. It’s the same here, the flip flops don’t come out much unfortunately – I can’t wait until I can wear them again! I am all for wearing what you want too – in fact I’m already in my pjs today and it’s only 4.30pm!! It’s been so cold i just wanted to get cosy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  21. 😂😂😂yeah…I am not a fan of those clothes they refer to “Fashion” either. Mostly because everyone is in them. It annoys me, especially during the holidays when everyone is rocking ’em.
    What i love about fashion lately is that its accommodating all body types, models included.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I watched Emily in Paris and what it triggered for me was that I used to be “fashionable” in my early 20s. And the air quotes are because it wasn’t necessarily what someone dictated as fashionable, just that I enjoyed putting outfits together. Then I had kids… and it became a lower priority.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The whole issue of trends taking over all the stores is one of the main reasons i love thrift shopping… Not everyone identifies with what’s currently “trending”, and it can be such a bother because there could be so much room to be an individual and dress creatively… Everyone does start to look much the same.
    I enjoyed reading your story!

    Liked by 1 person

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