I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Fashion is power!" I'm a true believer that one can completely alter their self esteem through their wardrobe. Because what is clothing other than a means of self expression? Okay, I suppose for some individuals clothing is only a way to stay warm and properly present themselves to the public. However, this blogger would argue that even those people who claim they don't care about fashion are reflecting their personality through this lack of attention toward appearance.
Which brings me to the topic of people watching. Most individuals at one time or another have found themselves partaking in this type of activity. I challenge anyone to state that they have not been able to construct some kind of fictional background toward every person they have encountered while viewing the public. What is the basis for these hypothetical histories? I believe that appearance, rather than behavior, is the deciding factor behind whether the guy ahead of you in the Starbucks line is a dentist or a serial killer. Wait, didn't I see a movie about that once?
Back to the topic at hand, I believe it's completely possible for one to recreate their history through personal style. Of course, this is most effective when dealing with strangers who aren't aware of your past. Case in point, one walks into a bright and sunny cafe' wearing a black '80's Cure tour T-shirt, black leather pants, lace finger-less gloves, and navy blue lipstick. The person who is people watching a few booths down immediately labels this individual as a Goth and wonders, "Does she really sleep hanging upside down, and Damn, it's been a long time since I've smoked a clove cigarette. I wonder if I could bum one of those from her?" The average people watcher would never question how many kids a Goth may have, or what they may do to earn a living. Based on appearance alone, it's simply clear to the general public that a Goth's job is simply to sit around and brood, and they obviously eat their children...right?
Now, I also believe it's possible to alter the opinions of those individuals who already know a person, simply by changing one's appearance. An example would go like this, Rayna walks into work one day wearing the exact uniform she's always worn with the addition of navy blue lipstick. Rayna's coworkers of ten years begin to chatter among themselves that, "She's been acting differently, and does she seemed depressed?" I'm also certain that the three little words, "Early Midlife Crisis," may be thrown around a bit. To which Rayna, (okay yeah, enough with the third person shtick), would respond, "Uh, duh!"
The reason I'm currently so focused on the topic of people watching is because the day I took these photos I hoped to hell no one was watching me. On this particular day I found myself, yet again, on the quest for a tall decaf vanilla latte at my regular Starbucks. I was feeling pretty secure with my outfit and the persona it conveyed that afternoon. I was really thrilled to be wearing a pair of authentic Isaac Mizrahi wedges I had thrifted. I actually felt that these designer shoes elevated my status at least a couple of notches in the public's eye. However, upon finishing my beverage and packing up my book to go I stood only to have the entire sole of one of these sandals almost completely peel off. Of course, this created a large piece of rubber to flap at the bottom and every time I took a step it created an ungodly loud, "THWAP!" noise. After about three steps there was an additional peeling sound and suddenly the entire heel of my designer wedge detached itself from the top of my sandal. At this point the bottom of my shoe skidded across the coffee shop floor landing underneath another customer's table. I considered leaving it there but thought the barista may not like the mess so I excused myself, grabbed the remnants of my broken sandal and dignity, only to walk unevenly with one bare foot and one wedge out the door. Again, here is an example of how shoes alone took me from fashionista to trainwreck in about twenty seconds.
So, next time you find yourself people watching and someone is wearing shoes that, "THWAP!" every time they take a step, give 'em a break! It may not mean they can't afford to buy better shoes. It could simply be a case of wardrobe malfunction. Of course, it also could be a case of not giving a crap. To this type of individual I would like to state, "Right on!, and could you pass me that navy blue lipstick?"
Jeans: Kasil Workshop
Sandals: Isaac Mizrahi (Good thing I got a picture because they're in the trash now!)
Purse: Matt & Nat
Ring: Free People