I say this as a stupid woman myself, and I speak, of course, of fashion. Not that I'm a slave to fashion, unless it is the fashion of doing everything possible to wear comfortable shoes and avoid dry cleaning. (A fairly large percentage of my work wardrobe is intended for use either hiking or in the ocean. Anything that I can wash at home, put in the dryer, and then hang up wrinkle-free is a big plus, and I don't particularly care if I'm going to wear it to the office instead of to the ocean. If you take off the advertising patches that are all over the clothing, who's going to call you on it? And who in an IT department gets to hike or see the ocean, anyway?)
But I still fall victim to plenty of choices that are made to appease other people rather than myself. Shoes are my bete noir. I have a lot of shoes. This is because if I were left to my own devices, my entire shoe wardrobe would consist of Chuck Taylors and chunky but whimsical sandals with a sole made by Jeep, and I keep buying these in the hope that someday I will...I don't know. I guess I hope to retire and wear whatever damn shoes I want for the rest of my life. But at work, I don't want to be pigeonholed as a cranky lesbian or singled out for flogging by our obsessively dress-conscious overlord, so I tried to wear heels. I bought very expensive "comfort shoes" with a short heel. They weren't sexy heels, but they ticked all the boxes for office wear. And I wore them for three years.
And I got corns and the beginnings of some uncategorized and freakish bony protrusion for my trouble. When I could no longer expose my feet in public, I knew the time for remedial action had come. I've now been wearing the same pair of flats to work every day for about two months. They are utilitarian and (I hope) inoffensive, but they aren't stylish, and it pains me somewhat. Not as much as the corns, however, which have mercifully disappeared since I stopped wearing the heels of doom. The bony mutation has not really responded to the flat-shoe therapy, so it's probably here for good. But at least I can now wear flip flops in public without shame. (Not at work, of course.) And the iron overlord of dress sense hasn't commented on either the flatness of my shoes or the obscene lack of variety in my footwear, so thank God for that.
My comfort, in my stupidity, is my knowledge that I am not alone. On two recent trips to the city I saw a lot of women who were wearing...okay, I'm going to call them leggings, because that's what these women clearly think they are. But only some of them were leggings. One woman was wearing what I would actually consider tights. I could see ALL of her underwear. It's a look, I suppose.
And if she looked like she was enjoying wearing her foundation garments as outerwear and exposing her undergarments to the world, I would say, well, good for her. But she wasn't. Her hand was CONSTANTLY wandering around back to check on the state of her underwear. She could have saved a prospective repetitive stress injury by merely asking passers-by, who were not only able to see her underwear but all of whom noticed it by virtue of the fact that none of us could look away. At any given moment the transient population of about ten feet of sidewalk were riveted by her underwear, which was hard for any newcomers to the vicinity to ignore.
Even the women wearing legitimate leggings were all concerned about the state of their underwear--in all cases justifiably so. And although it was comforting to note that the thong, previously the hallmark of feminine fashion stupidity, has receded into the background, I was so sorry for these women who felt they had to make constant adjustments for their comfort or decency. I submit that if we allow this trend to continue, we ladies are on the verge of losing the moral high ground from which we command men not to watch football with their hands down their sweatpants.
Why, for the love of all that is holy, WHY? If you're rocking a look, more power to you. Rock on. But if someone somewhere has convinced you to leave the house in something that is rampantly uncomfortable and makes you feel hideously, middle-schoolishly self-conscious, then WHY are you wearing it? You are not rocking said look. You are just suffering hideous discomfort in public.
And it is in this spirit, IR's, that I have ordered three pairs of flats with cushy rubber non-skid soles. Women, I beg of you, reject stupidity and wear whatever the fuck you want.
(You should really try being a steaming hypocrite. You get to blame Cosmo and shop for shoes for the good of womankind. It's awesome.)