Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stirring up a hornet's nest

Miss O'Hara did just that by setting out some guidelines to dressing well for women. It was a companion post to Blake's Guide to Dressing Up for Guys.. which was all prompted by my post on metrosexuality.

So it was all my fault. :)

I would like to include my full, un-edited comment that went up on Miss O'Hara's blog. I toned it down because darn Elena for posting just before me and being so civil! In all it's snarky glory:

Allow me to summarize the overall tone of this “debate”:

I don’t want to dress up and I’m going to find every excuse I can to not do so. I will hide behind Scripture. I will hide behind my job. I will say I don’t have enough money. Anything to not have to get out of a wife beater and my ugly jeans.

60 years ago, ladies our grandmother’s age were also school teachers. They didn’t wear icky clothes to work on the pretense of having to roll around with the kids. It may not be as absurd as Leave it to Beaver but I agree with Miss O’Hara. Always be presentable. You never know who you are going to meet. Dress for the occasion.

When you go to the gym, you don’t have to wear a ratty, holey t-shirt and nasty shorts. You don’t have to wear a super-tight outfit either. Both types are saying something. One says “I’m dressing this way to get you to notice my hot bod.” The other is saying “I’m dressing this way to scare you away.” The latter will also generally come back with vitriolic comments about noticing people for their good qualities. When you have that much anger about not caring how you look and you aren’t out to impress people.. well, you are impressing people.. and they are just going to keep on walking.

You can wear a nice t-shirt and shorts. They cover and they allow freedom to move.

When you are lounging, again, you can buy nice things at Target for $13 – another cute little t-shirt and jammy pants. Style does NOT have to come from high-end boutiques or department stores.

Would you translate personal sloppiness to your home? I cannot recall where I read it specifically but I read in a Christian magazine a couple of years back that your home should look as though you were inviting Jesus in for a meal. It is being a good steward of your resources – maintaining your home. Would you invite ANYONE over, let alone our Savior, and your home is unkempt? I doubt it. Most people are embarrassed when others come over to see the mess in the living room. “We are painting in this room.” or some other excuse is offered to cover it up.

Instead of offering up legitimate counter points, several of you have decided to use attacks on Miss O’Hara by calling her shallow and conceited. How about this: Miss O’Hara chooses to dress differently than you do. And she has an opinion about personal style that is different from yours. So, tell me, what is yours instead of calling people names?

The vitriolic nature of the responses shows me that maybe, just maybe, some of you are insecure in how you look. Some have advised to focus on what’s important – character, inner beauty. I agree, whole-heartedly. It’s hard work to push past our nature that is so visually attuned to look at what’s inside. But do you get nervous around a homeless person? I do. That is my own area of weakness. I struggle to look them in the eye as I would anyone else on the street. But my eyes will also drift if I see someone dressed better than me. I won’t go up to them either. “I’m beneath them.” It runs both ways.

Several have cited they met their husbands at the gym or other non-dressy place. OK… but did you wear your work out clothes the entire time you were courting? Did you EVER put on something nice because you were going out?

It is being a good steward of your resources to dress appropriate to the situation and for what you can afford. Your shoes to not have to come from Manolo Blahnik. Target has great shoes for $20. Don’t go into debt over your clothes – that is definitely not a good idea. I doubt anyone online shops at Goodwill because they have to. If you do and you are online, then maybe you should re-examine your financial priorities.

Or more succinctly: Bloody h*ll. What is going on here? Another person said for Miss O'Hara to call when she railed against tight clothing with the thong sticking out. I believe I addressed that to some degree in my "say no to track suits" post. But I will say – a woman’s skirt should cover her naughty bits when she sits in a chair. That’s just disgusting otherwise. *shudder*

Even our resident redneck Nate has one nice shirt. I saw the picture from the picnic.