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Friday, June 29, 2012

Death by Good Taste

"Remember that always dressing in understated good taste is the same as playing dead."  ~Susan Catherine

Good taste conveys good breeding, good sense, and a good education. Right? 
Um, no.

First, I don't think that breeding, sense and education are necessarily the best hallmarks to aspire to. They're not a guarantee of a good or interesting person, or even someone worthy of knowing. Second, the visual 'cues' that suggest 'good taste' can be learned without benefit of especially good breeding, sense or education. I've met plenty of people seemingly oozing 'good taste' who were truly snakes underneath that impeccable exterior. On the other hand, I've also met lots of people with totally unassuming exteriors, and not to be unkind, but downright slovenly appearance who turned out to be fascinating, wonderful people most worthy of knowing. The kind of person I'm honored to have in my life. There's a much better place in between these two extremes- a more fun, enjoyable and honest place.

When I get dressed in the morning it's almost like I pick a 'role' to play. Like I'd play 'dress up' when I was a little girl. I have FUN with my appearance.  As a general rule, I have 4 or 5 different styles.  My 'professional' persona comes closest to good taste, but even that I just can't leave alone, because that's just not who I am.  I wear the suit or dress at the proper hemline, but it's a bit more fitted than might be considered in 'good taste.'  Though my shoes are respectable pumps or sling-backs, they are, as always, 5 inch platform stilettos.  And my jewelry, though more restrained than usual, is still on the gaudy side.  I mean, I love the feel of the fine silk blouse (that costs more than my rent) and the beautiful loafers (that cost more than my motorcycle) but really- if I put them on I get BORED. They look boring. To me the only thing impressive about them is the price and that those who see them will know what they cost. Honestly- a cheap t-shirt from a lowly chain store is often just as comfy- and flattering, dare I say- as that expensive, designer silk blouse.  More to the point, despite the fact that everyone will clearly see the 'good taste' of this outfit, it doesn't reflect who I am.  It just broadcasts that I'm too insecure to express ME, that I'm invested (literally) in impressing others. In getting 'validated' externally.

I'm FAR more than just someone with good breeding, good sense and a good education. I'm willing to bet you are too. (Ok, some might say I often display a decided lack of sense. And maybe my breeding is a tad questionable.) My interests are, shall we say, sometimes what others might consider a tad over the edge- I don't exactly follow convention in most areas of life.  Except with my personal relationships- then I try to be simple and honest and follow the golden rule. That's one area in which I'm willing to be boring and reliable. Anyway. Why should my clothes be boring? Why would I want to misrepresent myself that way? In the end, who does that serve?

My point is, is it worth giving up your chance at self expression just to be safe, impress others? Even if you've simply never taken the time to explore what your self-expression might be, or consider yourself a total non-artistic left brain-er, you may find if you make the conscious effort to develop this part of yourself that you have some very unexpected and decided preferences- perhaps even a very interesting style. And you may find you really, really enjoy it. If you know what colors and design lines make you look your best you can work with them to develop whatever style makes your heart sing. 

Life is just too short to be boring.  

Happy Dressing!