Style commandments to start the new year
IÂ donât understand a variety of things. I donât understand people who choose â without being physically threatened â to major in economics. I donât understand why tourists flock to Times Square on New Yearâs Eve to see a completely unsatisfying ball drop. And I donât understand people who put ketchup on their eggs.
But though I might not understand most things that are considered ânormalâ and upon graduation will be forced to learn how to rent an apartment, pay taxes and figure out how the stock market works, I somehow get the crazy world of fashion.
Now, when people say that theyâre into âfashion,â nine times out of 10, theyâre misspeaking. What theyâre trying to say is that they love everything to do with clothes, jewelry and more. They think that by memorizing obscure pre-fall runway shows, that somehow proves how stylish they are.
But being obsessed with the fashion world does not mean that you are a stylish dresser. As the famous Coco Chanel once said, âFashion changes, but style endures.â When you know fashion, you can accurately rattle off the creative directors of each major fashion house in Paris. When youâre stylish, you donât give a crap about whoâs the creative director of each house, as long as the clothes they create inspire you.
Those who are too cool or too busy to put time into their appearance donât realize that fashion is not necessarily all about vain appearances. No, when you wake up in the morning and decide what youâre going to wear, you are essentially telling the world what kind of person you are. You put on jeans? Youâre low-key and go for the classic. You put on a dress? Why, how soft, you must be a nice person (fools them every time). Youâre wearing all black? Move back to New York, Tisch transfer.
Your style is an immediate reflection of your personality that day. Mondays? I wake up early and put on jeans and sneakers and a pair of sunglasses that say âTalk to me and I cut you.â Tuesdays? Donât have class till 3:30â look at me in my fun dress with a smile!
To understand this concept is to truly understand fashion, and not just âknowâ it. To those die-hard fans, fashion is the most ridiculous yet important thing in the world. We all need clothes â legally â and most of us have a tendency to gravitate toward certain kind of clothes to such a degree that we fall into a rut. Thatâs why every student at âSC should make a pledge to try something different.
This is 2013. We survived the apocalypse. No more throwing USC sweatshirts over our clothes as an easy way to get through the day. No more wearing the same pair of Converse since the ninth grade because theyâre âcomfortableâ â they also smell incredibly bad.
So letâs agree to a new list of the Ten Fashion Commandments for Spring of 2013. Donât break any of the commandments, or else God will inflict her wrath. And in fashion heaven, God is Coco Chanel, and she is not forgiving.
1. Thou shall not wear yoga booty shorts to class. Yes, they are comfortable. Yes, for some reason boys love the sight of a gal in them. But, honestly, theyâre way too short to get away with. Just because itâs âspandexâ doesnât make it class-appropriate. We can see a sliver of your butt cheeks, and it is not a cute look.
2. Thou shall choose the best footwear possible for thy outfit. While you may want to wear sneakers with everything, unfortunately sneakers do not go with everything. Conversely, donât wear heels to class, it does not make you look better when you have to hobble around University Park.
3. Thou shall wear clothes that actually fit thee. This means no too-tight jeans as âinspirationâ to lose weight. This means a shirt that actually fits and doesnât look like a tent. You look your best self when youâre the most comfortable, so stop torturing yourself.
4. Thou shall wear clothes that are neither too old nor too young for me. Pantsuits at twenty? No. Pigtails at twenty? No. Youâre graduating and you still donât have a decent tie? Not okay. Dress your age.
5. Thou shall be more adventourous when it comes to experimenting with trends, but not when said trend breaks commandment numbers three and four. Just because leather leggings are in does not mean that everyone can try them. Just because Kanye West can pull off a kilt doesnât mean that every guy can. Know your limits. Experiment, but stay relatively normal.
6. Thou shall not purchase knockoffs. Not only does it encourage a black market that costs the fashion world millions of dollars a year, no knockoff is a good knockoff. People can smell a knockoff from a mile away. A $10 purse from Forever 21 looks better than a fake Coach bag. Trust me.
7. Thou shall stay away from all Ed Hardys. I can understand peopleâs fascination with Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, but thereâs no excuse for Ed Hardy. Just stop.
8. Thou shall not dress according to other peopleâs wishes. Unless it involves other people saying that Ed Hardy is okay, because it is never okay. If you have friends that tell you itâs okay, you need to get new friends.
9. Thou shall not make fun of other people for the way that they dress. Your classmate wants to be seen as the kid with the Crocs, or else he wouldnât wear the Crocs. This commandment does not apply, however, if a person is wearing Ed Hardy. Donât make fun of them, take them to a mall and get them the help that they need in the form of less rhinestones.
10. Thou shall look to thy ancestors for inspiration. It turns out your mother was quite the fashionable gal in the â80s. Every trend makes a comeback.
Whatever you think about fashion â dumb, amazing, riveting, overhyped, ridiculous â you canât deny the sort of power it has in our lives. Itâs something that impacts almost every single person on this planet, something that we take for granted cause itâs always been there.
Our style represents who we are not only to the people around us, but for those looking back in the years to come. I cringe every time I think about showing photos of myself during the early 2000âs to my grandkids one day. Those beaded cornrows and bandana tops seemed like a good idea at the time.
But thatâs what fashion is here for. Itâs here to excite, to bore, to transform us. It adapts with us, along for this ride of evolution. So instead of fighting it, hop on the bandwagon. Itâs way easier to understand fashion than to ignore it.
Where we go, it goes, and thatâs the way itâll always be.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in Critical Studies. Her column âA Stitch in Timeâ runs Tuesdays.