The Horror: Street Style

First of all, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with these clothes. What bothers me is that these are street style photos from snapped during Fashion Week and posted as an example of the best everyday looks fashionistas have to offer.
I live in Northern Indiana. South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame, is not a small town, but Amish farms are only an hour away. Nearby, Elkhart is a factory town with some of the worst unemployment in the country. A guy said to me once that he didn't understand my outfit because I couldn't muck a stable in it. He was completely serious.

People here, and throughout the Midwest, dress practically. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, some of fashion's most loved items -- trench coats, blue jeans, biker boots -- were born from sheer practicality. While many people here manage to look professional and put-together, many more wear their worst clothes to work because the chances of ruining something with welding splatter or industrial-grade caulk are pretty high.
Fashion isn't on every corner here. It's not like you can really rush into Walmart, buy the first thing you see in your size, and walk out in the latest trend. In this area, fashionable people -- people who assemble their outfits with whimsy, trends, and personality in mind -- have to spend more time and thought on their clothes than would someone living in a large city. Therefore, I'm very bothered when I see magazines and blogs based in large, coastal cities making fun of the way people in the Midwest dress.
So when a major fashion outlet posts pictures of models wearing an RV lineman's best Saturday night bar duds and calls it cutting-edge, I'm more than a little irritated. You can't mock people for dressing how they need to for work, then idolize a thin, urban teens for wearing the same thing. It smacks of elitism and snobbery.


Anonymous said…
Now I'm irritated.

Anonymous said…
loved this post ... its soo true

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