Dear Adventurous Dressers:
I love y’all. You peeps are total eye candy. I am always thankful when I see someone with unique style. But if you’re dressing in an eye-catching way, don’t whine* when people stare at you. Hello! Thefreedictionary.com defines “eye-catching” as “to be attractive or different enough to be noticed by people.” So why are you surprised when people stare at your homemade tutu? Or snicker at your crazy leggings? Be real. People are going to look — and, admit it — don’t you kind of like it? My advice is to take sideways glances and even snide comments and outright insults as compliments. If you don’t have the guts for that, buy some t-shirts and jeans at the mall and go unnoticed.
Tough love from,
*There’s a difference between telling a great story (like this one) about people’s reactions and whining. All I can say is I know it when I see it.
i love the “old people” street style. i hope i’m that sassy one day.
Nina (femme rationale) says
LOL what a great letter. yes, i admit i’ve received some snide looks and comments for my outfits but hey…u can’t please everyone. i think being yourself and expressing your individuality is more stylish than anything else.
La Belette Rouge says
I agree, I don’t think that a gal like Iris gives it a second thought when people stare. I am sure that she enjoys the attention. If one doesn’t want to be stared out there are ways to blend in so no one notices you. But, an ensemble like that one that Iris and many of the folks at Adventurous Dressers are a neon sign that flashes “notice me.”
I never bat an eyelid when people give me that old sideways “Wha?” look or the sneery one either. I don’t like it when the other mommies at the playground are a bit stand-offish because of what I wear though, because that affects my little boy – and I think it’s just dumb, narrow-minded and high schoolish!
i love this
I agree — you’ve got to like it if you dress eyecatchingly. And you deserve it for being risky! And I can appreciate that. If others cannot then they’re just junk.
I get your point and in a way I know you’re right. But you have to understand that there are shy people out there who enjoy playing with fashion.
Sharon Rose says
Hi there-As I get older, I’m pleased my self confidence has grown to the extent I will wear what I want, rather than conforming. When some people look at people dressed more ‘eye catching’, I’m sure some are secretly jealous too that they don’t have the individuality or style to dress so differently and uniquely!!
Make Do Style says
Do people really whine about being stared at. Gosh I weathered the insults for years when I was very adventerous and even now I’d rather be noticed than not!
Hot Bot says
Hear hear Wendy! Tough love can be the best.
Ashe Mischief says
I once got stared at in a Wal-mart for wearing a black t-shirt, jeans, and motorcycle boots. It was so obvious my mother almost stopped the girls to ask them what the hell their problem was.
Deja Pseu says
I used to enjoy wearing weird stuff that would “shock the bourgeoisie.” (Like my neon green Reebok hi-tops back in the 80’s. Those shoes would stop traffic.) When I’m feeling my least confident I dress more to blend in, but when I’m in my element, out comes the leopard print!
May Kasahara says
I sometimes get stared at, but also stare at people myself. All the time. When I see something interesting, of course I want to take a good look, for heaven’s sake. It is NOT a condescending or judgmental look! Take it as a sign of admiration.
This is way too cool! I’m saving this in FB.
Allure, people have to deal with reality and accept that they can’t have their cake and eat it too — they can either dress crazy and deal with the consequences (which will help one get over shyness, I’ve found) or dress boringly and not get any attention. The reality is that you can’t dress crazy and go unnoticed, so if someone is that shy, he/she should confine dress-up to his/her bedroom. And of course shy people who play around with fashion can still tell stories about the reactions they get in a funny rather than self-pitying way. It’s the people who feel sorry for themselves because someone stared at their 10 clashing patterns that irk me.
Vasiliisa, so agree with you — I love to take a good look at an interesting outfit.
pistols at dawn says
I recommend my route: being so self-obsessed that you don’t even notice the mockery of others.
Miss Janey says
Thanks for the link, WendyB. Funny story. Miss J has come to believe more & more that when she feels a judgy little comment bubbling up, its time to examine her own motivations.
And if people snicker because she's wearing a hat, they're just too jealous to know what to do with it. It is the chance you take when you do your own thing.
I’m with Pistols.^^
Iris Apfel is the bomb diggety. And yes – enough with the complaining about the gaze. Stay at home if it bothers you that much.
This reminds me of one of my favourite Onion headlines “Area woman wishes men would stop staring at her breast implants.”
market publique says
i agree! i tell my husband it’s like the proverbial tree in the forest: Is it still a fabulous outfit if nobody sees it?
Dapper Kid says
I love this post 🙂 I love seeing people with their own quirky style, I can’t help but look at them and smile, and more often than not they smile back! Whenever I decide to wear something that attracts attention, I look for that smiling person, they make it worth a lot more 🙂
Step Right Up says
I’m sorry. Could you repeat that? I was too busy gawking at Iris’ sunshine yellow britches and making fun of her glasses. No, seriously. Say it again. I promise to listen this time.
I immediately thought of the KOS story about being “an eyesore” and lo and behold, when I clicked that link….
The Seeker says
I love this post Wendyb!!!!
You’re so right and you called my attention to something that I use to complain about when people stares at me in my small comunity.
But you’re right “If you don’t have the guts for that, buy some t-shirts and jeans at the mall and go unnoticed”.
Thank you for this.
I wish I could dress how I truly feel, but Sydney Australia can be quite harsh. I do have the odd piece I wear out which screams “attention”, it’s nice to stand out of the crowd.
As an ex. Goth and punk rocker…I agree 100%.
If you don’t have the guts or backbone to wear eye-catching clothing…stay out of the flashy clothing pool.
Diabolina 3.1 says
i love attention. I guess that’s why I love fashion 🙂
-h of candid cool says
man, i regret not taking iris’s picture when i saw her @ an art show, but i probably would have had my camera confiscated as she was flanked by security and i had to smuggle my camera inside in the 1st place.
i figure that people are going to stare at me anyway, i might as well 1) get used to it and 2) give them something to look at.
I couldn’t agree more!
I love going over the edge! And I hope I would inspire someone to wear yellow tights too! 😉
I hear you and I agree with most of that advice, but I still think people that stare mouth agape and snicker are lame asshats.