Member since 4/25/10
Date: 10/3/10 12:35 PM
Well, we have to remember that New York has it's own culture, just as small town Central Texas does where I live. The fun of dressing a certain way is part of that culture. I personally wouldn't bother wearing such impractical and unhealthy shoes, but the point in them is not practicality but art in the form of fashion. To me, to spend hundreds of dollars on artistic but unhealthy shoes would not be something I would do. Shoes take a beating, besides. It's a poor investment. But, I can appreciate the art of it even if I won't do that to my wallet or my feet or my back.
Please note that there were no small children or laundry baskets in the NYC street photos.
I can see wearing really nice looking shoes to a luncheon for fun and wearing something that coordinates but is a healthier and less expensive shoe on the street. I find that business pumps last much, much longer if I wear a rubber soled nondescript ballet shoe or something like that on the street and into work and then slip into my business pumps at my desk. I look a bit more professional in them and they don't get beaten up by rough roads, cracks, rocks, etc. They really last MUCH longer. I also don't sweat in them as it's very hot here. So, they don't get stinky like a lot of shoes do here when they are worn without thick cotton socks.
No, I wouldn't wear them, but remember these people have different lifestyles than we have, and it's just part of the culture. I assure you that they look at what we wear and say, "Why would anyone wear that!?"
I agree with Bill Cunningham that the best length is the one that flatters the most. The caveat is that that length is not always the most practical.
For example, if your personal values indicate that a longer skirt is more suitable, then wear it. Looking like Barbie is sort of low on the priority list for real women, in my opinion. Sorry if that offends.
Or, if want to wear skirts but have lots of little kids and bending and sitting on the floor, etc. well, a narrow skirt is just really not going to work. Wear that full skirt, but consider how it can be both practical and flattering. For example, a skirt that is full on the bottom may be narrow on the top, hugging the waistline rather than highly gathered at the waist in a way that adds pounds and heavy fabric.
As for the issue of looking matronly, it is a great thing to feel comfortable in your own skin and your own life. We don't need to be constantly trying to look like teenagers. IF fashion is the focus, there are styles that can fit that focus on older, shorter, plumper figures more than other styles. But, for many of us, our focus is on our families, our careers, our values, our longterm goals. We don't need to conform to a city culture or fashion culture or whatever you call it.
I would say that the best skirt length is truly the one that fits you and your needs and values and activities best overall. In college, someone once said to me, "You're gorgeous, but you don't play it up. You could look like a model if you spent more time fixing your hair, your makeup, shopping and that sort of thing." I just said, "I don't want to spend my life fussing over my appearance. If I look good, great, I'll use that as an opportunity to do LESS and not more because maybe that's meant somehow to relieve me of some of the social pressure to look a certain way." Well, that's a paraphrase.
We don't have to "do the most with what we have" in terms of our appearance. Maybe we ought to focus instead on doing the most with what we have in terms with our whole personhood. I'd much rather write about something I care about than to curl my hair, put on Rogaine to keep it thick, paint my nails, or shop for shoes. But, that's me. I like dressing up, but it's not important to me.
I would much rather we all be individuals than all do the same thing and that same time and try to look all alike.
I read once about a man in Hollywood who was looking for his wife at a party. He glanced over at a group of women and realized that from the back he couldn't tell which was his wife or even if she was among them. They all were thin, fake tanned, blonded artificially and blown dry. They all wore beige, a color that supposedly was supposed to look flattering on middle aged women in Hollywood. They all wore slim, straight smooth pants, beige, elongating shoes, elegant beige beautifully draping tunics, and huge diamond rings. They all had dramatic, smoky eyes so from a distance he couldn't even tell when he caught a glimpse of their faces. He literally had to walk over to them, walk around where he could see their faces and study them for a minute to identify his wife.
I don't want to be like everyone else. I don't want to follow a stranger's "rules" for dressing or appearance. I had been following the rule for lightening your hair over time and it just made me look like everyone else. Finally, I told my hairdresser to color my hair the color of my roots (minus the heavy white component). I have had tons of compliments, from strangers, from friends, etc. though I didn't point anything out. The darker color, which really shocked me as my hair normally lightens as it grows and this was all dark, dark brown now, brings out the Hispanic in me that due to a lack of Hispanic cultural influence, I tend to forget about. It looks stunning, at least compared to my washed out highlighted look. And, I got it cut shorter, which I had thought would look mannish. But, it's very feminine and I have little to do to fix it.
So feel free to ignore the rules and be yourself. I get tired of lookalikes.