I really enjoy fashion and creative clothing choices, however, my skin problems prevent me from personally wearing anything but the simplest things—loose, natural fibers, etc. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, as I imagine it has saved me from making many foolish sartorial decisions…however, it did not stop me from pairing a black velvet dress with combat boots at my high school graduation…live and learn.
Being involved with a professional photographer for a while, I found it interesting the take of family portraits.
Fashion was discouraged. Instead, the go-to was usually dark jeans and a white t-shirt, (or similar). The reason was simple - stick with what looks good and lasts for time, not what is fashionable now so that the family portrait lasts.
In years to come when people look at the portrait, they see the family members. They don't want people to be distracted by the now 'horrible' but then 'wonderful' fashions are, but rather focus on the actual purpose of the portrait - the people. Obviously family portrait photography is a special interest, and it can be interesting to see candid shots at different events as to what people were wearing and have a laugh.
Buy I found the portrait photography funny, because the sorts of clothing that I get accused for wearing as 'unfashionable' often matched closely what portrait photographers recommended in their shoots. I go back through years of our photo's and I don't cringe with what I am wearing, and seldom are the focus of 'how could you wear that' compared to others in photos. Yet all the time, wearing the similar kids of clothes, I get teased about how 'unfashionable' things are.
My conclusion that I took away from this many years ago was simply that "fashion is a lie, and a con" to the point where I have seen many women convinced that they can only wear a dress once to one wedding or party. (Well, true if it's the wedding dress, it should only be worn to one wedding once but apart from that, why not the other dresses?) It has people throwing out perfectly good clothes just because 'someone' has declared it's no longer fashionable and no longer 'in season', and they're more worried about other people's perceptions. I can't help but wonder if it's helped us move towards the trap of social validation, where our confidence comes from the approval acknowledgement of others.
I get that some people enjoy changing things up and enjoy fashion, and I don't judge. But at the same time, I'm so grateful I've got a different mindset.
Here is a picture taken at my birthday celebration a few years ago. Going from right to left are myself, my friend Mike, my brother-in-law Joe, Mike's daughter Diana, his wife and her mother, Jill. My sister Paddy took the photo.
I don't know if how we were dressed would be consider casually fashionable. That's not what we were concerned with. We were all having a very good time. Enjoying each other's company, and that's what counts.