Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Slippery Slope Fallacy #9 - Old Rules are Good Rules

This is another installment on my fashion journey.  At 52 years old I discovered that I disliked nearly everything in my closet.  I took about a year to notice those feelings and begin breaking old habits.   An added bonus was that I was able to bust up one area of my life that had become full of clutter; my closet.  This is Fallacy #9 that I discovered I had accepted as true: 

9) Old rules are good rules: No long sleeves under short sleeves. The goal is always to make your hips appear smaller. No exposed cleavage. Your jewelry must match. Certain colors work together - stay in color families. No teenager stuff. No cutesey stuff. No cheap stuff. Coordinate your closet. Buy items together that you intend to wear together. Vintage means old; it means out of style. Never wear cheap jewelry. Save your new stuff for special occasions. Round tummies can't wear belts. Dress for the position you hope to be in one day, not the one you are in currently. You must have the best watch you can afford. If you haven't worn it in a year, you probably never will. Every woman has to have a LBD. Invest in a black suit. Never put anything away that has been worn without washing it. Sleeveless is for summer. Short sleeves are for summer. Long sleeves are for winter.

It took me almost the full year to realize this script was running in my mind 24/7.  Every time I entered my closet it was playing.  If I was out running errands, it was playing.  And if I went shopping for clothing it was blaring at top volume.  I thought I just didn't have enough of these tips memorized yet.  Each one I came across I added to the script. 

It was so flawed with bad advice!  And advice that contradicted itself even!  Two basic facts about my human physical body were not accounted for in the script.  I am an inverted V shape.  We account for only about 10% of women in the U.S.  Most advice for women's fashion is written assuming that your problem areas are your hips and rear.  And that you wish you had a bustline to balance out the extra width in the hips.  I am built exactly opposite!  The last thing I want to emphasize is my bustline.  So instead of having fun with the hipline designs that I was one of the few women who could wear - I was beating myself up trying to look as slim as possible at the hip and then only making the bustline more impossible to work with. 

And black, camel, tan and gray are all colors that make me feel and look like a stern, cranky old maid with bags under her eyes.  The day I cleaned them out of my closet, I immediately felt lighter and happier.  It was actually kind of weird to think that just the process of pulling them out could cause an emotional response.    I wrote about it here:


This list of fashion advice was like a giant flowchart where I checked off "yes" and "no" until I ended up in exactly one of two squares each day - black, boring, mass produced, expensive and expendable - or - worthless.  Either way I felt unhappy, depressed, disconnected, and old. 

Now I make it a priority to break as many of these rules as possible!   Notice.  Choose.  Act.


Terri said...

I'm learning to break the rules too, although I'm in boring black this month.

My blogger friend Ofelia has this same shape. Have you discovered her blog My Intended Life?

fashionoverfifty said...

The flow chart just really cracked me up! I'M ALL FOR BREAKING THE RULES--lets see how many we can break!!!

Kitty said...

I follow both of your blogs just because you are breaking those rules! It's great to have examples of other women experimenting with things I might like to try!

And I will be looking for Ofelia. I haven't come across her yet, so thanks!

Sheila said...

I LOVE this post, Kitty! Love.

Thank you so much for having me on your blogroll. :)