There are many factors that influence the way we view and consequently judge other people.
I mean, yeah ideally, we shouldn’t let our opinions of someone depend on their physical appearance; however, if I see you wearing a Kappa Frappa Chino sorority tee-shirt, shorts made of a loose thin cotton material which were created using less than half a yard of fabric and some high-top white Converse I’m going to assume that I could not have an intelligent conversation with you.
The thing is our clothing choices give others material through which they can use to make assumptions about our social class, lifestyle, personality characteristics, and conversational skills. It’s a sad reality really. I’m being the perfect example of judging people based on stereotypes, but I’m going to assume that the word “like” will be one of the first words I hear from someone wearing that outfit. But this is a lesson in presenting your self accurately through your clothing choices.
Let me clear one thing up. I’m not a supporter of “slut shaming” or limiting people’s freedom to express themselves in any way they wish to, that includes what they choose to wear. I’m simply stating something we all do without thinking about our motives or the reason why we make these quick judgments. The reason is that stereotypes exist. That does not mean that they are accurate, and it certainly doesn’t mean that every sorority sis out there abuses the word “like” in the worst way. However, stereotypes are reinforced when people of a certain group exemplify the negative attributes of the stereotype their culture is characterized by.
Now I will address my own “fashion flaws”. I dress like I’ve just rolled out of bed and haven’t done laundry for weeks. I rarely brush my hair and from afar people could assume that I hadn’t showered in quite some time. I pass as a messy, dirty person, who’s probably struggling financially and with basic hygiene practices. And I’m okay with that because I shower sometimes and have a job (sometimes). I consciously make these decisions for a few reasons:
If you are going to judge me and choose not to talk to me based on my clothing, then you are doing me a service by not being a part of my experience.
I don’t particularly like brushing my hair.
Our society places such high importance on image and style and women experience the most pressure to be beautiful and pretty and put together all the time. I choose not to participate in the beauty contest because I ain’t ‘bout dat life.
Trying to be a fashionable person is exhausting and I hate shopping for clothes.
So in a nutshell our clothing choice is our choice and no one else’s. You will be judged by the clothes you wear and your appearance in general. Keep in mind not every person wearing black hates everything, many people who wear basketball shorts and Jordans are not athletes, and it almost pains me to say this: not all sorority girls are air-heads (except a lot are). And one last thing wear what you feel comfortable in, ’cause you’ll have more fun that way.