Like all origins of good articles, the idea for this particular one came to me in a nightclub toilet in Leeds. I had got to that stage of the night where my up-do had collapsed in on itself like a badly made spongecake, I couldn’t quite get my legs to co-ordinate with each other and I was trying to re-apply lipstick by jabbing away at my lips at random. So I needed a boost, and this came to me in the form of two equally drunk looking girls. The perceiving of me from afar did initially make me quite paranoid and I attempted to saunter out with an air of ‘don’t care’. However, on my way they stopped me and were full of compliments about my outfit, “I love your boots. Where are they from?” Music to a drunk and self-conscious girl’s ears. Not only did this encounter provide me with the more than necessary escorts to help me up the stairs, it gave me the boost I needed to cheer me up for the rest of the night.
So this got me thinking, why is fashion so bitchy? Why are compliments so unexpected from strangers? Is there something about a female, or even a reserved British mind-set that doesn’t allow one to readily give compliments? My nightclub encounter made me consider that we should attempt to remove these constraints, even in the real, sober light of day. When you see someone wearing something incredible, rather than just attempting to admire the clothing from afar and slightly creeping the person out (something I have done far too often when admiring an amazing piece of clothing) why not try, ‘excuse me but I think you’re outfit is amazing.’ You might even learn where it’s from, and then there always the bonus points just in case karma is a real thing.
And perhaps it is a particularly female trait to be shy with the compliments yet more than generous with the bitching. The opinion of other people does become far too relied upon by women. The simple overhearing of negative comments about your outfit can immediately force you to reconsider what you thought to be perfect. So in order to restore a little more positivity and confidence in women, I would call for the compliment a stranger idea.
When we see headlines of celebs trashing each other’s outfits, yes we may agree, “so and so does look like a Barbie doll in all that spandex.” However, does this make the bitchier come off any better than her victim? You may look amazing in your red-carpet choice but bitching makes you immensely less attractive.
Conversely, please allow me to absolutely contradict myself when I say yes, I do love a good indulgent look at the latest celebrities who are in need of fashion policing, as most fashion followers do. So, is this bitchiness necessary to the fashion industry? The exclusivity of certain looks, the rarity of getting it absolutely right and the drama of being the first to wear it, all boil down to the competitive nature of fashion which is bound to include bitching.
What may be a good idea is to restore a little balance; along with the negative we need a little more positive reinforcement in both magazines and day to day life to give women the boost they need to wear what they truly love. When you feel the need to complement clothing then do so, whether you know the wearer or not, it is bound to make her day.