Friday, July 18, 2014

Philadelphia Street Style: Shereece in Vintage Jason Wu, Walnut St

Shereece got this entire silk Jason Wu ensemble from the second-hand clothing chain Buffalo Exchange "for like 15 bucks." The pillbox purse she picked up at Family Dollar for four bucks. Shereece works at a '50s clothing boutique herself, so she's always on the look out for a vintage steal. "This [outfit]," she told me, "kind of fit the mold." She describes her style as "all over the place." "If it feels good," she says, "I'll wear it." But what feels good for her tends towards the cute and the retro, Bettie Page meets Holly Golightly. As for her musical taste, she listens to "pretty much everything," she says. "Right now I’m super heavy into Lady Gaga, but I’ll listen to anything. I’m very open to anything. If it sounds good – if it makes me feel good, I’m all about it."

I hear a lot of this kind of casual, "whatever," "anything that makes me feel good" comment about style when I'm on the streets, and I have no reason to doubt that this, in fact, is how quite a lot of people decide what to wear or to listen to. Their choices are emotional, intuitive, rooted in a sort of everyday hedonism that has little to do with complex symbolism or class-based distinctions. And yet, I can't help but notice that peoples' "comfort zones" are decidedly limited. People may wear whatever feels good, but not all that much, when it comes right down to it, "feels good." We wear what fits our self concept. We wear what we associate with feeling confident or in control. We wear what we've always worn or what those around us or who we admire wear. And when we do so, it feels good. It feels natural. It feels like us. That feeling — of naturalness, of comfort, of "just being ourselves" — has a pattern and a structure to it, even if it is continually evolving. And it always is evolving. Our sense of comfort changes as fashion changes around us. We continually position ourselves, consciously or not, in relation to the fashion of others. Our style, that is, has a history. My job as an anthropologist of style is to begin to see the arch of that history and to capture it — whether through photos or write-ups — as best I can.   

1 comment:

  1. She seems awesome and i love her outfit!! This was beautifully written and very quote-worthy!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.