Why do we care what other people wear?

“I don’t get why some girls feel the need to dress up for school. I mean, it’s school. Who are you trying to impress?”

Sitting in homeroom my junior year of high school, I overheard another girl say this and then outwardly sunk into my chair. Although I knew the words weren’t directed toward me, I couldn’t help but take them personally. Donning a floral dress, a pair of black flats, and a gold statement necklace, I felt like a prime example of my classmate’s criticisms. I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring, and I practically leapt out of my seat when it finally did. I spent the rest of the day mulling over the comment, wishing I’d had the courage to articulate just how incorrect it was.

That wasn’t the only time I heard someone talk about what another classmate was wearing. Now that I think about it, half of the gossip that carried through the school halls was comprised of ‘can you believe what they have on today?’ or ‘would you look at that?’ If a student dressed up, they were trying too hard. if a student dressed comfortably, they had no sense of style. There was no way to escape social judgement when it came to fashion, and I honestly don’t know why. But what I do know is that for some weird, outlandish, eyebrow-raising reason, we as a society have a real problem with other people’s clothes.

fashion blogger polka dots

As someone who loves fashion, I despise this. Style represents a lot more than just clothes. Above everything else, it’s a form of self-expression and creativity. Outfits can reflect moods and feelings, ideas and memories. Off the top of my head, I can picture several items in my closet that mean a lot to me despite being pieces of fabric, and I am certain I’m not the only person who feels that way.

While I wasn’t deeply affected by the comment made by my classmate, it did stick with me. I think about it every now and then and wonder how it might have affected someone else. It takes courage to wear something bold or attention-getting. I know from my own experiences that when you first really start experimenting with your style, you’re bound to encounter a few concerns, especially as you’re walking out the door. (Seriously, I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve caught myself thinking ‘am I sure this looks right?’ just as I was about to leave the house).  

Whether you care for it or not, style matters to people. For a lot of us, it’s a creative outlet, and it’s one that takes time to develop and grow comfortable with. I love clothes, but I haven’t always loved dressing up. And while that’s another post for another time, I think the idea behind it stands as important in this scenario as well. Finding the courage to dress up can be a challenge in and of itself. No one needs the added sense of judgement.  

I like fashion. I get excited about putting outfits together, stumbling upon old pieces in my closet, and finding ways to pair them with new ones. I don’t dress up to impress anyone; I dress up because I want to and because it makes me happy. That should be enough to satiate curiosity. And in an ideal world, I would be able to end the blog post right there on that note.   

fashion blogger close up

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top * (similar): Madewell

Pants * (similar): SheIn

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Because, as I mentioned earlier, we just can’t seem to stop talking about one another’s wardrobe. And we don’t only criticize people who like dressing up; we also do it to those who don’t. If you aren’t dressed up, you lack style. There’s no way around the judgement.

Which brings me to a question. A serious, genuine question.

WHO CARES?

Why does it matter what another person is wearing? How does it affect anyone else in any way? Whether you spend hours or seconds planning your outfits, you shouldn’t have to fret over what other people are going to say about them. Your outfits should not be subject to scrutiny. By no means is style a good criteria to judge someone by.

So, my parting thought is this: If you want to dress up, dress up. If you want to dress down, dress down. What you wear shouldn’t be up for conversation. After all, it’s you who’s wearing it, not anyone else.  

Thank you for reading!

Have you ever been judged for what you were wearing? 

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Hi, I'm Paige and my favorite things are lipstick, books, and coffee.

30 thoughts on “Why do we care what other people wear?

  1. People suck! It’s always been like that, where people judge for what others are wearing. I felt the same way back in high school, but after a while you just develop that “I don’t care about what people say” mentality and it gets better. I totally agree with you, express yourself! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice post. Jeans, grey T-shirt, black hoodie, black baseball cap times 7 days. That’s what’s in my closet. Just curious, do you think it’s weird to wear those Wellies boots on a sunny day, with no puddles?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. your hair looks amazing, your outfit is too cute & i love this message so much! who cares what someone else is wearing & who cares if you wanna put together a stylish outfit? fashion is the perfect way to express yourself & you’re doing just that 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg I can totally relate!! everyone always says at school that I am a try hard with my outfits. I personally think its fun to dress cute, and it is usually the highlight of my day. I would keep doing what you’re doing, btw I loveeee your outfit

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would hate when I would hear other girls saying “why is she so dressed up for?” or “why is she wearing that?’ girls would also tell me those things and I would answer back whether it was towards me or not. Like who cares? why are you so mad over it? like i am the one wearing the outfit not you. I think girls just get jealous or envy girls who are brave to wear whatever they want. I love wearing what I like at the end of the day because i really do it for me, no one else. Great post. I love your outfit by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am from the UK so I went to an all girls school and we had to wear a uniform! So no one could really judge each other. But I used to wear bright coloured jeans when I was younger which always got a few looks- but I didn’t really care. I feel like as long as you like what you are wearing it shouldn’t matter, if someone else doesn’t like it then they don’t have to wear it. 😊 this is such a nice post and great message xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wore a uniform as well through junior high, which definitely limited the amount of judgement people could pass on each other’s clothes! Love the fact that you didn’t care about what whether other people were looking at you when you were younger! And thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally agree, style is so much more than just what we’re wearing. it’s more complex than that. I used to dress up for school, we all did I suppose. My 14-year-old daughter doesn’t care at all and often dons the just got out of bed look for school. I don’t think the pressure is there at school these days. I could be wrong! On a side note, your brows are awesome!

    Samantha | https://thebeautyspyglass.com

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think ppl care what other ppl wear for the same reason ppl are always on gossip sites and watching reality shows. Whatever that reason is. I know I care what ppl wear simply for the love of fashion.

    Be that as it may, the spirit behind which we observe other ppl is really what needs to be addressed. Are we observing out of interest or to admire. Or are we observing to criticize and tear down because we don’t feel good about ourselves?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for this post! When I was younger I didn’t like fashion nor dressing up, so I just kept things simple and I remember people always having an opinion on that, I hated it. Now it’s okay, I enjoy having fun with fashion and I don’t know if I managed to be surrounded by good people or if I learned how to ignore the comments, but I’m feeling much better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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