I hope we all know better

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A conversation I recently had with a co-worker has been nagging me. Our chat stemmed from a visit from one of our regular customers who brings her daughter with her whenever she shops. The "regular" is in her late 50's/early 60's, and her daughter is around 30. The regular lives in a very rural area here in Illinois, and her daughter works in a larger city out of state comparable to Portland or Boise.

The clientele for the store I work in are mostly in their late 50s, and the clothing we sell is tailored to fit their needs and aesthetic, which is largely conservative (think: high necklines, lower hemlines) and less-trendy (paisley everywhere, all the time). The regular's daughter loves dressing her mom, who is very conservative and loves the clothes in the store. The daughter, however, wears her own style, which is quite akin to Joan from Madmen in many ways. (Think: red hair, round hips, figure-hugging). And the daughter always wears heels and a bright red lip.

It's no secret that I admire the daughter's style. I compliment her every time she comes in. It's also no secret that I hope never to wear the clothes I now sell. BUT I don't bash the people who love that style and wear it with pride. That's not the case with my co-worker.

As soon as the mother and daughter left, she ranted about how awful the daughter's sense of style was and how she should hide her fat instead of flaunting it. Apparently, figure-hugging clothing is a no-no in some fashion book. My co-worker was genuinely confused when she asked me, "why would you wear a vibrant, sateen emerald green dress AND red lips when shopping in a mall?"

Of course, I found nothing wrong with the daughter's style choices. Just as much as I found nothing wrong with the mother's ensemble which consisted of a baby blue bib sweater, twill khakis, baby blue orthopedic loafers, and baby blue purse (all the exact same shade of baby blue, mind you). To me, as I tried to explain to my co-worker, one's style choices are their own. We shouldn't force them to choose differently, unless they ask for our help. And we have no right to judge how people choose to look because we don't know and cannot be absolutely sure why they choose to look that way.

I guess what I'm coming to is that I embrace all aesthetics. Sure, there are a lot that I personally don't find appealing for myself to wear, but I embrace them nonetheless. It bugs me when judgments are made based on a person's manner of dress. It's unfair and very discriminatory.

I'm not sure I convinced my co-worker, who looked at me like I was crazy after I gave my spiel. She may have thought I was stretching it when I compared her comments to bullying. But we all know better, right? 

35 comments:

  1. she sounded quite bitchy to do that right after they left. she could have kept those negative comments to herself for sure! it was nice you tried to be diplomatic on it. Cute outfit btw!

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  2. Don't let your co-worker get under your skin. There are ignorant people everywhere. Your co-worker is probably jealous of your customer's daughter.

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  3. sorry to say Laura that i avoid anybody who is like your co-worker - She is sorry again to say stupid and broadminded - you had a lot of patience to try to explain to this person, she totaly deserve a gfy - if you know what i mean -

    Ariane x

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  4. Your co-worker sounds like she has some issues! Fashion is in the eye of the beholder. At least you tried to make your co-worker see it from a different point of view.

    Your outfit is really cute too!

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  5. I really dislike girls who work in retail and have that mean girl mentality, I've met one too many imo. Good for you for sticking up for that lady and her daughter. I would also agree that you can easily compare it to bullying because she wasn't being constructive she was being hurtful and negative. It's one thing to point out something doesn't fit but when she takes it the next level and says that the girl is fat, she's crossed the line.

    OMG blinged out Hello Kitty watch!!! ;)

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  6. Wowza...but huge kudos to you for voicing your opinion! Also, I love your stripe top. Sorry, that doesn't really fit here but it had to be said.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  7. I agree that fashion is a personal choice and think it's great that you spoke up!

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  8. I'm glad you stuck up for that girl and for yourself. :)

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  9. Before anything else, I love your watch. Anyway, good job on standing your ground Laura :) Some people just don't understand. This is why people (like me) have issues on their bodies.

    xo,
    janmloves.blogspot.com
    I'm having a giveaway on my blog if you're interested :)

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  10. I call that stuff style-shaming. There's ALL kinds of shaming and it IS a form of bullying. Everyone has the freedom to wear what they want to, so what they want to. If you don't agree then keep you lip zip I say. Good for you for saying something. As women we shouldn't be putting each other down every chance we get-we should be building each other up and be supportive! You rock Laura!

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  11. I get bothered by the attitude that curvy gals should hide their figures. If someone is comfortable wearing fitted clothes, then they should go for it.

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  12. I'm glad you said something to her. Even if she doesn't change her way of thinking, maybe she'll think before saying something next time in order not to offend the people around her. Also? Your necklace makes me happy.

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  13. The daughter's style sounds awesome in my book! I have no issues with people's different tastes as long as they have a point of view or some actual style to their look. I don't appreciate boring, everybody looking the same stuff. Or athletic clothes worn as regular clothes at all times. But this girl and her mother had a sense of style that they enjoy and I'm all about that!

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  14. You're right. People's judgments can be disdainful especially when they judge others so quickly. I personally find nothing wrong with hip hugging, form fitting bright colors and a red lip. I think she's very bold for wearing it and that more than expresses her individuality :)

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  15. to each their own, right??? that just irks me when people make judgements on others when there is definitely no need for it. blah!

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  16. Yep, we all know better. I like this entry, Laura. I really don't see any reason why people would judge or say something about the way you dress. To each his own.

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  17. Exactly! Just because it's not right for you doesn't mean that it's wrong! We all need to be a little more tolerant in this world and less judgey-wudgey!

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  18. I love your positive and non-judgmental way of thinking:) Way to go - I'm glad you decided to speak up.

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  19. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they should keep them to themselves...especially if it is judgmental and hurtful. Yay, you, for sticking up for those wonderful regulars! Cute watch!!

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  20. I need to go thrifting with you that's for sure. Your bag is beyond cuteness!

    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

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  21. I have SO been in that type of setting...the minute somebody dresses in a style that "stands out" from the crowd, they're a magnet for taunting and criticism. It's amazing how much dress can alienate you from others...but then I guess they're not worth being around!

    <3 Cambria
    jupefashion.blogspot.com

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  22. love your outfit!
    stripes are always a winner ;)
    love the glasses too!
    Rosie xo
    A Pocketful of Rosie

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  23. First, I love your outfit. The stripes are lovely and you adorable.

    Secondly, I agree with you. Style is something everyone has to develop for themselves. And as long as that person is happy and comfortable and what they are wearing makes them feel good that is all that counts.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  24. For starters...I adore what you're wearing! It's so you and so cute!

    Secondly, I love your take on people's aesthetic choices. I support curvy woman who decide to showcase their body. As long as it's done in a sophisticated/tasteful way, I don't see anything wrong with. I only have issues with women (thin or curvy) who decided to showcase skin everywhere! I'm glad you love your body in such a confident way, but I just disagree with showcasing ALL of it at one time! No offense to those who do it, perhaps this is where I disagree with aesthetic choices.

    xo,
    nancy

    http://adoretoadorn.blogspot.com

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  25. Hear, hear! I wouldn't say you were stretching it when you compared her comments to bullying. Bullying takes many forms and doesn't just affect school children. Everyone's style is precisely that: their own. Their is absolutely no need to bring someone down based on their clothing choices, especially when in the case for some there isn't much of a choice.

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  26. I agree. I have a friend who is always making fun of others and how they choose to dress, etc. I know it is insecurity coming out and it just sucks that it comes out that way. I always enjoy the unique style of others, it gives me a ton of inspiration for myself as well!

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  27. Good for you!!! It's so easy when we get together (esp as women) to judge other women's clothes, makeup, figure etc but it's not our place because to each her own (and the daughter sounds pretty fab in my books) but then again so does paisley (I even wore it yesterday!) :)

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  28. Loving the stripes top paired with a polka dot bag!! You look super cute as always!! love your bow necklace also <3

    ang-closet365.blogspot.ca

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  29. Yes, judging, especially one's style is always annoying and frustrating, yet it happens all the time ... so sad. I love your watch, it's so adorable. Enjoy your weekend.

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  30. Laura, I love this post! Most definitely we should "live and let live." While this may be a cliche, it is all too true. Like you mention, we should not judge others. Life is too short to spend criticizing others. Instead, we should live our lives joyfully, wearing whatever we want, and if that means red lippy and a green sateen dress, then so be it! I love the Hello Kitty watch, by the way! :)

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  31. Go Laura, go Laura, GO! Darn right your co-worker is so wrong! How BORING would this planet be, if we all wore matching outfits? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and no eyes look upon you more than your own, so dress the way your eyes are attracted to! The customers sound lovely, secure in their tastes. Your co-worker, totally insecure and stuck! BE FREE! haha! I hope you are well little lady, I am sorry I have not replied to you in ink yet! Bad girl! Will be done though, for sure! ;) Stay wonderful! xxx

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  32. The navy top + the red lips + the glasses = a lovely pin up !
    http://selenite.weebly.com

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  33. Love, love, love the Hello Kitty watch!!

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your comments make my day. thanks! ♥