Showing posts with label "look". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "look". Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I remember how shocked everybody was when Pat Boone, the world's most wholesome and clean-cut singer, tried to recast his image as a bad dude homeboy. Meg Ryan did the same thing. Both were tired of being typecast. Maybe it's a sign of the times.

I'm amazed how many people would answer the question, "Should you go with the look that's right for you?" with a "No." Lots of people deliberately dress in a way they know doesn't match their physique or their personalities.

It's all about image and lifestyle. People dress to conform to a lifestyle or to express their rebellion against a lifestyle. People want to look good, but are willing to accept just plain okay, or even positively bad, if it means they can lead "The Life."

The girl above is a case in point. With her physical type she should probably dress neat and casual like a 70s airline stewardess. It's not a bad look, but instead she goes for an awkward dominatrix feel. Now there's nothing wrong with looking like a dominatrix if you have the face and body for it... but does she? I don't read her as being particularly edgy. She strikes me as someone who'd just doesn't like to be thought of as old-fashioned.

One of the reasons people dress against type is because they're afraid that looking like the detested type will actually cause them to act that way. Maybe they're right. I always act a little like the way I dress. I guess that's why schools insist on uniforms (above). The idea is that if you look neat and studious, then you'll behave that way.

But there's a counter-argument that says you should dress for physical type. There's an intuitive rightness about it. People who do it are often charismatic and envied by other people. Take the girl above: the mod Peter Sellers look isn't right for everybody, but if fits her like a glove. No doubt her personality's had to deform a bit in the Peter Sellers direction, but she looks confident and happy, and you get the feeling that the trade off was worthwhile.

Did this girl (above) change her personality to fit her hair? Who knows? In her case it doesn't matter because she's a perfect physical fit for the Barbi look and when a fit is that perfect, the wearer has no choice but to go with it. Her parents, her friends, other women, kids, people on the street...everyone would have conspired to push her in one direction. People instinctively want you to play the cards you're dealt.

For my part, I truly believe that if you're lucky enough to have a physical type that fits a certain look, then you should commit to that look 100%. If you don't, you'll come off as a person who's not comfortable in his own skin.

If you're a conservative but you look good as a goth or a hip hopper then you should go for it. If you're a liberal but you look good in golf shirts, then that's the look for you. It'll change you a little bit, but you'll be happier, and I don't think really deep convictions are easily changed by the way you dress.