Today’s fashion allows for more flexibility and provides a better means for self-expression
By Marco Saveriano
Think about the outfit you’re wearing right now. I bet you hardly thought twice about what you put on this morning. Now imagine this was 50 or so years ago. Do you think you’d still be able to wear that outfit? Probably not.
Take a look back at the trends of the past: men wore suits, women wore skirts and dresses. Everybody always looked prim and proper, like they came straight out of a catalogue. If you’ve seen any period film, you know that it’s true.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look polished all the time; if anything, their dedication is something to be admired but it now comes off as rigid. These looks left no room for imagination or individuality. Nowadays, we’re able to do so much more with our clothing than we ever could before.
Women could never pull off some of the revealing outfits they wear today back in the ’20s or ’30s, and men who wore skinny jeans would probably have been ridiculed. But now, we hardly even bat an eye when we see somebody walking down the street wearing a strange or quirky outfit because that’s what is normal for us. A man wearing heels and leggings? Just a regular day in downtown Montreal. A girl wearing a crop top and cut off shorts? Looks like summer is coming!
Fashion has become a way for us to express our individual styles. We’re all different, and our clothes reflect that. We’re able to be ourselves. We don’t need to always look like we stepped out of a movie — though it doesn’t hurt every once in a while.
In today’s society, we’re more or less free to dress however we want. If you have an off day, what the hell, why not wear sweatpants and a t-shirt? If you feel like dressing up, throw on a pair of heels or a shirt and tie, and hit the town. Some people seem to put no effort into their looks, but if that’s how they like it, then who are we to judge them?
We have so many options, and that means we can have fun with what we wear. Each season brings new trends that we can shape to suit our style. We can reinvent ourselves as often as we want. It would’ve been pretty hard to do that during a time when everybody basically looked exactly the same as each other. When you wanted to break free from the norm back then, you became an outcast. That’s not to say that doesn’t happen anymore, but it definitely takes a lot more than a woman wearing a pair of pants to cause a full-on controversy.
The golden years may have brought a touch of refined glamour that will always be an inspiration to the fashion world. We’ll never forget the classic style icons like Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe, but it’s time for an update. Who has the time to look that put together every day?
Our generation, reliant on label-worship and reviving old trends, is stuck in a sartorial slump
By Lindsay Richardson
“Think about the outfit you’re wearing right now. I bet you hardly thought twice about what you put on this morning.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a brief summary of the fundamental issue with the way we dress today: we’re too damn nonchalant and generally a little lazy.
The idea of dressing “casually” is really just a euphemism. I am struck with a deep pity for Generation Y: have I become too judgemental, or have we, as a society, become perpetually sloppy?
Yes, the fashion of the “golden age” comes off as significantly more rigid than what we see on the daily in 2014. However, the biggest difference between modern “fashion” and its sartorial counterparts of the past is the time-worn emphasis on quality.
Yes, people dressed similarly back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but this was due to the fact that supply was rather limited. It was normal to own only a standard set of clothing: blouses, skirts, slacks, sturdy shoes, etc. A limited wardrobe, absolutely, but one that usually upheld a standard of quality that is hard to find in our modern “made in China” retail environments. What distinguished people from one another at the time, what defined their true creativity, was the well-honed ability to put themselves together in creative ways, despite their limited options.
Style, real style, is the ability to work with what you have.
Today, we are fashion and luxury gluttons. More is more. There is no shortage of options or “trends” to experiment with, and our clothes are expected to speak for us. Designers reign supreme, and head to toe labels are what constitute, to some, a regular “everyday” outfit.
Labels don’t speak to anything but the size of your stock portfolio or your line of credit, yet they are continuously mistaken to be the epitome of elegance and status. Frankly, the standard female uniform in winter—Rudsak or Canada Goose coat, Pajar boots, Michael Kors or Longchamp purse— is redundant and tacky.
It’s funny, for a generation that asserts their “uniqueness” and that takes pride in their ability to express themselves through clothing, I’m seeing large groups of people looking very much alike.
Also, unlike the ‘50s and ‘60s, it is seemingly much harder to implement new and exciting trends today. Millennials thrive off of this concept of “reviving” or “reinventing” old style and patterns of dressing. Think along the lines of “nouveau grunge,” the rebirth of shoulder pads, and the second wave of plastic neck chokers. Its amazing how we, as a society, think we have such a definitive wardrobe when we are essentially recycling old ideas and passing them off as our own.
People are quick to cite Marilyn and Audrey as their style icons, yet the way they dressed and carried themselves has little to no resonance now. We use words like “distressed” and “carefree” to justify the fact that we are willing to go out in ruined or ill-fitting clothes. The idea of investing time and attention to the way we look is slowly slipping. Classiness (as conveyed by clothing) is a seriously underrated virtue.