A highly developed dress aesthetic.

by Erin on March 24, 2006


Alice Awaits Danger Dame Dress

That's what I am really liking about LA and Pasadena — not just the weather. I am seeing more people than I usually do who seem to have a highly developed dress aesthetic. That is, they seem to have chosen their clothes with extreme mindfulness — not necessarily of fashion, but of the clothes themselves and the way any particular garment will "read" on them. Needless to say, I love it.

This mindfulness reminds me that I really don't buy the concept of "fashion victim" or "fashion mistake". There's really only paying attention to what you're wearing and not paying attention to what you're wearing. I don't care how much your aesthetic runs counter or orthgonal or just plain cattywumpus to my aesthetic as long as I know you THOUGHT about it. It drives me nuts when people tell me, as if they expect a cookie, that they "don't really pay any attention to their clothes." Oh, so you TOTALLY IGNORE A MAJOR ASPECT OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION? And this is a point of pride for you? You might as well be a bonobo. (You'd probably have better sex if you were.)

That said, I can certainly list many, many outfits of my own that reflected either a lack of mindfulness or a misplaced aesthetic. In fact, I could probably give you a top five:

Top Five Misconsidered Clothing Choices of Mine, To Date

  • ripped extremely large jeans (originally belonging to my father), cut off above the knee and worn over long johns, with a white men's undershirt and boy's vintage cowboy boots. I'm not really the ripped-denim type.
  • extremely tight white t-neck ribbed-knit minidress. Note: this was about eight years before Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct". I was not then and am not now right for this kind of dress.
  • ankle-length abstract-floral voile tent dress. Too much of a great fabric can be a bad thing.
  • Gray miniskirt worn with seafoam green cotton camp shirt, seafoam green ankle socks, and gray jazz shoes. Matching gray hoop earrings. Okay, this was in 1983, but there is still a psychic scar from this level of coordination. It was like my clothes had a Stalin-era work plan.
  • Putty-colored Lands' End pantsuit, with three-button classic jacket (hip length) and side-zip pants. This was so incredibly boring I fell asleep wearing it. I thought I needed to wear a "serious" suit, but it turned out to be a "soporific" suit. I wore it once, and still have it. I think it needs to be set free on eBay.

Ironically, this dress, which absolutely says "LA aesthetic" to me, is on a site (DangerDame.com) with a 718 contact number and is the subject of a photo shoot in Grand Central Station. But it's $99 and is sized up to 40/32/42. If this fits your aesthetic (*cough* midriff band *cough*) go grab it!

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