Sunday, 29 June 2008

Living in a glass house

Competition is a part of life; there really is no escaping it. From fighting the sweaty suits for a seat on the tube, to stepping over a colleague for that elusive pay rise – you really have no choice but to participate or you’ll simply be left standing and struggling to pay the rent.
I do however have a genuine fear of competition based on one’s appearance. Beauty contests, talent quests and bride of the year style events tend to frighten me. Actually I try to stay as far away from any type of competition or pageant as I possibly can. Considering I now write on a public space open to criticism and negative comments and the fact that I spent a good 80% of my childhood on the stage, I am unsure of how I can justify this phobia. Regardless, fashion competitions always seem to evoke a knee shaking, hand trembling reaction from me.
While some women say they dress for themselves, others dress for the man in their life. The most astonishing for me are those women who declare they dress for other women. The thought of dressing for a special event with the intention of being scrutinized and criticized by other attendees makes me super uneasy and somewhat squeamish. I have always dressed purely for myself. I dress for the fun of it and I dress because it makes me feel special. I know full well that the boyfriend does not appreciate every outfit I arrive in. I also know for a fact that now and then he thinks ”what on earth is she wearing?”, but if it makes me feel good, I wear it.
As you all know just recently, I attended the fashion race day of the year and lets be honest there was some hefty competition on that field. In the lead up to the event, I was very much looking forward to the style stakes including the royal crowd with their royal bank accounts, conservative suits and designer headwear. I knew I would be in the presence of many stylish ensembles, but in planning my own outfit, I didn’t allow myself to be swayed by what others would be wearing. If there is one rule I always follow, it is that my event attire is styled by me and styled for me. I may ask the opinion of a sales assistant, a flat mate or send a quick Iphoto to my Mum for approval but at the end of the day their comments will not reflect my final decision. If I like it, if I feel special in it, then in my eyes, it’s a winner!
When putting together my outfit for Ascot, not once did I consider that I may be ‘judged’. Naïve perhaps? Maybe…… We all know that women judge women, whether we are vocal about it or not. But choosing to be judged is another matter. Wearing a number and standing on a platform while a group of women in large hats judge who they think is the best dressed is quite unnerving for yours truly. This is not to say that I don’t completely appreciate (and possibly envy) those who have the courage and self-assurance to put themselves forward. A family friend recently stood at the top of the fashion dais at an exclusive race day down under and by my standard she looks simply stunning. She is however “a winner” in all she does, a true achiever and a champion at many things. This young beauty is old hat at winning fashions on many a field and has been Belle at many a ball. I think she would put Kate and Chelsea to shame with this outstanding black and white combination. Kudos to the ladies who line up to be judged. I could only hope for this type of confidence. This year at Ascot, I was happy wearing my frock minus the line up and wrist number. Besides, I would have got sun burnt up on that podium.






















19 people have commented:

enc said...

Your friend is gorgeous and incredible. Her smile is enchanting.

I admire you for dressing exactly the way you want to. All of us should be that brave. Thank you for sharing!

Make Do & Mend said...

Oh agree - one should only get dressed for oneself and pleasure. But love the down under lady for going for glory. Great look indeed.

Danz said...

She looks amazing! She's beautiful, chic and she carries herself with such poise! I don't usually enter competitions like that but if I did it would be for fun, not to prove anything. I'm pretty content with dressing for just me though :)

Anonymous said...

She looks great. Work it Kady!!

Mica said...

Wow, she really does look beautiful, such a great outfit!

I'm sure your outfit was just as stunning :)

I like the idea of dressing for yourself rather than other people, but it's hard to do in a conservative work environment. That's what bags and accessories are for though I guess!

Lady Melbourne said...

What a winner that girl is in the cream and black though! Outstanding!
I'm not sure if you hail from Melbourne but there seems to be no shortage of girls that line up to be judged for Fashions on the Field here- they have had to expand the enclosure in recent years to cope with the queues. I would love to enter (and win!) but like you could just not stand to be up on the podium being so highly scrutinised. For me, that’s not what going to the races is all about.

The stakes are pretty high fashion wise and the thought does enter my mind 'how will I stack up against the other race goers?' What I wear is absolutely a reflection of my personality and how I dress, but I am always mindful of racewear etiquette.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

I always dress for myself as it gives me such joy and is so much fun when you don't feel compelled to compete. As for your friend - Impeccable styling, poise and smile. Thanks for sharing these. I am adding you to my Top Blogs list and I've also tagged you today. Visit the blog for more details.
XXX Super Kawaii Mama XXX

Draumur said...

wow!!



http://saturdaydraumur.blogspot.com/

gracie said...

Stunning!!! Clothes don"t always make the women, sometimes the women clothes .
You are so graceful and classic

gracie said...

Sorry a few words missing there'
"Clothes don"t always make the women sometimes the women makes the clothes"
I think in this case it goes both ways.

susie_bubble said...

That is a stunning outfit...though in its own right and its own way....if I wore something to the Ascot, it would be hard to compare in the same vein....

fashion herald said...

She looks incredible, the hat, the gloves, all of it...but she looks natural in it, as if she's being true to her style.

Sister Wolf said...

Beautiful. Very Dita Von Teese.

The Seeker said...

I did like your writing.
Competition is in many ways in these days. Sometimes it's terrible...
I also dress to myself and like your BF, Hubby some times looks at me like "Are you going out with that?", but accepts.
But I know that I'm very much judge by my pears at work and sometimes people stare at me.
Sometimes I feel like I'm struggeling for something not worth, sometimes I don't care, but I feel lonely. Well...

Your friend looks amazing!!!

Yes darling, my dress is cobolt.
Well, there are so many shades and tones of colours... besides cobolt was more often used with stones and gems. So don't wory... you'll live LOL LOL
xoxo

A dreamer said...

your friend is truly gorgeous.
You know, it seems like most fashion bloggers dress for themselves. Maybe that's why we all got a blog?

L. said...

I really agree with what you mention about dressing so you feel good. I'm very much about that, if I feel I look good then I have a fun time.

Your friend looks amazing. Really classic and elegant.

As for tights in Brisbane, it depends when you are planning on coming back. If its around this time of year, definately as it is freezing (by Aussie standards). In summer however, perhaps not. I usually wear netted tights, they're cooler than jeans.

Times of Glory said...

Your friend looked amazingly beautiful! She is so classy! Yes, I do think she dressed much better than so many rich and famous this year :)

Cheryl Lynn said...

I have to agree with you. I dress for myself as much as I can. I look forward to the day when my work will encompass the ability to dress for myself more often. I like the fact that I love dressing up, and glamour is a big part of how I dress.

Your friend is most stunning in her ensemble. Graceful, chic, and glamorous in a natural, unassuming way. Kudos to her for putting together the perfect race day outfit, from the hat, to the gloves, to her beautifully made-up face and enchanting smile.

Your writing and analysis is astounding. I really appreciate this post.

For the love of fashion.

My Charlie Girl said...

i love the way you think! You are a true woman xxx thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog xxx