When I came downstairs in my newly purchased culottes (coo-lotes? kul-ots?) they received mixed reactions. My mum, in her ever positive mindset said they were v cool, which is exactly what I wanted to hear, however the one sided mum compliment wasn’t completely doing it for me so I decided to seek further reassurance that my new trousers were socially acceptable from my dad. This didn’t go down so well, the words “disgusted”, “disappointed” and “The Bay City Rollers” were thrown around and feelings were definitely hurt. I was now questioning my purchase and feeling relieved that I had held on to the packaging and not yet taken off the label. I didn’t want to be put off by one person’s view and still believed the trousers had potential. I decided to research The Bay City Rollers, thinking it couldn’t be that bad and that they were probably really on trend in the 70’s. This was a mistake, they were not cool and I most definitely looked like their 6th member in the worst possible way.
My confidence had taken a hit but I wasn’t yet ready give up hope, it was nearing the time we needed to leave the house and to be completely honest I couldn’t be bothered to look for a new outfit which meant finding a way to make the culottes work. I found browsing the Instagram ‘culottes’ hashtag and assuring myself that I too looked cool, androgynous and not remotely like 1970’s pop bands from Scotland helped slightly. It also occupied the few minutes which had been reserved for fretting and possibly an outfit change, therefore by the time I left the house I felt vaguely more confident in the wide legged, awkwardly cropped trousers and didn’t really have any time to back out of my decision.
What i’m really trying to say is that it’s hard not to get overly influenced by other people’s opinions, and even though I appreciated the honesty I received, I realised that I had been sure all along about my decision. Last year I wouldn’t have even dared move out of my comfort zone in any area let alone my fashion choices, living mainly in black leggings and dark grey turtleneck jumpers to draw as little attention to myself as possible. But I’ve grown to realise how personal the process of getting dressed is and that what I wear isn’t really about anyone else, it’s not about looking cool or attractive, but about feeling confident in my own skin. When i’m out with my friends or sitting at home watching Gossip Girl and Facebook stalking people I don’t actually know, I want to feel as if I’ve chosen what I’m wearing by myself, not moulded by the media’s perception of what looks good or bad or by the ideas of people surrounding me. This doesn’t mean i’m not constantly inspired by my friends and family and people in the public eye, it just means that the limitations that are set by society can be restricting and don’t work for everyone, the ‘one size’ model presented to women/men can become very narrow and for me its important to keep in mind that its okay to not abide by it.