Friday, October 28, 2011

Clothing Options

As I think on the availability of women's Halloween costumes, and the fact that when it comes to store-bought costumes the only option is sexy, I realized that shopping for a Halloween costume isn't that much different from shopping for a dress for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It may be an exaggeration of the phenomenon, but it's not exactly isolated to that one holiday.

What am I talking about, you ask? Go into a store that sells young women's dresses any time of the year, and most of the dresses are cut above the knee and either strapless, one-shoulder, or have very thin straps. Yeah, when it's time to cut the turkey, I'd like a little more fabric than that. Ignoring the fact that my Thanksgiving and Christmas apparel has to be family appropriate, I want to be warm! What's the point of throwing on a sleeveless dress when I know I'm just going to throw on a sweater before dinner is even served? And that wouldn't be such a problem if stores had those cute boleros and shrugs - I'd love a white bolero to wear with my Christmas dress - but even those are hard to find. I tried looking for cute sweaters last year, but I couldn't find anything I liked, and even in December most of the fashionable clothing is short-sleeved or sleeveless, and ankle-length skirts are usually nowhere in sight. Look, when it starts snowing outside, what I wear has less to do with my sexuality and a lot to do with staying warm.

And it really does seem as though the kind of clothing available speaks volumes about what sexuality is currently acceptable. Fashion isn't just about what colors, cuts, and styles are "in," fashion also dictates how much skin you should be showing. It also dictates whether a women should be wearing heels or flats. Last year when I went boot shopping, it seemed like all the flat boots were frumpy or looked like something you'd wear in a stable, and all the cute boots happened to have heels. Funny.

I'm not saying that someone who wants longer skirts or longer sleeves is completely SOL, of course they can go online, find small niche clothing stores, or make their own clothes, but it says something when women who prefer to cover up, either for modesty purposes or so they don't freeze their butts off, can't find what they want in mainstream clothing stores. It says to them "you're not normal."

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! I am a feminist writer as well. Agreed. Halloween costumes are ridiculous.

    Although my friends back home (in Hawaii) were making fun of the fact that I wear a one-fiece fleece/flannel outfit to bed during the winter. I'm sorry but I live in Wisconsin.

    I blogged about that bit here:

    Take care. Stay warm!