STYLE

In Defense of Dressing Like A Basic Bitch

05/28/2015 03:22 EDT | Updated 05/28/2015 03:59 EDT

I’m not shy about my love of being basic. I buy pumpkin spice-flavoured things, sign up for celebrity newsletters, and I watch reruns of "The Hills" unironically. My love for malls is very real, and I intend to buy almost everything I talked about in my '90s sportswear piece. In short, I dress as basic as I am (read: very), both because I am an adult woman (so I am very tired, always) and because I love a good graphic T-shirt.

So yes, I am a monster. But I can argue a great defense if you feel like being a monster too. Here’s why I support the sanctimonious act of dressing basic.


1. You’re A Living Time Capsule (Congratulations!)

We stress the beauty of “timelessness” in style pieces, but let’s be honest: it’s more fun to look back and know exactly what we were doing based on what we were wearing. Circa 2005, we were decked out in super-low rise, flared jeans and flip-flops, channeling the beachy majesty of everything worn in "Laguna Beach". Five years ago, we saw the onset of '20s-'50s-inspired hats. This year (and last), it’s crop tops. Will we live to regret them? Who cares! We’re just living our best 2015 life.

2. You Can Figure Out What You Do/Do Not Like

Once upon a time, I cared a lot about my “look.” (Yikes.) I only wore vintage, I dressed “like a lady” (I don’t know, guys), and I would rather have walked into the sea than wear a logo T-shirt. But things change: after an impromptu sweatshirt purchase one night Ottawa, I started warming to the idea of wearing pieces that involved words and letters. And yes, it was trendy, easy and arguably basic, but provided you stay away from anything worn by a frat boy, there are no less than a million options -- including ones that pledge allegiance to Beyonce.

3. Let’s Be Honest: It’s Comfortable

The (basic) trends of 2015 have one common (and important) purpose: be comfortable. Jogging pants, sweatshirts and looser-fitting denim in collections from Chloe to Karen Walker have made Normcore™ less a one-season movement to a full-on lifestyle, which makes getting dressed and adhering to trends a lot less tedious for anyone who’d rather nap than think about heels. Is everyone wearing similar silhouettes? Sure: but we can function in glorified dormwear and still look “put together.”

4. “Basic” Is A State Of Mind

The thing about throwing “basic” around is that it doesn’t do justice to, well, anything. (Especially since clothes don’t make a person, and we all know that.) You can deck yourself out in novelty-wear, vintage and/or full-on antiques, but originality isn’t created by outfits. On the flipside, you can take mainstream trends and make them your own, which we saw on various runways: Altuzarra mixed strips, Balenciaga paired heels with mesh (so much mesh), and Giamba just pretended it was 1998. And you can do the same: take a trend, then wear it in a way that flatters you (and maybe only you). Wear it toned down, or turned up, with high tops, or in any way that makes it inherently yours. Nobody wants to look like they stole a mannequin’s clothes, anyway.

5. The Basic Life Can Be A Cheaper One

Remember in "The Devil Wears Prada" where Miranda slams Anne Hathaway about her blue sweater? (It’s a terrible scene because Anne Hathaway’s character is terrible.) She’s right: chain stores eventually take a designer’s vision, and pass it down -- reasonably priced (usually) -- to the rest of us. And to that I say: wonderful. If we all had to shell out top dollar for a Donna Karan crop top or printed skirt, we would only own two things. Instead, “basic” trends give us a chance to experiment with our aesthetics without defining ourselves by debt. Now, thanks to clearance sales and coupons (you’re right I went there), we don’t have to necessarily “invest,” we can tap into our most basic selves for not-so-much. Which explains the onslaught of (precious, beautiful) mini-backpacks.

6. There’s Nothing Wrong With Dressing Basic

I mean, let’s just be serious: what’s wrong with dressing “basic”? What does “basic” even mean? Liking things other people like? Aren’t we all basic, then, under that logic? (Yes.) Nobody is 100 per cent original, I’m sorry -- if it’s not the jorts (thank you, Anna Sui) that get you, Taylor Swift will (try and fight her sweet jams, I dare you). Ultimately the biggest defense for being and/or dressing basic is this: wear what you want to wear, and like what you want to like. Not into tunics ala Haider Ackermann? (Me neither.) Embrace the satchel, considering it’s successfully lived a long and healthy life for the last forty years. Wear the pieces that make you feel strong, badass and most of all, powerful. And if that lends itself to normcore, crop tops, or novelty T-shirts, that’s up to you. Pumpkin spice for us all.

'Basic' Staples


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