Recently on Facebook I was involved in a thread about sweatpants. Though it was one of many as of late -- this one got ugly. Do I like to poke the bear? Maybe a little but only because people are so defensive about their right to wear sweat pants. They make it too easy.
In this thread I was called a f*cking moron, biased, uneducated, and a fashion whore with low self-esteem who is the reason that 13-year-old girls cut themselves. I was taken aback by all of these remarks from perfect strangers for simply suggesting sweat pants were best left at home.
I always say the same thing over and over again when I am involved in these conversations: "When you dress better you feel better", that is the only point I ever have. Is there a time and place for sweatpants if your choosing to wear them? Sure. At home or the gym -- not at the mall, not on a date. And never do I ever attempt to make my point in a mean-spirited aggressive manner such as the one I was met with in my last discussion.
After the annihilation of my stylish ego I immediately took to social media licking my wounds and sounding off on how the sweat pant army was after me. Of course an outpour of love, reassurance and humour filled my news feeds from friends, clients and students. I knew I wasn't crazy.
But really what is the trigger here? Is it the sweatpants? Or is it just fashion in general?
What is it about someone who loves fashion or just simply cares about what they wear and how they present themselves to the world that is so infuriating to some people?
In the opening minute of The September Issue Anna Wintour describes the fashion world best:
"I think what I often see is that people are frightened of fashion and that because it scares them or makes them feel insecure they put it down.
On the whole people that say demeaning things about our world, I think that's usually because they feel in some ways excluded or not part of the cool group. So as a result they just mock it.
Just because you like to put on a beautiful Carolina Herrera dress or I don't know a pair of J. Brand blue jeans you know instead of something basic from Kmart it doesn't mean your a dumb person.
There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous."
Listen, I am the first person to admit that I am not saving lives over here in fashion land, but there must be something positive about helping men and women dress better if they feel better in the process. And I refuse to believe that in order to dress sophisticated, classy and charming, a wardrobe of sweat pants is involved.
What happened to "Dress for the job you want not the job you have?" Does this not apply to everything? Dress for the type of date you'd like to attract, dress for the type of party invitations you'd liked to receive, dress to get bumped into first class, dress to get a front row seat at New York Fashion Week last-minute because your not getting there if you look like a slob.
Where has the pride in presenting oneself gone? I grew up literally North of nowhere, but when we went to town we dressed up, when we traveled we dressed up. Going somewhere whether it be a restaurant or to the mall used to be a privilege. What happened? Who is to blame? Lululemon?
I blame them a lot but it's not their fault they made awesome yoga gear that somewhere along the way somehow became totally acceptable clothing to wear to work with heels. How can people not know this isn't appropriate? Was there a memo that went out that I missed or something because I just don't understand?
At the end of the day I don't care if anyone wears sweatpants in public. Go ahead, you obviously don't need my help because what you're really saying is "I have given up anyway," isn't it?
Follow Karla CarolAnn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/karlacarolann