The social norms of fashion



Contrasting this list of don’s, this monochrome moment is an immediate do.

I remember in 4th grade in Mr. Lloyd’s class we created a compilation of norms for the class and the standards we would adhere to throughout the year. It was a rather concise list of basic rules and standards that we nine-year-olds would strive to achieve, and, if I am being completely honest, I am surprised this simple list was grasped so definitely by my classmates and I; we treated it as a gospel.

In my now 11th-grade vocabulary, the word serves a much different purpose. Now, it seems to have connotations with more societal structures than classroom customs. Regularly we pair this term with social; social norms is very prevalent in my vocabulary.

This sort of umbrella term can cover a wide range of topics; quite regularly fashion dominates the category.

We have come to establish a catalog of fashion norms—a sort of do’s and don’ts if you will—that we base our everyday appearance off of. This detailed list is inconclusive because, of course, time does affect its contents. However, for the immediate now, I conform to this regime for all of my everyday attire. 

I will never engage in the Nike sock and legging duo after I wore it out so tirelessly in middle school.  ”

I will never engage in the Nike sock and legging duo after I wore it out so tirelessly in middle school. 

For one, this pairing completely takes away from the elongating effect leggings give your body. In cutting the small visual ankle a tight legging offers, your leg and foot unavoidably blend into one. When practical, I suppose this tradition can be worn, but it serves no purpose in even the simplest of fashion. Minus extra points if you have taken a pair of flannel pj pants and tucked them into the rim of your sock. I understand the appeal of pj pants most definitely, but wide leg is in. Why are we creating an unnecessarily uncomfortable clump of fabric at the base of our legs?

Another trend I sought to leave in middle school was the infamous Croc. Shamelessly I will admit I owned my own pair of white rubber Crocs until one fell out the car door in Detroit, but I wholeheartedly believe that was the earth willing me to move on. 

What do I really hate about these shoes? I do not want to see a nice outfit ruined by the presence of a bulky rubber clog. Arguably, the same can be said about rubber Birkenstocks paired with nice outfits. Footwear of this caliber completely abolishes the high-end quality of any attire and just about any sneaker would look significantly better.  

As we venture upwards from toe to head, we must address some pants that can immediately be deemed “don’ts.” For one, ripped skinny jeans—enough said. Another duo I despise is the athletic pants-nice shirt duo. I just have to question why. This completely eradicates any appearance of harmony the pieces may offer. This presents two parts of an outfit, not one whole. 

The most favorite—favorite in which the extent of my hatred resonates—immediate “no” top I can fathom is the 2018 VSCO girl tub top and lace bralette combination. Heinous. This is something society should have no doubt surrendered to its moment in middle school and retired there. Why wear a shirt that looks like it has straps when it doesn’t when the plethora of tops that have straps exist in excess? This look is begging for retirement. 

As I said, this list is extensive and ever-altering because, truthfully, at one time or another I was a blind follower of all of these trends. However, fashion is fluid and dynamic and it is dire we transition with it. My intention was not to offend anyone, for clothes solely exist to provide comfort to those wearing it, nonetheless, these disgraceful immediate wardrobe discards clash with my morals in both comfort and style, and I hope to never support them again.