General chatter - To blend in or stand out? And why?

09-13-2007, 05:18 PM
Alright, this could be a potentially controversial thread, but I think I've grown a reputation here for starting those :dizzy: Oops!

Are you the type of person who prefers to blend in with society or do you pride yourself for standing out from the norm?

EXAMPLE of blending in: conventional presentation of physical appearance, sometimes accompanied by a conservative mindset. Not often wanting to be noticed, and not caring to make a visual statement. Does not want to be up for obvious judgment.

EXAMPLE of standing out: UNconventional presentation of physical appearance, making any kind of obvious statement, whether it's with style, pins, a message on a t-shirt, or what have you, setting yourself up for obvious judgment, but either not caring about society's perception or purposely attracting attention.

And what is your reasoning for this?

AND... what do you think of others who are your polar opposite in regards to what is societally acceptable or unacceptable?

I'll post my answer in a little bit. It may even surprise some of you.

Goodbye Chubby
09-13-2007, 06:26 PM
Iím all about standing out tastefully. To me, thereís a huge difference between displaying oneís own sense of personal style and looking like you should be on stage (ex. wearing Madonnaís cone bra to go to the grocery store). When I see a person who has clearly gone to way too much effort, it really comes off as a desperate cry for attention. Like most people, I love getting compliments from strangers on how I present myself, but some people just seem to try too hard, and it often comes across as really fake.

The particular environment is key as well. For example, I have a political t-shirt that expresses a particular opinion of mine (wonít be specific since I donít want to spark a debate) that I used to wear going out to the trendy neighborhoods. I donít really wear it anymore, but I had accidentally packed it with my gym clothes recently. My gym is in the same building where I work, and I felt really uncomfortable wearing it since that wasnít really the appropriate forum.

Sensitivity always has to be considered. For example, I donít care who the person is (or thinks he or she is), but I think most people would agree that itís pretty much wrong to strut around with a giant swastika on your shirt. I see little merit in shock value simply for the sake of shock value.

As for my polar opposite (Iím a stand outer), Iíve seen a lot of guys who buy the same polo shirts and khakis that theyíve been wearing since they were 14. I donít fully understand them, but theyíre not hurting anyone and we all have different priorities and value systems. Some people express themselves in different ways, and see clothing as a necessity and little more.

09-13-2007, 06:53 PM
I'll choose to stand out vocally, for what I believe in. I'm not into exposing or advertising myself, but when it comes to what is important then I'll say or do whatever it takes to come across for what I choose to stand out in. I can't worry what others will think of me, that will stop me from standing out.

When I was in my 20's I used to wear my hair like your picture but sticking up all over my head, that style is nothing new to me. This was of course in the 80's and I wore all black too. That's what I stood out for punk, but now I'm in my 40's and what I wear or how I look to make a statement doesnt seem as important, but what I believe in is more important to me.

As for others, they can do whatever they choose to do, I can't stop them and they can't stop me. They just better not get in my way! LOL

09-13-2007, 07:05 PM
i don't approach my life with a decision to "stand out" or "fit in". I am what I am. I do what feels right for me to do. In a lot of ways, it fits right in (my job is very "normal", in an office, but I LOVE it...I cook, I clean, I live a very quiet domestic existence that fits in more with a 50's housewife than anything else, and the clothes that I like and that I feel like flatter my body are fairly "blend in" types of clothes). In other ways, it doesn't (the whole lesbian thing comes to mind :D , also my musical tastes, and my political beliefs/vocalness about them).

I don't make an effort in either direction, nor a conscious decision to be one or the other. I just AM me, and components of that me blend in or stick out. And as long as I am being true to what I am and what I want, I don't really have a preference - if "Me" blends in, thats ok, and if "Me" sticks out like a sore thumb, thats alright too.

Because of that - I don't have a polar opposite. Although I do have issues with people who do things that aren't true to themselves just to "fit in" or "stand out". First, I think its always obvious that you're not being who you're meant to be. Second, I think its sad.

09-13-2007, 08:58 PM
I'm not one who goes out of my way to start a controversy; actually, I likely would try to avoid one if at all possible; BUT, I do beat to my own drum when it comes to how I dress, the music I listen to, how I live and so on. I agree that certain things have their place; if I am working in a conservative office, I am careful to follow suit becuz one's income is just too important to jeopardize for a minor statement.

People have commented how much I like to wear dresses a lot; I'm Irish and this trend runs in our family back many generations; and I find them comfortable and quick to wear. But sometimes, I wear my R & R long black tee and pants, which is quite a contrast. I'm pretty used to unusual styles and they don't bother me; so, each to his/her own; but, I will do what I think is best for me and my life.

I also think good taste is important; lately DH and I have encountered three situations where women have been dressing in very provocative ways in public in the middle of the day ~ wearing underwear for clothes with their breasts hanging out; what is that all about? DH also says it's on purpose to get attention ...

I guess, on the one hand, people might consider me conservative (when I was younger, I used to party more, but now I am more settled and don't); but in some ways, I'm the opposite in my beliefs, interests, and styles; now I'm more into nature and serenity and such ...

09-13-2007, 09:07 PM
I think you should just dress, live, celebrate etc the way it feels right for you. Purposely standing out - just for the sake of being controversial is so contrived - and to me seems artificial.

Most of my life I have felt the need to conform - follow the crowd - dress and act as to NOT bring attention on myself. Now that I am getting MANY aspects of my life under control - I am realizing the things I have always wanted to do or try are things I SHOULD do or try. I got my first piercing a while ago - and although it does somewhat bring attention (if I am in a conservative environment - I'm in a small town) - that was NOT my intent and I don't make a big deal about it. I did it because I have basically been sleepwalking for most of my life and am finding my voice and realizing life is too damn short to worry about what anyone else thinks. As long as what I do doesn't hurt anyone (particularly my son) - than I should do it. The peircing is something I always thought was pretty and wanted to get but was too afraid for a number of reasons.

09-13-2007, 09:15 PM
I guess it depends on which of my multiple personalities you ask, LOL.

Literally, I do feel like about 100 different people, all with the same memories. My husband says it's because I LOVE the idea of choices, that I never seem to make any. He refuses to tell me what he has decided on for dinner at a restaurant, because he says it will just get me thinking about more options.

There are days I want to blend in, and days I want to stand out. Mostly, I just want to be able to do my thing, without anyone else having a cow about it. Dress code-wise, I've fallen for most of the "fat-laws" like thou shalt not expose thy knees, abdomen or upper arm fat, and completely reject others like "thou shalt not wear a bathing suit or swim in public unless though beist a single digit size" or "thou must dresseth in navy or black"

09-13-2007, 09:27 PM
I don't try to stand out. I don't dress like the norm, but I also don't dress to attract attention. I almost always am dressed casually. You would probably not notice me in a grocery store or on the street. But I am very different from most people in a number of ways. I'm not conservative--whatever that means. I prefer not to draw attention.

I think of my approach as camouflage. :s:


09-13-2007, 09:36 PM
I am my own opposite in this area. And it is very frustrating. I would *LOVE* to have an unusual hair color- I'm talking tomato red or grass green- but right now I am so uncomfortable with my body that I don't want anyone to look at I stick with a "normal" red color for my hair.

I play video games, and have some t-shirts with logos or phrases from the game, but I only wear them at home or to game conventions....or sometimes to run a quick errand, but I don't wear them to pick up kids at school, because again, I don't want people looking at me and wondering what I'm wearing LOL

So, I am taking baby steps just to be a little more unconventional. I'm thinking of getting green streaks in my hair for Halloween and see if I can handle the attention for one day. I'm becoming a little more sure of who *I* am....and I'm pretty sure I should look like an anime character ;)

09-13-2007, 09:41 PM
Is it possible to do both?

Clothing wise, I blend in. I never wear anything too outlandish, mostly jeans and cute tops that make my torso look longer. I never wear jewelery and either my hair is down or in a simple ponytail.

The way I act. I really don't care about blending in anymore. I use to but not anymore. I'm more likely to hang out in a gaming store, or the manga section of a bookstore or the animation/anime section of the dvd store. I've always been into animation but growing up would hardly go out and buy it for myself. I would either have my mom pick up what I wanted for me or order it online. Now I don't care who sees me buying games or animation dvds, since I now know there are tons of people just like me. Of course I do get a look when I walk into a gaming store. Since it's mostly guys in there I think they think is weird that a woman wearing preppy clothing is walking into that store without a boyfriend/husband or a child dragging her in. And I don't care who sees what dvds I buy. Believe me if a new TMNT dvd comes out, I'm at Walmart on release day. I would go to the comic book store thats close by except for the fact that they don't carry what I want. I use to care alot about where other people saw me at or buying. Now I really don't care.

09-14-2007, 05:19 AM
Hmm.. I think I dress like most other people so therefore I blend in that way, but the way I carry myself (good body posture and a confident attitude) and my smile I have been told I can really stop quite a bit of converstations in a room when I enter even though I'm heavy now and it's been hinted that in the past the effect was even more enormous when I was thin. To me it's all about a good attitude and being confident and having a fantastic smile. If you don't have confidence, fake it! I do that when I feel down and it helps. But there is a fine line between faking confidence and being just plain obnoxious. As for my beliefs, I generally keep my mouth shut unless around close friends and my husband and close family members and we all enjoy our discussions and we've talked about how nice it is to be able to discuss it with each other NICELY and often times I've come away with a better understanding of something or even having my mind changed! For me to get upset with a person that expresses their opinion it usually is also something that deeply upsets other people like wearing a swatiska on their shirt or something like that.

09-14-2007, 06:57 AM
My religious affiliation reminds me each day that I am an example and that I need to be followable.

I try to be a slim, healthy 47 y o. I culture a fabulous marriage and children. I'm good at and enjoy my work. My coworkers and patients like me.

That being said, I don't dress to blend in nor do I dress like everyone else I know. I thoroughly dislike having the same scrubs as any of my coworkers and work hard to find something different. I love to wear fashionable, mod things to church but never stick out.

I think I remember the need to be 'different on the outside' from when I was younger. I guess I've kind of mellowed.

09-14-2007, 07:10 AM
I blend in. I think I stood out when I was younger more because I was quite cute as a teenager, although I didn't think so then...I didn't realize it about myself until I became older that I was a good looking kid when I ran into people I never knew that knew of me from high school told me that they and their group of friends all voted for me for things like prom queen or homecoming queen. I never knew I was up for election! :lol: It would have been nice to know then! I was VERY insecure in high school.

Anyway...I totally blend in now. When I worked at Mastercuts, the young women I worked with all called me 'mom'. I'm an average size and have an average face and wear average clothes. No more heckling from construction workers...which I don't miss AT ALL!! :mad: So rude.

As far as people that DO stand out. I guess it depends on why they stand out. If someone has some crazy hairstyle or peircings or tatoos, I think it's totally interesting to see and applaud them for their efforts to be themselves and express themselves that way. Every generation has their 'stand out' crowd...the 60's - hippies, the 80's had punkers, etc. That's cool.

BUT, for instance, there is a mother in my son's school that stands out for reasons that totally tork me off. There is a dress code in spaghetti straps. So, this woman has had a boob job and in the middle of winter, what is she wearing? LOW CUT spaghetti strap tops with her boobs on display like a pair of earrings...right in front of the kids! Then there's the kids that like to sit on the bench in front of the store with their tongues down each other's throats. THAT is uncalled for and standing out for the wrong reasons.

If people want to stand out and be different, that is really fine...but being disrespectful is not cool, imho.

09-14-2007, 09:32 AM
Wowww, lots of interesting responses! :D

I definitely stand out, but I figure that's probably a no-brainer if you look at my picture.

I don't intentionally stand out, honestly. I don't specifically try to make a statement with my clothes unless I'm in an appropriate environment, like Goodbye Chubby said. HOWEVER, if I have a clean t-shirt that just happens to have a political or controversial message on it, I *will* wear it to the gym or anywhere else, unless it's something very formal like a professional convention or church.

I tried dressing more "normal" (think preppy-ish) for a couple years and it just didn't work out for me. I mean, yeah, I looked cute (and was thin back then), but, cliche as it sounds, it is just not who I am. I felt like I had so much to express yet was hiding it all behind my attempts to be conventional.

I've received ample compliments on my style, but I've also gotten some strange looks from people who just don't understand it. I like to wear ripped jeans, and I've had some older people ask me if they were ripped because I couldn't afford new ones. :lol: Yeah, I just accidentally ripped them in all the right places... uh huh...

As for those who look more conventional, my first impression depends. I usually just think they probably don't want to draw attention to themselves, or that they just don't feel like going the extra mile with their style; it is a whole lot less time consuming to put on a conventional but cute shirt with jeans and go out with a simple hairstyle than to accessorize yourself to **** and don a hairdo that requires significant upkeep.

If they're dressed professionally, I usually think "oh, poor thing, they're most likely a slave to the grind in a cubicle, but I hope they are enjoying themselves!" unless their suit or outfit is exceptionally nice. If they're dressed like they belong to a fraternity or sorority, I think, "oh... no... not those!" and ASSume they're probably going to be an ***. now, I know ASSUME makes an *** of U and ME, but while stereotypes are meant to be broken, they DO exist for a reason.

Summary? I stand out. I don't mean to, and I definitely don't try to draw attention to myself, but if I do, I really don't care. I have nothing against people who blend in, though I am always curious as to why (and if they even think about it!)

And I usually dislike frat boys. Jerks.

09-14-2007, 11:01 AM
Ah, youth! ;)


09-14-2007, 11:20 AM
LOL Jay...

So, answer me this (you, too, FitinTime):

Why IS it that when people get older, they often get less outwardly expressive style wise? Do they just stop caring, or is it simply not as important, as FitinTime said? And if it is not as important, why not? Do people just find it silly when they get older, are they afraid of being perceived as hanging onto their youth and appearing washed up, or what's the deal?

I have always said punks don't grow up and that when I'm 40, I'll still have my fashion sense, but I wonder what will REALLY happen then and if I will one day begin to understand. ;)

09-14-2007, 11:26 AM
Yes, I remember it well, Jay! :lol:

I may look as if I blend in but usually manage some slightly different thing - like my in and out earrings or the jacket with the heart embroidered on the sleeve. A bit quirky for a nearly 70 year old.

It doesn't take much to be different in this small town where there are still lots of mauve polyester pant suits on blue haired ladies and safari suits on the men who tend towards braces AND a belt!

09-14-2007, 11:50 AM
If you were to see me on the street, you'd think, well - nothing. I blend in as far as dress goes. We dress according to our weekend activities. DH and I are in our cowboy boots, jeans, and a nice shirt EVERY DAY (except Sunday morning). It just goes with the territory and it's an easy transition. I.e., we were out at a friends' the other day and the cattle got out. It sucks to round those things up in capris and flip-flops! Dressing the way we do lets us always be prepared. And in this ranching town, we're definitely the norm.

Inside this group, I do stand out, though. If you were to look close, you'd see that my nose was pierced. Or, if you knew us well enough, you'd know that DH and I both have tattoos and plan on having more. I've never dressed for shock value or to make a statement. (Although some would argue that from 18-20, my statement was "slut"! :lol: But every 18-20 yr old with a body tends to do that.)

I think that I stand out more by my actions and activities. Ranching folk out here tend to keep to themselves and mind their own business. I tend to write a lot for the local paper and make my opinions known. It's never in a bad way or in direct retaliation to what someone else has written, but it's my opinion nonetheless. The people of this town may not know me when they see me on the street, but they know one of my articles when it starts.

As far as everyone else. I just don't care. But don't be surprised if you're wearing an offensive t-shirt and I walk the other way, especially when I have kids. Just like it's your right to wear the shirt, it's my right to look away. I think if a lot of people took that attitude, they'd be a lot more at ease. (Especially in the "wild west", where young whippersnappers get a tongue lashing when one of the old-timers see that their shirt says whatever they feel is offensive! Those old-timers would probably be less crabby if they'd just keep their mouths shut!!)


09-14-2007, 12:32 PM
About 99% of the time I prefer to blend in and not be noticed. I'm very self-conscious. I think that's why I decided not to be a college professor and I'm now doing behind-the-scenes data analysis and research. I'm much happier doing this sort of work, even though teaching would theoretically offer me a flexible lifestyle. I do have some strong opinions and I greatly enjoy getting into online debates, because I can be somewhat anonymous and state things I truly believe but am too afraid to say in person. Plus, I'm much more articulate in writing.

The other 1% of the time, when I do want to stand out and be noticed, occurs when I'm drinking. Enough said.

For the most part, I admire people who like to stand out. To me, it says they're completely comfortable with who they are. I wish I could learn from them. The major exceptions are people who consistently do things to get attention, and continually engage in controversial behaviors just to get noticed. Ann Coulter comes to mind--that sort of media whore.

09-14-2007, 01:14 PM
I never consciously try to stand out. My hair is not extravagant, my make-up is minimal. But, I do wear younger clothes than most 47 yr. olds and I do draw attention. I don't have piercings or tattoos. When I was obese, I sat in the corner and hoped I wasnt even noticed. I'm not that person anymore. I'm totally comfortable now with being seen in public .

09-14-2007, 01:33 PM
I always attract attention, and most of the time wish I didn't. Having my arms covered in tattoos is usually what does it, but I think my dress is "normal" (not conservative per say, but your normal "business casual"). I don't seek attention, but I can't help but get it. Sometimes I will purposefully put on something long-sleeved so I don't get stopped every 5-10 minutes from someone wanting to talk to me about my tattoos.

09-14-2007, 01:47 PM
You know I wasn't intentionally saying anything about you NightengaleShane and your look. Which I do like! I don't think there is anything wrong with how you dress. ( I just read your last post.) Because you're still young and you can get a way with it.
At the same time, I've seen ladies at my age dress beautifully who stand out. So if you're talking about standing out in any fashion, or age, it's up to the individual.

No, it's definately not that I'm personally afraid or not caring about the way I look, but at the time when I dressed the way I did, I was younger and the look at the time well, it's like it is now, wearing black, spikey, shaved, different colored hair, well at least that's how me and my friends looked like. I had some cool looking friends! LOL

But as I got older, I just didn't think it was that important to intentionally standout. I do care about how I look and dress. I wear clothes that reflect who I am Now, and I like it. It's just that other things are more important to me then trying to be noticed, such as the person who I am inside. That's what I want to be noticed and stand out.

Although, I will say this, you will never get me to wear my hair in a conventional way. If I had to say what is the one thing that would stand out, it would be my hair. The reason why I didn't say that in the first place is because it's normal to me. I have long dark wavy hair that I wear in a choppy and messy way. I like to scrunch it, and tease it to make it full. I have always worn my hair like that since I stopped with the spikey hair. Now, it's in style, like Shakira. I still wear red lipstick and I wear heels of some sort. I also big on top so, the more I've been losing the more I'm getting noticed, but I can't help that! lol
But like I said, it's normal for me.

You personally will still have a sense of fashion til you get older, but it will change and evolve into a different fashion and you will be surprised at how good you will look at 40!!! For some reason NightengaleShane, I think you're going to be making statements all your life!!! ;)

09-14-2007, 02:12 PM
Well. I have a very unusual configuration of body piercings. I don't know of anyone else who has this. What does that say about my courage to stand apart: I have:
one hole in each earlobe

09-14-2007, 02:26 PM
FitinTime, awesome response. :) And you're right - the punk look hasn't changed much since the 80's - true punks, anyway - there are always the Hot Topic trendy punks who listen to Taking Back Sunday and Thursday (what's up with trendy bands naming themselves after days of the week, anyway?!), but they don't count to me because most of them are just overprivelaged kids who think it's all a big fad. The punk look is pretty timeless, though - spikey hair and mohawks with a potential aversion to natural colors, pins, patches, jean jackets, statement shirts, skinny ties, ripped jeans, Converse, combat boots, spikes, studded belts - it's been around since the late 70's, but I'm sure you know about that better than I do ;) And it sounds to me like even though you no longer rock the punk look, I'm sure you are still gorgeous... and losing weight does wonders for one's confidence. I feel like a different person now that I've lost almost 30 pounds. It's nice to know that my double chin is now a thing of the past and even nicer to know that my stomach no longer swallows up my hip bones!

As for looking good at 40, only time will tell! I HOPE I will look good at 40. If looking at my mother is any indication, I'll age beautifully.

Spinymouse: LOL!!! I guess that IS surprisingly uncommon these days...

09-14-2007, 02:43 PM
Good job on your weight loss too!!
I can concur with you there about losing weight and obviously how it makes us feel. It's must be exciting to reach your goal, I'm assuming you have. I'm getting there and cannot wait.

Oh let me tell you about my husband. What attracted me to him is because. . . he stood out :dizzy: ! How's that for answering your thread! LOL
He wears his hair like a stack, cut close at the sides and back and longer on top, almost like Morrissy wears his hair. That's what I liked about him and he still wears his hair like that.

From your pictures, I think you'll have no problem in the aging department!

09-14-2007, 04:59 PM
I went from rude girl to punk rocker, to being somewhat interested in Oi! but once a rude girl always a rude girl :) Trad ska is still my favorite music. 7 years ago, I was all about the skirts, cute tops, checkers everywhere, lots of patches and pins. I also at one point had a completely shaved head, and at another point in time a chelsea. In my punk/Oi phase I wore my flight jacket a lot, but I don't think that made me stand out that much :) Now I just wear normal "work" stuff, because anything else and I would get "Oh are you going to a job interview today?" or "Big meeting?" or "What's the special occasion?" so I don't bother anymore. I do still like to get dolled up when I go out for a night on the town (like tonight!) and I STILL have my Doc Martens - boots and two-tone wingtips. Hmmm maybe I'll sport the wingtips tonight :)

09-14-2007, 05:11 PM
modkittn, rude girls are awesome, though I'm more of a riot grrrl myself. No one down here even knows what a riot grrrl is, but up in DC where I'm originally from, there's plenty of 'em! :D

I had a chelsea cut once too, along with a full-on mohawk, liberty spikes, regular spikes, a faux hawk, a fauxmohawk (faux hawk going all the way in the back), red hair, pink hair, blue hair, a shaved head (which surprisingly did not look bad on me but I missed hair!) - you name it, I've done it.

Tattoo sleeves rock. I don't know if I'd ever get them because I don't want to regret any of it - I guess I'm a bit hesitant about things being permanently on my body. Right now, I just have one tattoo - a 4-leaf clover on my right hip, basically implying that anyone who sees below that point is "lucky". I bet you were so cute 7 years ago and I'm sure you're still cute now, even if your style has mellowed out a little bit. :)

FitinTime... out of curiousity, how can you tell? :p And I'm assuming you're implying that I have good skin, so I'm also going to say thank youuuu! :D

I haven't reached my goal, but I'm around ten pounds away. I've been 145-146 the last few days (current goal is 135) but I'm not changing my ticker until I'm 145-146 for one more day. I'd really like to be 125, as that was my size pre-weight gain. We'll see. I definitely do enjoy mirrors again, though! I hid from them for the year that I carried those extra pounds (not to mention I hid from people and developed crippling social anxiety that I've now finally begun to overcome).

09-14-2007, 06:09 PM
interesting topic - when I was middle school & high school age I went through a lot of phases. Standing out became pretty important to me - I didn't want to be one of the "sheeple" ... I went from hippie phase to good girl preppy phase to goth phase all within a few years and then went back to hippie. *LOL* I had black hair, blue hair, yellow hair (not blonde, yellow), green, purple, red... I wore it long, short, super short, unkempt... I wore questionable tshirts, strange combinations of clothing (long johns under dresses or shorts, socks and sandals, whatever I felt like). I did whatever I wanted to and if somebody didn't like it I didn't care and my parents were totally supportive.

Somewhere around the same time I got fat I stopped caring about how I looked. I think they two go hand & hand...
As for your question about what happens when you get older that makes you stop wanting to stand out in your style... Well I think that when you're young you are finding yourself, testing the waters, figuring out who you are and who you want to me... and at some point when you get older and mature the inside matters more and everything just sort of falls into place.

09-14-2007, 06:59 PM
I would say I mostly blend into the crowd vs. standing out. I don't mind standing out in a situation I am comfortable with, such as at work. I don't mind standing out in situations like "being Coach Gary" or at church, as long as the situation is just hanging around after the game or standing around in the courtyard at church or at a table discussing stuff. What I do hate is being singled out for acknowledgement or to stand in front of people to speak. I turn quite a nice shade of red.

Going through junior high and high school from 1966-72, I fit in with my crowd wearing basically 2 sets of clothes ~

#1 ~ Levis ~ colored T-shirts and denim longsleeve shirt with white Adidas shoes with the black stripes and a bandana for the LOOONG HAIR! ~ 4 inch leather watch band ~

#2 ~ Purple or YELLOW cords flaired for my boots with the side buckle ~ paisley shirts ~ a derby with :love: LOVE :love: beads ~ LOOONG HAIR!

Back then you could still get a little harrased for long hair, especially in this military town.

I pretty much still wear my #1 ~ my #2 style pretty much ended a few years after high school ~ I attribute most of the "design" to my friend MARY JANE ~ but that relationship went up in smoke many years ago ;)

Here in southern California, as in I am sure most places these days, I am not shocked to see any style. Oh, maybe at first, but then it becomes the same o same o.

My parents never hassled me much, I think they would have preferred me to have shorter hair, but they always said whatever the school will allow...back then we actually had dress codes!

I have enjoyed reading about all your "styles" ~ SHANE I absolutely love your style! It is so YOU!!

but SPINY ~ Girl you are just too "out there" for me...:fr: FREAK! :fr:...............;)

09-14-2007, 11:04 PM
...Do they just stop caring, or is it simply not as important, as FitinTime said? And if it is not as important, why not?

...I have always said punks don't grow up and that when I'm 40, I'll still have my fashion sense, but I wonder what will REALLY happen then and if I will one day begin to understand.

Well Shane, I think it's not always a lack of caring or a lack of fashion sense, although in many cases it could be either one of those, or both. In my case, it seems to be less important to "make a statement" out there in the world with my appearance. The reason is that my sense of value has more to do with who I am and what I can do than it does with what I look like. I guess I don't feel a need to outwardly try to show those things.

And, I do think that when you get to 40, some things will look quite different to you, and other things will look just the same! And it's hard to know which those will be.

Now look quick at that avatar on the right. It will be posted for about 24 hours. This is a photo of me at around 30. I think I was about to blink, but never mind. :lol:


09-14-2007, 11:14 PM
Who's the HOT blonde?

09-14-2007, 11:27 PM
Now look quick at that avatar on the right. It will be posted for about 24 hours. This is a photo of me at around 30. I think I was about to blink, but never mind. :lol:

Jay I know that you aren't fishing, but I wanted to say that
I think you are very pretty, anyway!

09-14-2007, 11:46 PM
Thanks, SoulBliss! I should add that I was at my lowest weight as an adult. Things went uphill from there... :( But! Now they are going downhill again! :cheer2:


09-15-2007, 01:21 AM
At my age, this is a nonissue.

09-15-2007, 03:21 AM
I prefer to blend in - Im not a loud person in manner or dress :) Unless I'm with my very close friends - then I can be a little rambuctious - but only in their presence.

09-15-2007, 09:56 AM
due to my job i have to look the you may poor you. But i don't mind. I am a veterinarian...and dr's should look professional...majority of society WOULD not take me seriously and listen to my advice if i had loud crazy shirts on, or weird colored hair. Yes it is sad that society is like that...but i want people to listen to what i'm saying when i'm talking about medicine...not what i'm wearing. I do try to "have fun with my conservative clothes". For example i have an outfit that is black slacks and a black and white top that i wear with a fun cute pair of red shoes. SO at work i stay conservative but still try to have fun with eiter nice hand made jewlery or fun funky shoes. At home i dress how i feel...i find that some of the alternative styles look like crap on my body i stick with what looks good for my body type. But i feel that my personality is what stands out and that's really what matters. I don't really feel the need to dress different to show that i am different. but everyone expresses themselves in a different way

09-15-2007, 12:02 PM
This made me chuckle... In my high school, there was a group of kids who dressed in a kind of punk-goth style and then screamed at people for staring at them and loudly lamented how misunderstood they were and how looks aren't an indication of personality, etc. I have still not gotten over the irony. Last time I checked, independent thought didn't have a uniform.

I've always considered how I dress as a tool to teach people how to treat me. Do I want people to respect me? Absolutely. Do I want people to treat me as an intelligent, successful person? Of course. Can I achieve that in a Hot Topic wardrobe? Sure, but it takes a lot more effort than I am willing to put into just getting decent service at the average retail shop, restaurant, etc.

Big surprise... I'm over 30 and have always dressed tailored and professional, even in jeans. My pink-haired best friend teasingly called it "professional country club." I feel confident and attractive in my clothes, hairstyle, etc., and have never lamented how misunderstood I am due to my appearance. I prefer to slightly overdress and leave myself with the option to go anywhere and do anything. I care how I look, I care how I'm perceived and I certainly care how I am treated.

As for how people dress, I think it says a lot (although not everything) about a person. Cleanliness, poise and confidence will shine through any outfit just as insecurity, lack of self respect and hostility will destroy even the most expensive, well-tailored suit. In the end, it's the person wearing the clothes, not the clothes, that make the impression.

NightengaleShane, I don't think I got old and stopped caring!

09-15-2007, 12:51 PM
I have always said punks don't grow up and that when I'm 40, I'll still have my fashion sense, but I wonder what will REALLY happen then and if I will one day begin to understand. ;)

Well, I am in my thirties, and I still have mine. ;)

I would have to say, that if I had to choose one of the two choices...that I stand out-not blend in.

But, I think that the REASON someone chooses to stand out or blend in, is more important that if they do, or if they don't.

I think it is perfectly fine to have normal hair, and wear t-shirts, etc. and not really care, if that is who you are. On the other hand, you have the popular high school girls who all have to have a certain brand of purse, lip gloss, and jeans because "everyone else is wearing it". Buying a certain brand of jeans or purse, even if you don't really like it or it doesn't flatter you, just because it is "in", isn't a good thing.

I also think that there are the young kids who try to be emo, punk, goth, or whatever to "stand out", when it really isn't them, either. They want to make a statement, but they don't know what kind of statement they want to they go to Hot Topic (the Wal-Mart for goths, LOL) and get the black and silver stuff that all of the other teenage goths have. :lol:

I think that if you stand out, because you are being yourself, and doing what YOU like, is a good thing.

I have tattoos-4 of them. I got them because I like them, they are tattoos that are personal to ME, so I think it is a wonderful sort of expression. I don't think a tattoo is a good thing when you get one because all of your friends have one, and you go in and pick a piece of commonly done work off the wall with no thought-like the ever popular tribal arm band on men, and the butterfly on the ankle for the woman. ;) For instance, the tattoo on my back is an Egyptian Eye, with a pyramid behind it-all inside of a sun...the Egypt theme is because I belly dance-so it is personal to me, and shows one of my interests.

I also dress differently than most...but it isn't anything to do with fitting in, or trying to make a statement. I really like henna/mehendi, so yesterday I was wearing a black t-shirt with two hands on the front of it that are decorated with henna, with black loose, wide leg palazzo pants. I have a lot of wide leg palazzo pants, and mainly it is because I can wear them to teach dance, as well as for regular wear, and I like multi purpose clothing.

I wear a lot of concert t-shirts...everything from Prince to Ani DiFranco-because I have varied musical tastes. I have no interest in current pop and rap music you'll never see me in a shirt with Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Sean Combs, etc.

It isn't uncommon for me to get stares in stores/restaurants...I am a pale skinned with bright red hair, wearing a lot of black and artsy clothes...nose pierced, and sometimes with henna on my hands or feet...but look the way I do because I have no desire to get blonde highlights, suntanned, and wear what everyone else is wearing. There isn't anything wrong with clothes at Eddie Bauer, etc. but they just aren't "me", and I don't think I look good in them. For one thing, I wear a lot of black because of my hair color. Lots of things like bright purple, fuschia, pink, etc. look really bad on some things I just can't pull off.
I look nothing like the soccer moms that I see at my kids school...who have haircuts that match the latest soap opera stars and drive SUV's and have Coach purses. It just isn't "me". If I came home in a color coordinated jogging suit and Keds like one of my neighbors who looks so cute dressed like that, I think my husband would laugh his behind off...because it isn't me.

It isn't really even just with how I look...but with my interests, movies, music, etc. I am a woman who actually hates chick flicks like movies with Meg Ryan and J.Lo...I would much rather watch a fantasy film, sci fi film, or X-Files reruns. :lol:

My husband is the same way...he is a 33 year old in Converse All Stars or rockabillly black and white wing tips. :D

***I also 100% agree with the poster who mentioned standing out for the WRONG reasons. I am a parent, and I hate it when we have our kids at the mall, or at a restaurant, and someone is cussing/swearing up a storm in front of them, or a woman has her butt cheeks hanging out of too short shorts, or her breasts falling out of a spaghetti strap tank top...or excessive public affection by a couple in public, where they are groping and making out in front of everyone. I think that people should be respectful of others around them, and realize that no one wants to see all that. :lol:

09-15-2007, 01:08 PM
Good points made in this thread. I agree with you, Aphil and Jayell. I'm an insurance "professional", so I definitely dress the part. I'm in my 40's and, yes, I think I am still stylish!!

When I was much younger, I was one who dressed a little wild. What I remember from that time is that my friends and I used to joke about "conforming to nonconformity". I think about that when I see all the tattoos and piercings. They used to be so very different, but now are very typical. I think you just have to do what is right for you. If making a statement is important to you, then do it! If you really don't feel the need to make a statement based on style, that's your choice.

I agree with making a statement based on what you do and who you are rather than how you look. Although, with what I wear for work, I do try to make a statement that I am a professional insurance advisor. Darn.... conforming again!! ha!

09-15-2007, 01:20 PM
I love the phrase "conforming to nonconformity!" A good friend of mine always said, "Be a rebel, or just look like one" as she heavily applied her black eye make-up... she was an otherwise well-behaved, honor roll student.

09-15-2007, 01:33 PM
i don't approach my life with a decision to "stand out" or "fit in". I am what I am. I do what feels right for me to do...
I don't make an effort in either direction, nor a conscious decision to be one or the other. I just AM me, and components of that me blend in or stick out. And as long as I am being true to what I am and what I want, I don't really have a preference - if "Me" blends in, thats ok, and if "Me" sticks out like a sore thumb, thats alright too.

I was trying to figure out how to answer the question but you said it perfectly for me, mandalinn. :) I'm pretty much a "live and let live" kind of person. Differences of opinion, lifestyles, appearance, etc., don't bother me if that's who people genuinely are. I say, do, wear what feels comfortable or right to me. If all my friends or colleagues at a table are drinking alcohol, I'll still drink Diet Coke because I simply don't like alcohol so why should I order it? In a room full of people wearing capris and flip flops, I'll be the one in jeans and sneakers. :p I don't spend $100 on a handbag because to me it's just something in which to carry things. I'm not trying to make a statement. I'll spend that $100 on something else. I never got married or had kids because I never wanted to. Some folks still consider that an oddity. There are very few people around me who aren't married, have been, or want to be. I just don't want to be bothered. :p I walked away from a corporate job (big airline, suits, benefits and everything) because I was miserable. I now work at a place where I wear jeans most days, my "commute" is about 3 blocks, I have to pay for my own medical because there are no benefits and, as crazy as things get, I love it.
Life is too short to spend it not being true to yourself.

09-15-2007, 01:39 PM
good thread!!! i've enjoyed reading all your opinions :) i don't really know what to say myself, i haven't really thought about whether i stand out or not, so i guess i just don't. It's not like i want to be in the background, i just think i have the same style/tastes as many girls my age but i don't try to, it just happens!

09-15-2007, 01:47 PM
Trekkiegirl, I agree with a lot of what you said. I would not be happy if I had to dress a certain way for work. I wear my mis-matched socks with leggings and T-shirts and no one cares. I don't put a lot of effort into my appearance. If that makes me look odd, fine. If it makes me look unremarkable, fine. Also, I'm older, but, I always felt that way. I never tried to look cool, hot, or room temperature. I don't think anyone is looking at me. They are all too busy thinking everyone is looking at them!
I also don't try to make a statement of status with my car (I chose it for its energy efficiency) although maybe I do make a statement on the side of oddness with my license plate holder which I had made to read "The squeaky wheel gets the worm."

09-15-2007, 03:37 PM
What about the "kids" that all dress alike and hang out in large groups together so they can be....different and express their own individuality ;)

09-15-2007, 04:02 PM
BattleAx said "At my age, this is a non-issue" - HEY Girl, I'm probably your age and when I Get this weight off, I'm going to stand out!

That's what my answer would be - defintely "fit in" "hope to become invisible" or whatever with this added weight. But back in the day when I was thin and beautiful I dressed the part and loved it! So look out! I'm going to stand out next year at this time no matter what my age!! :dance:

09-15-2007, 04:05 PM
That's the spirit LORI! :cp:

09-15-2007, 06:30 PM
What about the "kids" that all dress alike and hang out in large groups together so they can be....different and express their own individuality ;)

Gary, when I was in high school I was a rebel. I didn't just rebel against the appearance of the previous generation, but I rebelled against the appearance of my own generation. None of those fashion rules make any sense; they're all ludicrous so why not just skip the whole thing?
I remember when "my" generation's thing was to wear jeans dragging on the ground, and I must have had the high-water ones on one day and somebody said to me, "Your pants are too short." I immediately said "too short for what???"
Sometimes I even wore polyester - just to prove a point - which of course I never did prove - that it doesn't flippin' matter.


09-15-2007, 06:42 PM
Spinymouse-I also rebelled against "my generation" in school. There was this awful, awful trend in the late 80's-early 90's to peg the bottom of your jeans. Basically fold them in tight to your leg, and fold them up twice to set it. It did nothing but make everyone's ankles look 2 inches around...and their butts a mile wide, even if they were thin. :rofl:

I refused to do it...and got razzed a lot about it. I didn't care how popular it was, it just looked STUPID. :lol:

09-15-2007, 06:59 PM
So look out! I'm going to stand out next year at this time no matter what my age!! :dance:

GO FOR IT!!! :D that's brilliant

09-16-2007, 12:04 AM
i think there are positive ways to stand out as well as negative ways.
personally, i think most things are neither "wrong" nor "right", rather "different" unless it is obvious hate speech, etc...

i think blending in is also a completely personal choice.

if you make an effort to "blend in", question yourself as to why. as well as if you are making an effort to stand out.

i question anyone who makes an effort to either of the above.
be you as naturally as you can.

09-16-2007, 04:48 PM
I went thru my punk rock/mohawk phase in the 80's as well. But even then I rebelled against being labeled a punk. I rode (still ride) a Vespa which had me hanging out with Mods...but I wasn't really one of them either...I was into punk for the music and the political stance...not just for the fashion statement. Nowadays I'm still a clown...I'm 41 now. I guess my clothes are closer to the norm than they used to be - but I like to think I still have my own style. It's still Thrift Store chic...:D

09-16-2007, 07:21 PM
Why does one have to stand out or blend in?

I don't purposely blend in or stand out.

09-17-2007, 09:42 AM
I went thru my punk rock/mohawk phase in the 80's as well. But even then I rebelled against being labeled a punk. I rode (still ride) a Vespa which had me hanging out with Mods...but I wasn't really one of them either...I was into punk for the music and the political stance...not just for the fashion statement. Nowadays I'm still a clown...I'm 41 now. I guess my clothes are closer to the norm than they used to be - but I like to think I still have my own style. It's still Thrift Store chic...:D

I miss my Lambretta :( I had a Vespa once too, but it was only 50cc... not much "get up and go" :) Sold the Lammy so I could buy my house. DH sold his too. Now we're starting to wish we had scoots again. I miss riding! I was into the mod scene at one point too, hence the handle "modkittn" which I've had for MANY years now.

09-17-2007, 03:07 PM
all i can really say is 'i am who i am.'

i do try to keep up with everything though. take fashion for instance, i'll keep it up to date but i always do something to make it my own. for ex. many people have there hair colored in layers as aposed to the old streaks concept. my hair is bleached blond at the roots, auburn in the middle and black in the tips and the back. same concept as others, just added an extra layer.

i do see myself as different and i don't purposely do things to stand out it just kinda happens that way. the things i like just stand out.

my two favorite colors to wear are black and silver. many people mistake all my blakc clothes for trying not to be noticed but that's not true i just like black. it's looks good on my skin. i'm brown so it does not look good on my skin and i don't like to walk around and look like a pack of skittles!

09-19-2007, 08:30 AM
Now look quick at that avatar on the right. It will be posted for about 24 hours. This is a photo of me at around 30. I think I was about to blink, but never mind. :lol:


Damn! You posted a pic and I didn't get to see it! I suck! :(

09-19-2007, 08:57 AM
Yeah, it's so sad for you, Shane... I am such a knockout chickie, too... Oh well! :D


09-19-2007, 10:01 AM
LOL, well, post your icon again, then! the problem can be solved! ;)