My last post ended with these questions: “So much effort for getting dressed each day?” – “Why would I go to all this length? Who would I do that for?” – “There’s so much ado about clothes. I put them on to keep me warm, that’s it.” and so on.
Sure, if you are the pragmatic type who feels best when dressed in boots and functional clothes, in workmen’s pants and jackets with all kind of pockets to hold everything that does not fit into your handy backpack, well, go for it, as long as you feel it.
For the others who dress rather in a pragmatic fashion and look for ways to change that, those who (I swear it happens to me very often) then turn to me asking where I buy my clothes from and how do I maintain my style, for those I will attempt to offer alternatives.
Dressing pragmatical and stylish is not per se self-excluding. Although I do admit that it can be convenient to have everything the average female needs to carry “on board” in the pockets of your pants or coats. But – does it look fancy? Does it give you “bella figura”? Would the common Spanish, Italian, or French lady ever be seen in public in such pragmatical outfits? Most probably not, but they come from societies having a different clothing culture from the one in this country. Which, by the way, says nothing about one or the other culture apart from them being different.
More important seems to me to explore beyond the German culture of not-clothing and I would like to speculate.
1. Perhaps, being pragmatic is inherent to the German spirit. It is in our genes. Other nations admire us for it.
2. Women of my generation, moreover, have been brought up – and thus took after their example – by mothers who were (involuntarily) subjected to a female image of the German woman who does not dress up, wears no make-up and stands her ground in all kinds of adverse situations.
3. Women’s Lib which reached Europe during the 70s of the past century, at that, often manifested itself in a uniform consisting of at least two of the following clothing items: (purple) overalls, loose fitting pieces of clothes, granddad and working men’s shirt, no make-up, no hair style. Whoever dared to fall out of that uniform was considered suspicious (and called out upon it). The effects are still very much alive today.
A mixture of all the above might contribute to the image of the “German female” as seen all over the country: low-maintenance (short) hairdo, functional clothes, comfortable flat shoes, little to no make-up.
Birkenstock does make pretty shoes. I own some of their models. There is functional clothing which does not come in the color range between screaming green and glaring orange or in an nondescript muddy greyish brown. A little touch of lipstick does not hurt anybody and some nude colored make-up goes a long way without looking “painted”.
This is a foto of myself in the outfit I wore on a day spent at the North Sea coast a few weeks ago. It was cold, windy and there was even a little drizzling rain.
Waterproof flower boots by H&M, tights and thermic leggings plus woolen gauntlets, chemise by Cream, dress by kik, cardi and neckwear Primark/ Penneys. I wore a dark blue waxed jacket over this outfit…… yeeeeeess, I know, strictly speaking that would be functional clothing but “When too perfect lieber Gott gets böse”, as Nam Jun Paik is quoted.
I was not cold that day, quite in the contrary.
What was I about to say? Please, ladies,take yourselves serious enough to invest in your appearance. And don’t do it to please me or anybody else but exclusively for your own pleasure. Take your time, find your individual vigorousness, discover and develop yourself as a brand and give your body at least the same amount of daily attention as a loving mother would give her child(ren).
Pack the hiking AND the glitter sock into your backpacks and purses. Don’t confine yourselves and show the world the full picture of what you are. Wear flowers in your hair and carry the sun in your hearts. Because: whatever you radiate you will attract.
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