I believe it’s good to be a Fashion Don’t. Great even. What character-building experience can compare to seeing a picture of yourself in Glamour Magazine’s Big Book of Do’s and Don’ts under the caption “Just Don’t: Individual Style – Good, Theme Outfits – Not So Good?”
Nothing beats the moment of self-actualization when you’re at the bookstore one day, laughing at all the badly-dressed people in the popular fashion tome, Glamour’s Big Book of Do’s and Don’ts, when suddenly one picture seems all too familiar. Your face turns ghost white as you see yourself with a little black line over your eyes (the markings of a Fashion Don’t), wearing the dress you were so sure would make you look like you were part of the “in crowd” at your first Fashion Week after party. No, you think to yourself, that can’t be me! That dress was a total Fashion Do! But then as you squint at the image, your cheeks flush bright red, and you realize that no one else could have bought that black sequin dress from the sale rack at Patricia Field’s and altered it to fit with strategically placed safety pins.
And then, after everyone notices you have turned the color of a tomato, you must make a decision. Do you shut the book, pretending to loose interest, and casually saunter to the self-help section, filling your arms with Idiot’s Guides to Fashion, Dressing for Dummies and twelve-step programs on forgetting past mistakes?
Or, do you decide right then and there that you are proud to be a Fashion Don’t? Do you stand a bit straighter, realizing that the world sees great worth in your individuality, enough to take a picture, publish it in the thousands and distribute it to bookstores across America?
You could shy away from your instant fame and start a new life safe from the fashion police. You could get a bland, nondescript wardrobe that better blends in with the denim-wearing herds of humanity. But then again, you think, smiling a little wider as you look down at your favorite outfit, a Don’t wouldn’t do that.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.