The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!

Guest Post by Hannah: Beautiful/Ugly Outfits


This always seems to happen. There I am going about my day to day activities, ocassionaly browsing a few online stores and BAM! I spot the ugliest piece of clothing I have even seen. It’s hideous! Who thought to make that? How would you even wear that? then slowly but surely the thoughts begin to change, and the eyes start to see some beauty in the monstrosity… Would it not go nicely with that skirt? Could I add it to my collection of ironic clothing? Don’t you want the challenge of trying to pull that off? and then the item in question mysteriously makes its way into my wardrobe. On inspection I have a minimum of 7 items that I probably should not own, and a further 5 lined up for purchase. The polka dot pleated midi dress, the weird childish sailor dress, the checkered masculine trousers and a ridiculous number of masculine shoes.

This whole thought came to me the other day after an unfortunate event at school. Wearing the aforementioned polka dot midi dress with the pleated skirt and my favourite navy cable knit jumper over the top, I wandered across the school playground to get to my next lesson. I was enjoying what I was wearing, the swooshing sound the skirt made when the wind caught it, the cosiness of the pullover, all was going well. I knew the dress was ugly but I felt I had managed to reign in it’s retroness and make it slightly more conservative viewing for those at my school who fear anything that doesn’t have a nike logo sewn all over it.

Suddenly out of nowhere a voice piped up; ‘what the hell is she WEARING?!’ I turned around to see a small group of 12 year old students mocking my outfit. The shame. Besides the fact that they were 6 years younger than me and so unbelievably bold in yelling at an upper sixth student that I was too stunned to hit them with a good comeback, it was an all round saddening situation. Now usually these events (which happen far more than I would be happy to admit) do not bother me. I intentionally dress like a sixties groupie or an oldschool parisian gent. But on those ocassions I am wearing my favourite purchases and no amount of mocking can make me regret what I am wearing. But it is a whole different kettle of fish when you are reminded that you are wearing one of your more hideous pieces.

So how does this happen? Everyone I know seems to let something in to their wardrobe that they know they should really be repulsed by. It’s not even a case of loving the item of clothing but other people hating it, even you yourself are slightly disgusted when you put it on but somehow it has staying power.

Perhaps it works in a similar way to humanity’s response to slightly dysfunctional animals, runts of the litter, or the british response to an underdog contender; you cannot help but feel a little love for them. You know that the animal will probably be a pain/it isn’t as perfect as the other ones you could have got/ the contender will not bring you any satisfaction in the end but by jove are you going to be obsessed with it anyhow. And we never seem to learn! or certainly I don’t. I have looked out my debit card with the purpose of buying a pair of seventies, velvet, heeled ankle boots, a pair of leather shorts, a black polo neck and a sheepskin jacket that reminds me of pictures of those podgy fans at football games in the sixties. Why? I know the minute I step out of the door I will regret ever falling in love with each item but I still find myself inclined to spend the money. I must be a glutton for punishment.

Anyhow, here’s some picture proof of my outfit from the other day. And that is my face – fear not you won’t be subjected to it again.

And next time some small girls (as in age not as in height, you can’t get much smaller than me) want to rip my outfit confidence to shreds I will employ insult tactics from one of the best High School teenage films ever.

Hannah x


8 thoughts on “Guest Post by Hannah: Beautiful/Ugly Outfits

  1. I must object – the outfit looks remarkably normal and nice, although a view of the pleated skirt underneath (?!) would maybe change my mind. At least you dare to wear them – my bright orange and yellow mohair jumpers have still never been worn. They seem lonely.

  2. PS what a coincidence, my wig is made of Fiona’s chest hair. Small world.

  3. Wait , I just got the “pleated” bit. Soz I’m clogging up your blog.

  4. Hey Hannah,
    The quick descent from ‘conceptual’/ man-repelling to looking down and wondering what the hell you were thinking is a tricky one to negotiate, and I fail all. the. time. On the plus side your jumper and rings look amazing, and I’m absolutely reserving judgement on the dress until a full-length photo is up cause I think it looks pretty cute. You have my utmost respect for being a teenager wearing something other than Jack Wills etc!

  5. My favourite insult about my clothes was ‘Oi BANANA LEGS!’ as I walked past a secondary school wearing yellow jeans. Man, I should dig those back out of my wardrobe. Long live ugly man-repelling clothes!

    ps. @Claire I second the respect for teenagers not wearing Jack Wills :) I hatez Mr. Wills style.

  6. Who needs a man anyway? Us ladeez always have more fun left when they mooch off to enjoy televised sports, or whatever it is they say they’re doing (most likely playing Call of Duty 4, in my experience). I third the disdain of Jack Wils – not to mention Hollister and any other crap shop where you need to take a torch in with you to be able to examine the clothes.
    Long live banana legs and pleated dresses!

  7. Banana Legs and Pleated Dresses – is just crying out to be a blog name. V!

  8. Pingback: Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Susie Bubble | The Jazz Emporium

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