Recently, I was shopping at my local Target which is just really a regular Tuesday night for me. And anyway, I made my typical rounds that start in the women’s clothing section as I meander all the way around the store. Midway through I always stop off and look at the toddler clothes section. I’m always on the hunt for pants that fit my skinny four year boy child. You know, ones that are snug enough in the waist but will also cover his ankles. People, correctly fitting boy pants are a boy mom’s dream.
After checking all the boy pants – I made my way to the little girl’s section. I immediately noticed a new rack that held black and gray clothing with one little pink dress. Obviously, I was drawn to it. It seemed it was a new line brand that Target had recently introduced. I know I’ve never seen it before. I love monochromatic looks. I love pattern-less looks. I love black and gray. This new little section of clothes had my name written all over it. So I walked over to investigate.
The brand name is Afton Street and besides the atypical color scheme, each piece of clothing had a tag that said:
“Defy norms and stereotypes. Grow, learn and make your own path. Explore the world everyday.”
And if I wasn’t already convinced that Sophie needed something from this line..just for the pleasing aesthetic – this tag sealed the deal. I love the sentiment, and it just really made me start thinking about the way we dress our children and ourselves. And then that just snowballed into how all that relates to life and the time we live in. And I have a blog – so I thought I’d get on here and ramble to you guys. 🙂
This line of clothing is super ‘uniformish’ in that it’s mostly all items of clothing that have no patterns or very subtle patterns. Also, most of the clothing is gray and black with a few splashes of muted pink and cranberry mixed in. I’m sure that is a big turn off for many people – and probably in their mind contradicts what the brand is trying to say. But it spoke to me.
It seems to be beaten into our psyche that being unique or individualistic has to be loud. If you think of someone breaking fashion standards the whole wild and free -big and bold – buck the system vibe hits you.
When you picture the embodiment of those sentiments, I’m sure images filled with color and girls with big lion hair and tattoos and purposefully mix-matched clothing choices and bold graphic art and huge public statements and defying the norm with risque hemlines and putting your personality into your clothing so that people can see it from a mile away.
I think rebellion and freedom, in general, but especially in fashion has become so aesthetically loud that it often distracts from the message and personality of the individual.
I love the idea of the quiet that a monochromatic and muted colored look provides. I love the idea that you aren’t distracted by my clothes and you can really see ME. You can really hear what I have to say.
When I think of rebellion I think of Winston from 1984 who lived in the party uniform just like everyone else. I think of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, before someone made her put on a flashy dress so that she’d get the attention the outlandishly dressed and body morphed Capitol inhabitants. I think of Luke and Rey from Star Wars dressed in basic utilitarian inspired clothing. I think of Frodo Baggins from The Lord of The Rings in his simple hobbit garb. I think of Moana in her traditional and functional clothing that wasn’t overly showing of her station in life.
I just like things simple. I like things quiet. I like things basic. I think the loudest statement can be something spoken in a whisper – or not spoken at all but written.
While I’m not here to bash you if you’re extra and loud – my best friend is all of those things and I applaud her constantly for her ability to live that way because I admire it – but it’s not me.
You can defy norms in a uniform. You can defy stereotypes in something black and gray. You can grow and learn everyday. Don’t ever accept the status quo. Don’t feel like you have to wear pink because you are a girl or blue because you are a boy. But also, don’t feel like you have to be ashamed of dressing your little girl in bright pink because you genuinely like it.
Sometimes it’s really great to strip away all the fuss that surrounds you to really see who you are and know what you want. Basic doesn’t have to boring, and an individual can rise and thrive within a uniform.