DRESS CODE: INDIVIDUALITY
As most people involved with pop-culture are aware, The 61st Annual Grammy Awards were presented this past Sunday. Just as each award show makes its way to our televisions throughout the year for us to watch and see who the Recording Academy celebrates as the most influential and successful musical artists, viewers are just as interested in seeing each artist show off their personal style as they arrive at the show and strut their way down the red carpet.
Fashion has evolved over the last few years. It doesn’t take an expert to see that. The rise of individuality has given new color to the once predictable red carpet. It has been a while since we have seen stars where something “normal” to an awards show. What was once a black tie event to celebrate the year of music, has transformed into a competition between guests to best showcase their personal style and express their individuality through the means of dress.
I just want to say that I haven’t seen someone wear a full-on suit since my bar-mitzvah. I mean, just try to remember, if you’ve ever been to a bar or bat-mitzvah. You walk in, and 50-100 of the most nerdy Jewish kids you know are all dressed up in the suit their parents got them, last minute, baggy, not quite fitting right. Those were the days.
It used to be a standard to where a matching suit to any “cocktail” attired event. The Grammys included. But everything has changed.
At the most recent bar-mitzvah I went to, the young men were wearing either khaki pants, jeans or shorts with either a t-shirt or button down.
Now, contrary to what my conservative mother says, this isn’t due to “kids lack of respect for culture nowadays.” It is because of our influencers focus on being unique, straying from the pack.
The days of presenting oneself in formal attire are no more. There isn’t any such thing as formal anymore. That word has been thrown out the window. So what is there left?
We fall into this trap, as humans, to follow a herd. Mindless sheep conforming to the activity of the next. As sheep, we have no choice but to follow that herd. We don’t know better. We can’t know better until one sheep learns to separate itself from the drove it once followed. At this point, we do the one thing life has done since its existence: we adapt. We learn that, as individual beings, we too can exist as individuals. The persecution of individualistic ideas by a prevailing norm has encaged us in a prison cell where the bars are made out of our anxiety to stand out, and be different. The key is self expression.
In the effort to express oneself through fashion, one must remove themselves from the pack to which they followed previously. When one is removed from conformity, all that remains is individuality. Feeling comfortable in what you wear is just as important as feeling comfortable in your own body. In order to look good, one must also feel good. A person’s outfit is an expression of one’s thoughts, mood, and personality.
Me personally, I love how male, as well as female, artists are constantly challenging our expectations of fashion, specifically, formal-wear. In the above picture, Jaden Smith shows us that he is no stranger when it comes to dressing exactly like himself. And that’s the best thing. There is no other way to put it. Unconventional, thought provoking, eye catching, weird, and new. These qualities are pushing fashion forward and allowing men and women all over the world to also dress like themselves.
Now this isn’t all to say that dressing conservatively is wrong. If you are the most comfortable in that classic navy suit, then wear that navy suit. There is nothing wrong with wearing something classic. Let’s take a look at Sean Mendes, for example. Mendes kept it clean and classy, but he also kept it himself. Mendes is a cool guy. There’s no denying that. We can also say for certain that Mendes is no Jaden Smith. I don’t think he would ever clothes like that, but even Sean Mendes finds the means to separate himself from the conventional red carpet outfit, and adapts the classic navy suit to himself.
Unlike many of the more unconventional outfits we may have seen Sunday night, highlighted entirely by their peculiar informalities, Mendes’s navy slim-fit tuxedo is perfected by the contrast of the classic formal tux, with the informal unbuttoned black shirt, silver necklace, black boots, and messy hair. Additionally, the suit has been modified to represent a more urban appearance. Shorter arm length along with a tapered shoulder gives the appearance of a longer, slimmer body. While the pocket Sean is tucking his hand into is probably “tighter then a clam with lockjaw” (Charlie Sheen, Twitter), the slim fit pants disregard the shortened length of the leg (to allow his shoes to be seen), and exaggerate his length, enabling the entire navy tuxedo and pants to flow into one singular piece.
[Excuse my language]
“Ive been fucking hoes and popping pillies, man I feel –” pretty in pink.
Posty, seriously, what the shit are you wearing?
Wait, sorry, I just have to make this comparison quickly:
Okay, now I’m done.
You look like you though. While I would never be caught dead in this outfit, Post Malone seems to have been taking my advice. Post Malone has separated himself from mainstream ever since he started recording music. Post Malone is doing nothing more than being himself in this picture, as happy, and as high as ever, the musical artist is clearly embracing his Texas heritage in this pink cowboy outfit. Along with embracing his heritage, Post Malone is acknowledging the fact that he is an oddity in the community to which he belongs: a southern white man entering the world of rapping, using his formal knowledge of death-metal and country to write and structure his songs.
Post Malone’s outfit expresses exactly who he is: a southern, white, rapper. The outrageous pink leather outfit is topped off by one of the things that describes the rapper lifestyle: bling. The rapper is completely iced out, head to toe, symbolizing him as the rockstar/rapper he is. The entire outfit screams “Post Malone”, and that is exactly what you should hear.
An outfit should say who you are, and represent you as a person. Fashion has never been about blending into a crowd, rather, being able to stand out, being noticed. If you want to hear my advice, wear something that allows people to recognize you right away. Something that shows who you are, expresses your state of mind, and addresses your true personality. Clothing gives us the chance to be individuals, might at well take that chance.