Friday, 20 January 2012

Confessions of a Glam Girl: Running to Class in Heels

Posted by Elisabeth Bass at 16:22
I've touched on Canadian Fashion Girl problems in the past, there are many.  Two were particularly evident this week as we forged through what we're famous for here in the north- cold and miserable winters.  As if it was not bad enough that every morning newscast forecasted the inevitable doom of venturing into this frozen hinterland where every hypothermic breath may be your last, we had to contend with the flurry of small talk and facebook posts that tend to run from January until mid May; "cold out there today", "can you believe this weather", "try to stay warm", "we're staying home and having a snow day", thanks Captain Obvious.  As if limiting intelligent conversation will make us warmer. However dull the restriction of critical thought may be, the real problem is far greater. I am of course referring to the enormous and devastating impact that the dropping mercury has on what we wear. Identifying that Problem 1 is forsaking fashion for warmth, I will spare you any further rhetoric and just tell you that Problem 2 is the significant amount of dialogue I'm seeing on the social media networks actually justifying this behaviour.  How this all amounts to 'Running to Class in Heels?', well keep reading, we'll get to it.

Sweat pants, Ski Pants, Parkas, Sorrels.  The four horses of a fashion apocalypse.  I sympathise that the temperature actually dropped below -30, I was here, I get it.  My point is, and I firmly believe this has been lost on the majority of young girls on their journey to becoming a lady- you should never leave your home unless you are polished and chic.  Crucify me for being vain, emphasising physical appearances, perpetuating that the value of a women is in her looks, that's fine. I have my reasons, which (and I'm speaking to all you feminists about to burn my house down) apply to men equally.  I do not state that we are all intended to look like the cover of a magazine, my statement is simply that you should always dress to impress, to the best of your personal ability.  If you are a college student; dress for class as if you are going to the career you are studying for.  If you are a high school student; dress as if you could be recruited for your part time dream job at any moment.  If you are a professional; well I shouldn't need to tell you. 

Where are sweat pants appropriate?  Nowhere.  Fashionable outfits are available for the gym, there are no excuses for sweat pants.  Ski pants? Should never be worn outside of a chic mountain resort, and only if you are partaking in activities.  The same is true for parkas.  As for Sorrels, why do I still see these?  UGGS and Hunter Boots have been available in most Canadian cities and online for far too long to excuse this faux pas.  I could go on to explain that this week I have witnessed terrible color collabs in outerwear, meshed together because of their ability to protect against the elements instead of a complimenting pallet.  That I was further witness to fuzzy pyjama pants tucked into boots, seen in public- midday, clearly not the result of escaping a terrible tragedy in Ono's home that inevitably dragged them from bed in the middle of the night.  Why have Canadians collectively accepted that these horrific statements are just par for the winter course?

This leads me to problem number two;  someone said it was ok and everyone else agreed.  Did no one listen to their mother when she warned 'if your friend jumps off of a bridge, would you jump too?' SAME THING! The following are two posts, found on facebook, attempting to justify the death of good taste.  These are in no way my words or opinion, and if I happen to offend the writer(s), good, you offended me first:

'layers.. lets see.. tights, 2 pairs of socks, jeans, long sleeved tshirt, sweatshirt, vest. old man touque, scarf, hood on long jacket done up, 2 pairs of gloves.. and i only stay outside for 15 mins at a time tops!'
As if my point was not clear enough, wait, the best is yet to come:

'Fashion goes out the window in the winter, for me anyways. I proudly wear my toque, my coat is ugly but it's warm and my boots don't have spiked heel.'

Who are these people? Why are they so determined to perpetuate a culture of poorly dressed women, undoubtedly the punchline of jokes around the world. 'Oh those Canadian women in their trapper hats (not the cute ones) and lumberjack jackets'. I'm horrified.  May I also point out that we are not the only part of the globe that suffers from subzero temperatures? Europe, for example, in parts is incredibly cold. Do we portray Russian women in their winter wear out in the wilderness hunting for pelts?  NO. We foster an image of Ice Castles, exceptional vodka, chic coats, tall boots with heels (pay attention anonymous facebook author, it is possible), and as my imagination perceives this- these women are warm and eloquent. 

I made a conscious decision this week to set an example. Carefully pulling wool sweaters from my dresser, black coats from my closet, leather gloves and leopard scarves from my accessories, I devised a strategy to combat old man winter.  Layers.  If ugly layers combined equal warmth then why is it such a stretch to believe that layers of fashionable attire cannot equal warmth.  It can and it did.  Confident that my fashion plan would keep me warm, the finishing touch was a pair of black boots- heeled of course, which did not fail me, keeping my feet warm and dry thus proving my theory correct. 

Unfortunately the execution was slightly flawed, thus leading me to my conclusion as well as to how I found myself 'Running to Class in Heels'; as I was prepared to look good in a winter wonderland, I was not prepared to travel in one.  The 20 minutes I left between my front door and my seat in Philosophy, was approximately 7 minutes shy for the ice covered streets and sidewalks.  So there you have it, I find myself moving quickly, gritting my teeth as the frozen tundra crunches under the heels of my boots. I cannot pretend that I am crossing campus at a breakneck speed because I am exercising, no one would dress as I was to go for a run.  It was clear, I was 'Running to Class in Heels'. Just as many of you may run in support of your favourite cause I gained strength with every stride, fuelling my hope that my example would one day solve this epic Canadian Fashion Girl Crisis. A future Canada would be free of 'old man touques' and 'ugly coats' and that the women who perpetuate this justification to others would one day be ostracised and ridiculed until they see the light and discover that they too can be beautiful in the cold!  Yes, I have a dream, and as I race to my class, I realised that with every step my dream, like all the others that came before it is thus one step closer to reality.


Zubair_Khan on 6 April 2012 at 03:54 said...

Thanks for the share, sweat pants are the most fashionable apparel now, you can wear it at anywhere it doesn't matter what is the place.

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