It’s one of the more discouraging things that comes along with being a fashion trendsetter – dealing with people who just don’t get fashion.
When I was working on the article about What to Wear to Class, I was reminded that some people are extremely judgmental about the topic, to the point of ridiculing others who don’t dress the way they do.
Unless you live in a big city or another fabulous area that’s full of diversity, it’s likely that you’ll encounter people that don’t understand the things you wear, and/or people who will criticize your fashion choices. It comes with the territory of dressing outside the box and, unfortunately, it’s something you’re going to have to learn to navigate.
Here are some tips on how to deal with this negativity while staying fabulous and true to yourself.
Always be confident in your fashion choices.
Wear things that you love, and make sure you KNOW that you look fabulous at all times. Make sure you love what you see when you look in the mirror. This sets you up with a basis of confidence that will help you combat any negativity.
If you know deep down that you look great, then criticisms won’t get to you. If you’re doubting yourself on some level, any little criticism will shake you up. Don’t let that happen!
Think about your average influencer.
If you need a little confidence boost to rock that slightly-above-your-comfort-level outfit, just think about your average Instagram girl.
These women we all follow on Instagram take photos in crazy outfits, in public places, every single day. And don’t think they just snap that outfit pic and run out of there — it takes hundreds of shots to get that perfect one. So that’s a ton of standing around, in public, in (oftentimes) a crazy outfit. And they do this every single day without flinching.
It sounds silly, but it’s true: if your average influencer can do it, so can you. Use them to inspire you to be bold!
Realize that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
It sounds cliche, but it’s true. People who hate on your outfit are just reacting out of fear, because they don’t know how to deal with people who don’t follow the crowd. Also, it’s likely that they don’t understand fashion nor the idea of self-expression through clothing.
At the end of the day, though, that’s their problem, not yours! Just because one person doesn’t get your style, it doesn’t mean others won’t. And is someone else’s opinion really important anyway? I say no, and you should too.
Remember: In fashion, negative attention is better than no attention.
Celebrities say it all the time – any press is good press! It’s really true in this case. If you’re fabulous enough to cause a stir with someone, you can bet that your look stands out in a crowd. That’s a great thing! Would you rather blend in to the background?
In fashion, it’s always better to be noticed for your look than ignored completely. View any criticism this way going forward.
Once you’ve done the above… ignore it and forget it.
Even if it’s hard to do, don’t let any of their comments into your head, and definitely don’t let them into your memory! The worst thing you can do is to let someone else’s criticism change you or make you conform instead of expressing yourself.
If you like the way you are dressing, stay true to that. Move on quickly from any criticism, and, if anything, go bigger — not smaller — with your outfit next time.
For next time: Choose your company carefully.
If one of your friends is constantly hating on your quirky clothing choices or making you feel bad about being yourself, it may be time to re-evaluate your friendship!
Surround yourself with people who love and support you — they’ll like you for who you are, and won’t put you down. In fact, the right people will applaud your quirky fashion choices — and make you proud to keep being yourself!
For more reasons to ignore fashion haters and keep doing your thing, see 25 reasons why you should dress up every day.
How do you deal with people who don’t get fashion, or who are judgmental about your outfits? Let me know your tips for keeping the haters at bay in the comments.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2008; it was completely updated and revamped in 2019 with new photos and information.