Sweet Nothings: Why sweet and frilly masks the sour inside.

The bitter taste inside a sweet dresser. Why those who likes sweet perfect things are usually hiding evil nasty personalities and vice versa.

There are slews of articles talking about the language of clothes, the social politics, and connotations that are ingrained. When you think of a biker jacket you think tough and rebellious and a ruffled dress brings to mind images of sweetness and femininity. Clothes are signifiers regarding wealth, belief systems, occupations, and most importantly your personality. These fabric contraptions are empty vessels where humans have embedded years and years worth of histories, philosophies, and codes of conduct. Resulting in creating subcultures, style tribes, and nowadays precursors of adopted personalities and behaviors that you can try on to express your personality or hide lackluster shortcomings.

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What intrigues me is the idea of hiding your flaws and shortcomings through clothes. No one can deny that they don’t use clothes in such a way. Everyone dresses to some extent to be socially accepted. The most off-putting to me are the sweet dressers. Lovers of pink and petticoats, bows and glitters, and all things dainty and sweet. It’s like those people whose smiles are too smiley or overly nice to the point where you think “What is wrong with them?”. Are these images of cutesy fashion hiding the antithesis? Masking unemotional, mean, and bitter traits?

Not saying all sweet dressers are monsters in disguise but I want to explore the idea of hiding flaws through fashion. So to prove my point I will use my unscientific method heavily referencing Harry Potter, The Outsiders, and the Kamikaze Girls movie.

 

Devil in a pink dress

I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world. A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity.
— j.k rowling on thoughts about dolores umbridge

Many would assume if you wear sweet girly frilly things that you are in fact sweet girly and twee, but another perspective is that it might be masking a rather unsavory persona. What if real life sugary sartorialists are trying to hide or compensate their lack of niceties and project enormous amounts of sincerity and warmth they may be lacking?

She was quite a stocky woman, and not in the first flush of youth, and her tendency to wear frills where (I felt) frills had no business to be, and to carry undersized handbags, again as though they had been borrowed from a child’s dressing-up box, jarred, I felt, with a personality that I found the reverse of sweet, innocent and ingenuous.
— j.k rowling on thoughts about Dolores Umbridge

 

Sociopaths in preppy poodle skirts

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It’s not just money. Part of it is, but not all. You greasers have a different set of values. You’re more emotional. We’re sophisticated—- cool to the point of not feeling anything. Nothing is real with us. You know, sometimes I’ll catch myself talking to a girl-friend, and realize I don’t mean half of what I’m saying. I don’t really think a beer blast on the river bottom is super-cool, but I’ll rave about one to a girl-friend just to be saying something. I never told anyone that. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever really gotten through to.
— Cherry to Ponyboy in The Outsiders, page 38

In the book The Outsider’s Socs were the nemesis of the Greasers and  exemplified everything they hated. “Nice” upstanding citizens in preppy sweaters and poodle skirts who were actually unemotional and borderline sociopaths.

 

Sweet frocks hiding a sour outlook

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She is the only Lolita in her town and has no friends, but doesn't care. Momoko believes that her Lolita clothes are all she needs to make her happy. By wearing the ultimate in sweet fashion, it's used as the stark contrast of Momoko’s lack of soul.

Clothes can be utilized to great effect hiding our real selves and may serve to gloss over imperfections in our personality. Garments are visual indicators of who we want to be and how we want to be perceived in public. With fashion’s aspirational magic it’s no wonder that once worn these human hangers start to emulate whatever belief system that’s carried in the clothes.

There is nothing wrong about hiding your flaws with clothes. Wearing sweet things maybe your way of saying “Hey at least I’m trying to look nice or sweet.” But NEVER think that clothes can change your personality. They can’t.  Like money or super powers, clothes are just tools you can use for good or evil. So pick wisely and don’t judge someone’s personality based off how they look. It may surprise you...in a bad way.