It is the early hours of Sunday morning, and I am in the queue for a grimy toilet in a grimy club. Heavy drum and bass masks the sound of people urinating but, unfortunately, not the smell of piss and sweat. Once in my cubicle I overhear a group of girls talking – one is moaning about how another is dressed up too fancy to be in Lakota. At such a comment I immediately leave my cubicle to intervene. Said girl’s outfit consists of a green leather skirt, tights, a sparkly black top and pixie boots - an outfit considered casual in other nightclubs. Why was it that in this particular venue this was seen as unacceptable and against the social norm? I told her she was not too over dressed and as my drunk-self put it, “looked peng.”
Why do we limit our style choices according to destination or crowd? I can’t deny it, the vibe of a venue often dictates what I wear. Will the majority of girls be in trousers or dresses? If trousers, I want to stand out - either by wearing my purple cords or maybe some Berny’s skater jeans, despite really wanting to wear my red pvc skirt. I’m not saying you should wear stilettos on your geology field trip, or a G-string out for tea with your nan, but why does our generation always talk about a freedom to express ourselves, whilst we confine one another to an unspoken set of rules.
On that same night in Lakota I met a beacon of hope, a bearded Irish man in a bowler hat, braces and leopard print coat. Talk about a statement - no shits given. I was impressed by his confidence, and so, was not surprised to find out he was a circus performer (awesome.) He was real, breathing, unicycle-riding proof that the only ingredient needed to turn a mish-mash of garments and patterns into a seamlessly flowing outfit is confidence. Something our generation is unfortunately lacking in.
If you put on your flared jeans, puffer jacket and battered New Balance trainers, trying desperately to blend in with anyone from Hiatt Baker, and your skin starts to itch, I implore you, TAKE IT OFF. The number of assumptions we subconsciously make about a person purely dependent on their clothing options is unfathomable – their music taste, what nights out they go to, what Netflix show they are currently bingeing. I want to see ‘roadmen’ in bucket hats and 50 quid joggers in Lola Lo’s, grooving hard to Wild Thoughts. I want to see girls in floral dresses and sparkly tights in the Black Swan skanking hard to heavy drum and bass.
So, if someone ever comments on your outfit – that it’s too fancy, or too chill, or too girly – tell them to shove it where the sun don’t shine, because life isn’t a job interview, wear whatever the fuck you want, wherever you’re going.