Girl In Porcelain Print Skirt In Feild 4

Stop Asking Where I’m Going When I’m Dressed Up

Everyone has their own sense of style. Personally, I enjoy dressing up. Whether I’m going to a friend’s birthday dinner or just hitting the library, I like to look fancy. Yes, I know I’m overdressed for most occasions, but it’s something that I like to do. However, despite the fact that I always look like that, I still get a lot of people asking me where I’m going, all dressed up. Well, the answer is nowhere.

More often than not, an explanation is a form of defense, as if we need to justify why we’re dressed the way we are. Instead of feeling empowered by this question, I feel self-conscious, sometimes on days when I really need a boost. 

Everyone has a different reason for why they dress the way they do, but the simplest reason is because that’s their choice. Sometimes, all they want is to make the day feel special or to brighten a rainy day with a bright floral dress. Dressing up can make you happy. However, when I put a nice dress and heels on to feel special, I often end up feeling deflated at some point in the day. I know there will inevitably be a question that comes up at some point – by now, I’m used to it, but I still wish people didn’t think I needed a reason for “looking nice.” For a while, I thought I was being too sensitive, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve watched lots of women deflate due to the same question.

Too many times, I’ve seen a girl have to explain why she’s wearing an outfit. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Maybe you’re going to the theatre; maybe you have a date – the possibilities are endless. But sometimes, you’re just pulling a Picasso and trying to slather your life in yellow paint – which is still completely valid. 

I know that people think this is a compliment: “You look so nice; you must be going somewhere!” But instead it makes me feel like I’m out of place, as if what they’re really asking is: “Why are you wearing that?” Whether intended or not, the phrasing of this question gives off this tone. The assumption that I must be doing something other than my day-to-day life, that I couldn’t just be wearing this outfit for myself, hinges on an upsetting idea in my mind: That I don’t look this nice on other days. This day stands out, seemingly special, and in an anxious mind, that’s because every other day is so horribly mundane that I would have no reason to just wear a tulle skirt to walk to Fisher-Bennett Hall. I know this may not be true, but my mind, like many others, wanders to this place of self-doubt.

I am finally at a point in my life where I’m confident in what I wear and am able to brush this question off. But for many women, this question can be upsetting, a minor comment than we fixate on. We’re all special enough to “dress up” for the everyday. And I know most intend this as a compliment – it’s always nice to spread the love. But let’s maybe rephrase it a little. Maybe say something like, “You look so nice! Today must be extra special.” Because every day can be special.