Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bringing Pretty Back

John Marine | 12/21/2010 11:59:00 PM | |
(UPDATED: October 19, 2014)

"Girls just wanna look pretty again."

-an article in Teen Vogue Magazine on May 24, 2010

...or so Teen Vogue magazine said back in May 2010. Teen Vogue magazine had one reader or blogger proud that metal studs and other touches of toughness are going away in favor of timeless and beautiful fashions. As much as there are those who love cute and girly fashions, there are those who'd rather see more toughness and trashy looks than always looking sweet and innocent. It's almost as if being, looking, and feeling pretty in girly and fun clothes doesn't equal fun anymore. Almost as if floral prints should be exchanged for skulls. Almost like a dress and tights and cute pumps should be exchanged for a dress with fishnet tights and combat boots. Almost as if showing some girly style... is dead, and in favor of tougher and harder looks. Maybe more girls would favor style from Taylor Momsen than Taylor Swift. Nothing wrong with the whole "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" deal, but sometimes... girls just want to look pretty. And so, this is my critique piece on this whole deal.

This blog entry and its title were inspired by "Bringing Pretty Back" on teenvogue.com from May 2010. Read it to get a basic idea of what I'm about to discuss here. which this blog post is named after.

NOTE: This was an old and unfinished blog post being released and completed to make way for posts for 2011.


OCT 19 2014 - simply updated the post

--- Why So Tough? ---

The main reason why to me is that no one tends to care about looking girly and cute. Everything's all about trying to be hard and rock and dark all the time (or at least most of the time). Whatever happened to just looking happy and cheery with fashion? But no, it has to be ditching floral designs in favor of skulls, fishnets, and combat boots. It has to be about being hard ALL the time.

This also goes back to me just thinking about rays of sunshine- positive looks apart from the negatives. Isn't it happy (and different) seeing soft colors and designs in fashions apart from anything trashy? Not a lot want to look and dress happy. Either that, or some just think that soft style is dead in favor of hardness. Or maybe some are scared or uncomfortable dressing up in subtle and chic fashions.

In fashion, we reward people who try to be daring and bold with their fashions. I think most fashion critics have no problem seeing the most gorgeous pieces on females of various ages. I remember one time watching "Fashion Police" on the E! Network once (I am a fan of Fashion Police), I can recall one of the hosts (especially Jay Manuel) being bored with the soft fashions and want to see some hardness. It is very possible to look hard and stylish at the same time. I think a lot of people just get bored of soft styles and want to go with some tougher styles. You can be tough with your styles, but I don't think anyone will really question your toughness just because you wear soft clothes and colors. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself without saying anything. You can't pass judgment on someone based on how they dress. So therefore, there is a need for some to go with tough fashions.

--- Bringing Pretty Back ---

Before I begin, I'd like to say that there is nothing wrong with looking either sweet or tough. It's just that I sometimes become a bit... not bored, but sad that not as many girls become enamored with looking cute. It's almost as if looking cute and stylish is boring and that rocker chic is the way to go. That's why I've been a bit disappointed a few years ago when fewer girls were wearing sundresses. It's almost as if a timeless feminine garment gave way to mostly denim mini skirts. I have nothing against mini skirts (or skirts in general), but the appeal of a basic sundress just seemed lost.

Times have since changed. Not as many girls that I see wear sundresses, but at least the sundress isn't dead. Why do I put so much emphasis on dresses? The main reason is because dresses have, and forever will be, a staple of beauty for any female of any age and of any size. I remember watching some very old episodes of The Maury Show in which boyish-looking teen girls wanted to get makeovers to make them more feminine and cute. I remember Maury asking if certain boyish girls ever wear dresses. This just shows the power and style of a basic dress. There are some females not comfortable with dresses. Heck, some aren't even comfortable in skirts. Why is a dress so celebrated? A dress is feminine and beautiful. The flow and charm of wearing a dress speaks to high volumes of femininity and feminine charm. I think dresses speak of great beauty that some skirts can't even equate to. Nothing wrong with skirts, but dresses can be absolutely beautiful. Taylor Swift wears dresses proudly and beautifully. This, even though Taylor once admitted she lacked the confidence to wear dresses because of her tall (she's 5 feet, 11 inches tall; she's just one inch shorter than my six feet, 0 inch height) frame. To read more about Taylor Swift and how she used to feel about wearing dresses before becoming more confident wearing them, read this Taylor Swift article on bopandtigerbeat.com.

Perhaps I am too much of an old-fashioned thinker. Maybe that's why I haven't accepted things like skulls (which I've personally never liked) and especially how fashions have tried to make skulls trendy, especially in the mid-late 2000s. However, I heard the whole skull trend was mostly based on pirate-based style. As for studs, I've been very okay with studs on various garments and accessories.

--- Is There Anything Wrong With Looking Tough? ---

Not at all. Fashion is about expressing yourself however you please through the means of fashion. Even you rock types have to admit- it's refreshing that when most others are wearing rock-influenced or Goth-like fashions, that seeing cheery and fun fashions is refreshing. Not every girl has to be bad girl chic. You know it feels like a classic look is dead (or dying) if a greater majority are dressed tough rather than cute.

All I'm saying is that there is no problem in looking tough or in looking pretty and prissy. I'm just saying that not every girl has to be tough in their looks. Some love and prefer looking cute and pretty. I do like a cute sense of style by a girl. That's why I follow so many certain fashion-themed blogs here on Blogger/Blogspot. The only problem is when some people make it seem like tough is the ONLY way to go. You don't have to dress tough all the time or feel like tough is the only way to go. Just dress to your heart's content and develop your own style. Every now and then, maybe wear something different or go with a different style from what you are normally used to.

--- Bringing Pretty Back: Pretty in Pictures ---

So what qualifies as pretty? I have found a number of images online to help set the mood while also explaining them in greater detail. Here are some pictures of pretty fashion:

Pretty Dresses and Skirts.

pretty dress
^ from: thisnext.com - A timeless, cute, and very pretty dress.

Nothing says "pretty" quite like a dress, especially one with such cute designs. All that is needed to make this look cute is to go with a nice set of accessories. As for footwear, cute sandals, pumps, or ballet flats equal a pretty look. Of course, a girl who wants some toughness could trade sandals or pumps for some combat boots.

Jeans Tucked Into Boots.

jeans into boots
^ from: choosespun.com - A cowl neck top worn with jeans tucked into boots with chunky heels.

While I've always thought of jeans tucked into boots as a tough look, you can definitely make such a look chic. All it takes is a sleek and sexy pair of tall boots. I dislike over-the-knee boots, let alone these boots tucked into jeans, but there are some rare exceptions. I have recently become fond of low-heel and riding boots tucked into jeans. Try this- an indigo blue pair of jeans with some sparkly or sequin accents tucked into a pair of honey brown or chocolate brown riding boots. Loveliness! Or, you may go with a pair of beige or khaki jeans tucked into a pair of dark brown or black boots. Equal loveliness. A feminine top can add to your chic appeal and pretty looks. One thing I've basically learned about cold weather times- it's a chance for girls to show off their most fabulous pair of boots to tuck into jeans (especially thos who love the jeans-tucked-into-boots look).

Hippie/Bohemian Chic.

[~~~ no picture... :( ~~~]

Hippie chic for females is something I almost always consider to be very girly and pretty. I immediately think of Taylor Swift when I usually think of cute headbands. Peasant tops and peasant dresses are surely feminine and pretty. There are people tired of or dislike the whole Bohemian thing. However, at least this is different from the edgy and gloomy rock-influenced styles.

Party Dresses.

party dress
^ from: dressale.com - A cute and girly party dress.

Timeless, feminine, and oh-so pretty; a party dress is instantly a pretty garment. I am someone who believes every girl should have at least one very cute formal-type dress as much as I think almost every guy should have at least one great formal outfit (whether a suit or a dress shirt + dress pants/slacks combination). A party dress is absolutely girly. A way to still look pretty in a party dress while not being too tough is to go with a sexy pair of ankle boots. A cropped leather jacket doesn't hurt too much, either in still looking pretty.

Chic Shoes.

^ from: justjaime28.wordpress.com - A lovely pair of holiday pumps.

While there's nothing wrong going with a pair of tough shoes, don't disregard classic and timeless pretty shoes like a pair of satin dress pumps. There are too many elements to these pumps shown that makes them pretty. Allow me to list the elements as they are: (1) the high heel, (2) the fact these are satin pumps, (3) the open side design, (4) the cute bow over the vamp of these pumps, and (5) the open toe design. All of these elements equate to a stylish and pretty pair of shoes.

I tried to feature one more section on pretty makeup, but I was unable to find a good enough picture to demonstrate this. Maybe I will revisit pretty makeup in a future edit.

My final point is... wear anything to your heart's content. If you prefer pretty looks over tough looks, go with your pretty style. If you prefer tough looks over pretty looks, go with your tough style. If you prefer a little of both or mixing and matching pretty with tough, it's all up to you. Just go with whatever style makes you happy. Teen Vogue thought long ago that the tough girl looks have lost their edge. Perhaps too many are trying to go with the super-tough looks while leaving behind classic and ladylike pieces.

Do you think the whole tough girl image is losing its edge? Do you think not as many are embracing pretty and soft styles anymore? Feel free to comment away on my work. I hope you've enjoyed your reading of my blog post. If you have, please remember to subscribe, join my Facebook fan page, as well as follow my blog on Google Friend Connect.

Thank you for reading!

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