In referring me to the Saskatoon branch of my company, the owner apparently told the manager of this location: "She's a hard worker, but a bit of a weird dresser"
Is it bad that I take pride in this reference? Not only for the first part, but for the second bit as well. I am a hard worker, yes. Weird dresser is a title I'll also take happily, though I prefer "unique" or "unconventional"
I mean, who decides what makes weird anyway? Not only does perception of what is "strange" in dress vary from person to person, but it also seems to vary from place to place.
Take Saskatoon and Regina, for example. Regina seems to have a bit more of a liberal culture, and so you see a broader variety of dress than you would on the streets of Saskatoon. Although there is perhaps only one full on gothic lolita in Regina, there is a flourishing dressed down gothic culture. Other common features in Regina dress include dreadlocks, things made out of hemp, secondhand clothing, and anything handmade. .
In Saskatoon, the standard everyday dress is unadorned jeans and a t-shirt, with or without a pullover or zip up sweater. Accessorization is minimal. Dressing up for work consists of formal-ish black stretch pants from lululemon, and a less lived in zip up sweater than the one you would wear off-duty. Or, if you work in a more formal office environment, black dress pants (real ones), a monocolored shirt, a necklace. Going out? The same, but throw on nice shoes, maybe a skirt or a blazer.
Unsurprisingly, I thought myself more free to experiment with my dress in Regina. While I felt my job could be secure wearing a dressed down bondage collar to work in Regina, I feel a spiked cuff might be pushing it in Saskatoon. If by Regina standards I am a "weird" dresser, by Saskatoon standards, I must be a walking freakshow.
It is interesting, though, to contemplate how standards of dress vary from location to location, and more interesting to consider how they came to be that way. Could Saskatoon's conservatism in dress stem from its origins as a temperance colony? And if that's the case, do North Americans in general (with our largely puritannical roots) dress more conservatively than Europeans?
I don't really have an answer, although I do know that when on the streets of London, I observed a young woman wearing an outfit consisting of three small tartan triangles and fishnet, that would have gotten her arrested on the streets of Saskatoon for indecent exposure. I wish I'd been quick enough to snap a picture.
In lieu of a scantily clad Londoner, here are some (considerably less sexy) pictures of me dressing strangely, as I tend to do.