Utne Blogs > Literature

Feminists Want to Look Good Too

by Staff


Tags: fashion, feminism, Jessa Crispin, bookslut, the smart set,

Fashion Week.Smart, feminist women want to look good too, but stereotypes uphold fashion and intelligence to be mutually exclusive. Fashion guides either display impractical pieces (such as $1,500 leggings) or advise women on how to disguise “flaws,” and in doing so fail to address the tastes and needs of feminist women, argues Jessa Crispin on the Smart Set.

Good fashion writing, says the Bookslut founder, provides advice for sensible women: “Women who have to wait for buses in the middle of winter. Women who like to dance at parties, and do not want to have to sit in the corner because their feet are bleeding.”

As an example of the above, Crispin extols Guardian fashion editor Hadley Freeman’s The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable, written for women who dress for self-expression and not solely to attract the male gaze. If more fashion writing was done in the tone of smartypants Freeman, we could avoid the fear that caring about our appearance makes us a vain fool or a victim,” Crispin writes.

Sarah Pumroy

Image by Peter Duhon, licensed  under Creative Commons.