dressing for me

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend whom I haven't seen in a while. Like most of my friends she lives far away - the baggage you have to live with when you come from a war torn-country and work in the international arena. She was curious about my blogging and I was very happy to speak of it: my motivations and inspirations, my ambitions and aspirations, the highs and the lows. 

The topic of audience building was brought up (and by audience building I mean getting people to care, to regularly visit and read what you have to say of their own accord). I shared with her how tough it was. In turn, she suggested that my advantage might be my access to a wide network of professional women from around the world. My comment on her observation was the same as the main reason I have started this blog. In my professional world, and in my life experience wanting to look good and caring about fashion, was never an advantage. Rather, it made you seem shallow, incompetent and downright anti-feminist. And I know I am not the only one.

In her piece titled "Do the Clothes Make the Woman? The Fashion of Feminism", blogger, journalist and writer Shannon Kelley recounts:

"Last year, I was in New York for a book reading–an anthology to which I’d contributed an essay. And I went, sporting an Outfit-with-a-capital-O. After all, I like clothes. And I spend more than enough time at home, alone save for my trusty laptop, ensconced in clothes that can most kindly be described as scrubs. And if people were going to be looking at me, I wanted to look good, dammit (and, you know, be comfortable–except for my baby toes). I was staying with the (wildly intelligent–and beautiful) woman who’d edited the book, and, while we were walking to the train, she–dressed decidedly down–told me how she feels like she has to dress that way in order to be perceived as a Serious Writer. You know, the kind who’s so busy being a Serious Writer she doesn’t have time for silly fashion. She said she even has a pair of fake glasses. (Even a Serious Writer has to accessorize!) The irony, of course, being that she loves clothes as much as I do. She was laughing about it, but I have to say, it kind of made me take note of what each of the other contributors wore that night, and what my choice of duds communicated about me. Fabulous and fashionable? Or literary lightweight?"

To Kelley's story I can add countless of my own when others (mostly women I should add) threw snide remarks my way of the "when do you get the time?" variety. Or "how can you walk in those?" I remember one specific occasion when, after I have completed my first Race for the Cure and proudly updated my Facebook status, a former friend posted a comment asking me whether I ran in my heels. The common thread to all these comments and situations is the lurking unspoken implication that you are  incompetent and superficial (and a bad mother at that).

So to Kelley's question "do the clothes the woman make?" my answer, rooted in my own experience, is sadly YES. People judge other people based on how they dress. And it is a double-edged sword affecting equally those who care about fashion and those who don't not. I believe that the reason for that is that most people dress for others seeking their approval and acceptance. They do so in order to affirm their identity or a certain social status.

But if you ask me should the clothes make the woman?  My ever resounding answer is NO. And the key to achieving that is to dress according to your own feelings, needs and fashionable inclinations despite what other people might think. Hence this blog. 


sweater: Twik
blouse: Zara
shorts: H&M
shoes: ALDO
clutch: Max and Co.
bracelet: BCBG
necklace: Mango


  1. Great and insightful, I enjoyed reading it, and agree on all points!

  2. First of all, wonderful outfit!!! Second of all, great post and its content!!! Third of all, I always dress for myself just like you.

  3. You are so right!

  4. It really is a good post with great content!
    In french there's a saying : L'habit ne fait pas le moine. I couldn't agree more.


  5. This is definitely along the lines of not judging a book by its cover. Wearing a Juicy track suit does not a good mother make and wearing a D&G suit does not a good lawyer make. It also brings up the point that still resonates with me made in your previous post of "imbue this troubled life with beauty and optimism", which I believe is what all women want, in some portion or capacity, to achieve in their everyday professional or private lives.
    Great outfit... love how your yellow polish picks up the yellow in the glint of the gold buttons on the sweater.

    Happy Monday!


    XOXO Dana

    1. Thank you Dana I am really glad that both posts resonated with you. Have a great week! xoxoDanina

  6. Beautifully worded, and just so true!
    I love the look!

  7. Hello! I came to your blog, because your profile photo intrigued me. And now I see that not only one photo is cool! So, I'm glad I found you because your blog is awesome! Good job and please keep posting, because you do it great, and I start following and will visit you with pleasure!
    xx nik


    1. Thank you so much!!!! Very happy to have you as a follower. xoxoD

  8. This was really great to read, especially since this topic has been on my mind alot recently - I just republished a post on my new blog (from my old blog) about why i felt it was important to dress how you want to dress, and how letting an ex-boyfriend dictate my dressing choices made me feel like less of a person. I also have one to be published tommorow entitled "WHY I WEAR HEELS" , an open letter to the people who have such an issue with my wearing heels to uni, shopping etc. I mean, one guy once asked me "Are you sure you're in the right class?" in one of my psychology lectures. ugh.

  9. LOVE the outfit...It's summer, playful, and I can tell you like wearing it. Bravo! I also LOVE the title "Dressing for me." I'm from Washington DC and I work in humanitarian affairs, both places where fashion comes to die. There is a certain dark-suit-nude-makeup-cute-flats look that seems to be accepted, and those who violate it are punished with endless photocopying/data entry drudgery. To me, American women will not be fully empowered until a woman working on the Hill can say "Yes, I am well aware of the economic implications of the new healthcare act. I am writing a budget proposal and I'm doing it in fabulous shoes." I don't know how we get to this Utopia,but I am encouraged by women like Michelle Obama, who has made her mark on Washington with both her "Let's Move" campaign AND her Vogue-worthy style. With more and more women in higher education and in powerful professional positions (more female CEOs in Fortune 500s than ever!), hopefully the idea that one can look good while kicking ass and taking names will take root in our collective psyche. Love the post, D!

  10. Congrats on being part of Links a la Mode this week.

    Great look & nailpolish.

    Best, Jenny


  11. Awesome awesome awesome post! Beautifully written, I agree with all the points you made especially the statement about fashion being a double-edged sword when it comes to caring/not caring about what you wear.

    Congrats on being featured for IFB's Links a la Mode as well, you definitely deserved it!



  12. Wow! What a great post! How true it is! I am studying to be a midwife and I am constantly feeling the "strain" of wanting to dress up, and all-out girly, but working with women who are by their definition feminists, can sometimes prove challenging. It was really great to get your perspective on this!

  13. Love that sweater. Clean lines, classic prep. Can't miss. Lovely.

  14. I love this post. I feel equally awkward when I am dressed down rather than dressed up. I feel more comfortable in my skin when I wear the clothes I want. its an extension of my personality. I am familiar with the comments, perhaps its too much. But I dress for me and not for others.
    Congrats on links a la mode. Love your new follower dani.xx
    Check out my blog at www.huntinginheels.blogspot.com

  15. Great post and I think relevant to so many people into fashion, sometimes you are hesitant to say so because you feel it may give off a superficial image but really its one of the few daily creative outlets we have so why not enjoy it?



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Fashionable in Montreal by Danina Kapetanovic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at fashionable-in-mtl.blogspot.com.