Sorry for the delayed posting! I was away from the interwebs today and only just remembered I owed dear Emily a visit. It’s been a while!
Hmmm, so here’s a good one…
To define differences between clothes that are notable because of their smartmess and clothes that are merely conspicuous is to define something that is very elusive. However, there are certain rules that seem to be established.
Vulgar clothes are those which, no matter what the fashion of the moment may be, are always too elaborate for the occasion; they are too exaggerated in style like last year’s no pants trend, too much for me!), or have accessories out of harmony with the dress and the wearer.
Beau Brummel’s remark that, when one attracted too much notice, he could be sure of being not well-dressed but overdressed, has for a hundred years been the comfort of the dowdy (considering Beau’s a male fashionista from the 18th century, and his style of clothing is called dandyism, I’m not sure I want to listen to him either ). It is, of course, very often true, but not invariably. A person may be stared at for any one of many reasons. A woman may be stared at because she is ill-behaved (woo who!), or because she looks like a freak of the circus (which, incidentally is a good look!) or because she is enchanting to behold.
If you are much stared at, what sort of stare do you usually meet? Is it contemptuous or curious or is it admiring (clearly she’s never been on the subway. I often confuse meaning behind the stares with all of those words plus some). If the first, change your behavior; if the second, wear more conventional clothes and make-up; if the third, you may be left as you are. But be sure of your diagnosis (I’m sure there’s a website for this).