23.10.14

Parents and alternative fashion.

Hello everyone! Once again, I will have to apologise for the silence on my end--with school starting up again, it's so hard to keep up with a blog. I've been having a blast interacting with people on Instagram though and updating over there since it only takes a couple of minutes out of my day to post something there~ In fact, all the photos on this post are from there since I haven't had time to put together a lot of new photos for the blog in a while. (; A ;)/


I thought I'd address two frequently asked questions I receive a lot--and they are variations of:

  1. What do your parents think about your clothing choices?
  2. How do I get my parents to accept how I dress?
Nothing I say here can be taken with a grain of salt--everyone's parents are different and prioritise different things, but I'll try to share my experiences and advice that follows my experience as best I can. I hope you find this post informative!

My parents are part of a large, conservative, Indian family, so in the end, their main concerns boil down to "what will other people think?" and "I hope that this is only a hobby and not your entire life."

Since both my parents are very different people, and I have very different relationships with both of them, I'll separate my experiences accordingly. Maybe you can draw a parallel between one of them and your parents!

What my mother thinks of what I wear.

My mom and I are very close, so her opinion has always really impacted me, either positively or negatively, as a result. She is incredibly conservative, so she really likes the more toned-down, vintage things I wear because she finds them tasteful and similar to the things she used to wear when she was my age! She's a bit of an older mum than most as well, so that really explains her taste in clothing.
This is an outfit that I think she would like, but it would also launch her into a rant about how she wishes I would cut my hair this short. =P
This is actually a photo I showed my mom that she loved! She found it cute that I wore a strawberry dress to a strawberry-picking meet-up. This is about as sweet as I can get around her.
She generally disagrees with anything on the sweeter end of the spectrum, and I haven't shown her photos of my fairy-kei or mahou-kei coordinates as a result. When she sees my wardrobe though, she tends to gravitate immediately to those darker jewel tones and admire them, and then shake her head at the pastels, heh.
Note to self: never show this to mom.
How I convinced my mother to accept my fashion.

Despite wearing Japanese street fashion for nearly 9 years now, it is always a work in progress with my mom. The main thing I had to explain to her is that I won't mix alternative fashion with my professional life. For some odd reason, when I went into college, and then graduate school with a suitcase filled with frills, she immediately thought I was going to wear those things to school (despite having about two more suitcases filled with "normal" clothes).
I swear mom, this is what I wear to school!
Like any good parent, my mom is always really worried about her child not fitting in with others. I constantly have to reassure her I don't show up to the law school in a giant petticoat or a wig, and she immediately starts to cool off about it.

I also had to show her that I was making smart financial decisions when it came to my wardrobe. I broke down how I go about deciding I want something and assure her that I don't engage in $400 impulse buys--I usually have money put aside for my hobbies that does not touch the money for my necessities. After she's seen a pattern of me working out my finances perfectly fine--or even being able to sell a dress easily after I'm done wearing it, she loosened up.

What my father thinks, and how he accepted my fashion.

I'm not nearly as close to my father, but he was definitely the easier one. Sometimes he slings the occasional jab about how I dress, but for the most part, he liked that the clothes were solidly constructed and fit me well. He really wanted to make sure I was getting my money's worth with what I was dropping hundreds of dollars on. It also helps that he really loves fashion and textiles, so he love those little details a lot of brands include.

When I was first getting into lolita fashion, I made the mistake of telling him it's real name, and he did a google search and found porn and Nabokov's Lolita almost immediately. He warned me against wearing the fashion because he believed that it had sexual connotations I just wasn't "aware" of yet. I explained to him that it was a common misconception, showed him some photos of the fashion and links to websites explaining it greater detail, and even showed him meet-up photos I found on EGL. From that experience, I recommend just calling the fashion "Japanese street fashion" around them.
Look Dad, there's more of us!
As soon as I reassured him other people my age wore the fashion, and that I would not wear it to school or professional gatherings, he accepted it quickly and just shrugged it off as another one of my hobbies that he's too old to understand.
"Ah, Avi is dressing like a doll again."

  • Patience is key: don't lose your temper with your parent when they bring up some ridiculous notion or fear in regards to what you wear. They'll just continue to treat you like a child, and you'll get nowhere.
  • When you have a chance, explain things in detail: even if it seems like you're getting defencive, it's always better to keep your parents in the loop. Though they may not show it, parents appreciate a candid conversation with you. Tell them how you budget for a dress, how you decide which one is best for you (i.e. researching measurements, looking at feedback, etc.), and your parents will appreciate how responsible you are about your purchases!
  • Show them photos of some of the more toned-down things you wear, and ease them into the "crazier" stuff: I have been able to show my mom some of the intricate outfits I put together for conventions because I showed her primarily my casual and classic lolita stuff first. It's never a good idea to just randomly show up in the middle of a family dinner dressed like a pink cupcake without warning when it's much better to ease a parent into it with photos and an explanation of what the fashion is. 
Like I said, it's always a work in progress with my parents, and my experiences with them can change on a daily basis, but more or less, if I remember those three points, I'm able to get them to see why I love the fashion so much and dedicate so much time to it. Both my parents want to see me succeed in life, and when I am able to reassure them that I still care very much about my career, they almost always come around.

5 comments:

  1. You have wonderful style! I love lolita in terms of style, though I'm not one myself, and I've always thought that there is an element of bravery about wearing exactly what you want. Great post, I learned a lot from you :)

    x
    B
    Feel free to read: ^__^ New Post + International Giveaway on the Unicorn Sanctuary!

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    1. Oh wow, thank you so much!! I am floored by your thoughtful comment. I hope if you love lolita, one day you get a chance to wear it yourself! It's so much fun and it's a real confidence-booster.

      xoxo

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  2. I love your different styles of dress, you're always looking so lovely! Thanks for sharing this personal experience and it's great that your parents have accepted your hobby. :D I've always struggled with explaining lolita fashion to my mum because she really hates it, thinks it's a waste of money and is concerned too much about what other people think. But she's learned to accept it over time (though admittedly, she's not all that thrilled) and definitely prefers toned-down over pastels or OTT. XD I always feel better and more confident when she does compliment my lolita outfits though :3

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    1. I'm the same way! I always have a hard time following the really cut-and-dry advice that some people gave me (which was more along the lines of "screw what your mom thinks") because I've always felt worlds better when my mom complimented me.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the read! It's great that your mom is coming around. I've learned to kind of accept that there are some things I'm going to have to meet in the middle for--I can't get upset that she doesn't like the most OTT outfit I can put together because it's the small steps that matter most. =)

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  3. Hey, I found you through my GFC but this weekend I moved that blog to http://www.apreponderanceoffashion.com so please visit me there and let me know you stopped your thoughts on my new design or posts, xoxo

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