Do Social Norms Determine What You Wear?

I recently mentioned on Instagram this exact question after finding myself not wearing certain items of my wardrobe.
Here’s what i said:

“Do you ever feel like you can’t wear something

 because it’s not common practice in your social environment?

I was beginning to feel that way with this faux leather skirt. 

I live in a small welsh countryside town where everyone wears jeans each day and it’s very much the norm and generally the done thing..

So I started to put off wearing it in fear of standing out.

Why? Who knows. I labelled it as too fancy for day wear..

But guess what, I wore it today and nobody cared, nobody stared and I bloody well loved it again.

Strange how small town mentality can get in your head sometimes and then you end up putting your own barriers needlessly in the way..

Wear the bloody skirt/dress/leather trousers. Do what makes you happy.. That is all ???

*Edit* it’s worth noting that I too love a good jeans day, it’s more a case of being happy to wear what I like rather than dressing solely to social norms**

So here’s the long of it:
I live in a small cluster of towns in the welsh valleys, Beddau, pontyclun,Talbot green Llantrisant are my usual stomping grounds. Small towns surrounded by rolling hills and farms. Its fairly common to be stuck behind a tractor and see multiple persons out and about in jodhpurs and muddy boots, dog walkers dressed up in their warmest wears and funny hats, this is just general town-country life.
But here’s the thing. There is very much a ‘social norm’ when it comes to dressing around these parts.
When you’re out and about the general consensus is usually jeans (skinny, bootcut, straight), body warmers or coats and sensible shoes.
Because of this, i find myself dressing down more to fit in to this ‘social norm’ not wanting to step outside of the non-trend and wear what i actually want to wear.

I seem to have created an invisible line of constriction that I’m unprepared to cross.
But it’s nobody’s doing but me.

In my mind I have curated lists of commonly acceptable outfits that goes a little something like:
Skinny jeans and sweater = OK
Faux Leather = NO CHANCE
Sensible walking boots= Yes to the norm
OTK boots for day wear = What are you thinking?

…You get the idea

I do this to fit in and blend in fear of standing out, but really  what does it matter? I don’t know most of the people i see each day. We are merely passers by in each others life, without a second thought to one another afterwards. Judgement, if passed, is fleeting and really, why should i care?
So why do i restrict myself?
It comes down to the need of approval and security.
But when i really got to thinking about it, the only person it effects is myself, right? So why am i relying on complete strangers approval to vindicate myself?

Dressing each day is my creative outlet, i can’t paint, i can’t draw. Dressing in what i want is part of who i am.
So wear the damn skirt, rock the OTK boots and wear that red fluffy coat. If it makes you happy.. wear it.

Here are some of the quotes from the lovely Ladies of Instagram

tjvalentineCouldn’t agree with you more. I live in a small Cornish village and the dress code is casual to say the least, I feel a bit radical even with a heel let alone leather below the waist but it does the soul good to wear what you like when you like. Enjoy. You always look gorgeous xxx

anothertallstoryHallelujah I hear you sister, living in Weston Super Mud I feel the same about my faux leather mini and keep for nights out and skirts for work but too long have these beauties lingered in the wardrobe, break them out I say x

ankh35bHear, hear ?. My resolution this year is to wear whatever I have in my wardrobe especially as I still have lots of clothes with labels on, but this year I am determined no matter what the occasion to wear them all ?

I think it does the soul good to step outside of the box and reminding yourself its ok to not blend in.

It’s ok to be a peacock and show those brightly coloured beautiful feathers in all of their majestic glory, whether that be with leather skirts, silver shoes or a bright red furry coat.

Wear what you want. 

Dress in what you love.

After all, as the old saying goes, life isn’t a dress rehearsal!



  1. January 25, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I love this outfit! I know what you mean, I have a leather skirt in my wardrobe that I hardly ever wear. I keep it because I love it but i'm too afraid to wear it around wear I live. Definitely getting the skirt out today because of this post ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you

    Rachael xx.

  2. January 25, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    I live in a big city and I can wear what I like in terms of style even though it has its limits. Like for example, in the Summer, I see men shirtless walking down the street all the time but God forbid a girl from wearing short shorts… For a while I wouldn't even wear clothes that showed my shoulders! But now I don't really care and I wear whatever I like and I'm happy you're doing the same because feeling good in ourselves whenever we leave the house is the best thing ever.

    Marta –

  3. January 25, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    I regularly go to Talbot Green and Pontyclun, so at least I'm one more person that won't always be in the jeans uniform there!! Know what you mean though, it can be easier just to blend in can't it? X

  4. January 25, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    So true. I used to wear what I thought was acceptable but now if I love something I wear it. There are some things I don't wear, usually because I feel they're too young for me (I'm 41), but only because I would feel uncomfortable in them, not because I think others think I shouldn't wear them.
    It's so true that mostof the time others don't notice what you're wearing anyway, so why worry ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. January 25, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Oh yes I can totally relate to your conundrum, and I feel like no matter where you live, people almost seem to have taken dressing casually to a new level, as if it's a challenge to see just how casually you can dress and still get away with it. I find myself often slipping into jeans and even joggers for work while abandoning my blazers and pencil skirts. At the end of the day we must answer only to ourselves, so wear what you like, and own that look.

  6. January 25, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    Love this post! I totally understand – outside of term time I live in a small town in Cumbria where everyone wears hiking gear but I'm out there wearing heels daily ?
    You rock that leather skirt! It looks amazing

  7. January 30, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    Excellent post and so on point. You only live once so make the most out of life and enjoy yourself and your wardrobe. Today I am wearing all new items that have been sitting in my wardrobe for over six months unworn!!!

  8. February 3, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    I love this post. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Although I love jeans (this has been my wardrobe staple from being a young toddler, not due to where i live) it's very much the norm as a typeof uniform for my area too. I live near the cost of North Yorkshire, out of the local town in a small village. Like you and others, surrounded by horses/horse owners, farms, dog walkers.. you get the jist. So, jeans, body warmers, Boden and Joules are pretty how we role. I've often found myself comment or look at people who aren't wearing the local 'uniform'. So I guess we are phased by such out of the box statements, but actually, as you quite rightly say, so what and why not. Clothing is just an expression of our self and our personality. Go wear it! ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. February 14, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Jd Morgan ยท Works at Retired
    I live in a very small Welsh community, and I would welcome you walking about the place wearing your little faux leather skirt. It would certainly be an improvement on what most here wear.
    At least you've got the pins worth looking at.

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