A few posts ago, I quoted Moran on fashion and the workplace:
"Chicks in jeans and sneakers don't get promoted. Men in jeans and sneakers do. How women look is considered generally interchangeable with who we are - and, therefore, often goes on to dictate what will happen to us next" (p.203)
Later on the page, Moran emphasizes that clothes cannot just be clothes for women. A man can pull on the only clean pants in his closet and a shirt, and live his life. When a woman puts on a piece of clothing, it immediately becomes a statement about her political views, sexuality,sense of aethestics, etc. A woman's clothing choice is always analyzed. Even a woman who dresses just for comfort has her decision analyzed and criticised.
While some of this critcism is done by men, much of it is done by women judging other women. Fashion designers and writers are also women. it is fascinating that as more and more women dominate the world of fashion in positions of influence, the clothes that appear in fashion shows still are designed for impossibly thin models and have little relation to real life.
At the end of her fashion chapter, Moran finally realizes:
"Although we use it as our major study aid, fashion does not, ultimately, help us get dressed in the morning. Not if we want to wear something we can walk around in without constantly having the hem ride up or picking the seam out of our crotches. Fashion is for standing still and being photographed.Clothes, on the other hand, are for our actual lives. And life is really the only place you can learn the most important lessons about how to get dressed and feel happy" (p.207).
Fashion deliberately forces women to be passive manniquins in order to get the "look" conceived by the designer. In real life, most women cannot, and do not wish, to stand around passively. Perhaps designers of both sexes will acknowledge that fact and someday design for real, active women.