Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Do you have the qualifications?

In the last post I wrote about summer boots, I mentioned that I’m pretty much always to be found in floral dresses. I may have mentioned this before (ahem), although, looking down at myself today, I realise it’s not entirely …

Mon, Jul 5, 2010, 14:30

   

In the last post I wrote about summer boots, I mentioned that I’m pretty much always to be found in floral dresses. I may have mentioned this before (ahem), although, looking down at myself today, I realise it’s not entirely true. It would be more accurate to say that floral dresses are my failsafe; and I would, in a way, urge them to be yours. They’re fun, often work-appropriate, can be dressed up or down and are easier than putting together an outfit comprised of separates.

Anyway, there was then a commenter, who “observed”:

If you wear the same thing all the time, irrespective of the season (heedless of the wind and weather, as it were) doesn’t that make you almost uniquely ill-qualified to comment on matters of fashion? Just an observation.

I love comments like these; they remind me of my mother, who comes out with similarly helpful gems. I find this one interesting, anyway, as it’s something that has occurred to me before – if one writes about fashion, does one have an obligation to be superbly fashionable, 24/7? Or even mildly so? And does having one “style” make one automatically unfashionable, unqualified to talk about sartorial matters?

I would suggest not; sports journalists don’t necessarily play the sports they write about (although commentators usually have, she says, Wimbledon playing in the background). Music journalists don’t always play instruments; food reviewers, although they love to eat, don’t necessarily have to be big into the cooking.

In my opinion, any analysis requires a certain degree of knowledge, and a certain degree of passion – whether or not these two combine to mean that you are the absolute manifestation of that passion. But what do you think? Are you more likely to have faith in a sports journalist who was a pro tennis player? Are you more likely to take fashion advice from someone who dresses like Alexa Chung, or Grace Coddington? (As a related aside, Anna Wintour surely has a distinctive, very Prada style, and I would wager that her penchant for A-line dresses doesn’t devalue her commentary on fashion that goes beyond those boundaries.)