Monday, January 9, 2012

The tweest of them all

Flower clips: H&M
Coat: JCPenney
Dress: JCPenney
Tights: Target?
Wedges: Shoe Carnival

Let's talk twee! My best friend A. and I spent some quality time (ok so it was like 2 hours) picking the perfect sleeve for my Macbook. And even then, I was still uncertain and had to ask another friend for advice. And my mom! This is how bad I am at making decisions, you guys. I ended up buying this sleeve, and I think I made the right choice. During our long, epic journey through Etsyland, A. referred to more than one of my picks as "twee". I don't really know a lot about twee, so I set off to investigate.

Turns out, in Britain, twee's kind of an insult. Sweet to the point of disgust, like eating 20 packets of Splenda. I'm sure A. didn't mean it that way, and I certainly didn't take it that way. In America, though, twee is a term for a specific subgenre of indie pop that is surprisingly sweet and seemingly innocent. Ever heard of Belle and Sebastian? Los Campesinos!? Camera Obscura? The Postal Service, even, is a little bit twee. And the serious terminologists end the definition at that--a type of saccharine music that is enjoyable but can be almost too precious for its own good.

But twee seems to go beyond that simple genre description, according to most of the internet. The styles of Zooey Deschanel, Miranda July and Carey Mulligan are considered twee. The Athens (Georgia, y'all) Banner-Journal even outlined twee fashion points before a local concert. Women are often derided for dressing too uptight, too childish, and everything in between. Wearing anything other than a black sweater and black trousers is an open gate for criticism, and I'm not a fan of that, especially since for a very long time I personally believed that wearing twee clothing was really not classy or cute. But I think, after being introduced to the world of style blogging, and feeling more comfortable with who I am and confident in how my body is, maybe twee isn't so bad. It looks good on some women, and they embody the positive, happy lifestyle that the music helps develop. And I decided, after looking at this dress and all the research that lay before me, that I might be slightly twee today. And I'm okay with that.

Want to read more? Try this stuff:
Twee As Fuck: The Story of Indie Pop on Pitchfork
Twee on Urbandictionary
How to be twee on Wikihow
Don't Fear the Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity by Julie Klausner, and the amazing response by Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky, The Infinite Variety of Individuals
And if you're really into the point Elizabeth made about the woman's power to bring life into the world, Why Women Aren't Funny by Christopher Hitchens*

*I'm just practicing citing things for grad school

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