Burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese started doing an advice column for xoJane.com on glamour. Dita’s personal style is very classic; forties/fifties vintage. She’s dressed this way most of her adult life, well before it became “cool.”

In her first column, Dita responds to a question:

Dear Dita,

I adore your glamour style! However, I personally feel sort of overdressed in high heels, stockings & dress while around people in jeans. Everybody is staring at me & asking “What’s the occasion for that?” Have you ever been in that kind of situation? How to be brave enough to go on with glamour style every day? How do you deal with unwanted attention?

Malina Kaa


Part of her response:

I recall a moment I had once that really cured me of feeling self-conscious. Two guys made fun of me in passing, who were both dressed in hideously ugly, stained and torn “University of Idiocy” T-shirts with mismatched shorts and some sort of offensive footwear.

I remember thinking, “Wait a minute, the fact that THESE guys think I look silly/crazy/unsexy is actually a compliment!”


It says much that a person who takes the time to dress nicely is considered weird, yet people who can’t be bothered to wear clean clothing are acceptable. The first time I saw a woman in pajama pants and slippers in a grocery store I just stared; now it seems like it’s acceptable to go out that way. Baseball caps with the sales stickers still on them; exercise pants with logos like “Juicy” and “Pink” on the ass; leggings worn as pants; flip-flops worn everywhere…

We accept tackiness and sloppiness as okay, but find a woman who takes time to chose her outfits, wears accessories that look right, wears makeup, has nice hair and nails, worthy of ridicule? Really?

I’ve said it time and time again. You can be a juicy, ripe peach and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches, so you can either submit to someone’s criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you.


…I really think we just have to forgive them, because they just don’t know, and sometimes, they even fear what they don’t know, and we should have sympathy for them. And, I have to add, that if you are already feeling uncomfortable, it might not even be that they are being rude, but their words are magnified and mirroring what you are feeling, so maybe it’s more about finding ways to find your own comfort zone and working on self-confidence.

Sometimes, you do have to just do your own thing. And the people who are worth knowing will get it-and get you. Don’t let your own self-doubts be magnified by others; find your inner strength and let it show.

Many of us who go out en femme find ourselves faced with similar issues. Even among our peers we are sometimes criticized for “overdressing” when we just want to look the best we can. Maybe we want to be, as Dita puts it, stars in the amazing story of our own lives. It’s perfectly acceptable to leave the jeans and casual blouse at home when you really want to go shopping at the mall in something stylish, or even a bit retro. And it you get attention from it, bet it’ll be positive. Particularly if you are letting your own inner positiveness show.

Now, be fabulous, okay?