Bad Advice Women Get: Grocery Store Glamour

Is this chic enough for the cereal aisle?

Okay, I’ll admit it: I spend a decent chunk of my time gawking at the heinous outfits documented on Go Fug Yourself, a site where two hilarious writers analyze the wacky get-ups worn by the rich and supposedly stylish. There’s something so satisfying about seeing how even gorgeous celebrities, who are endowed with personal stylists, makeup artists, and assistants upon assistants, can somehow leave their mansions thinking that things like this (or this! And don’t forget this!) actually look good.

But even though the Fug Girls can get a little vicious from time to time—any celeb wearing leggings instead of pants better be prepared to get seriously ripped apart by these ladies—I really admire the fact that their site generally only critiques the crazy things stars wear to high-profile events, like movie premieres and awards shows. Even these bitchy bloggers try to stay away from criticizing boldface names for throwing on ratty jeans and sweatshirts while they’re walking their dogs, or pumping gas, or doing any of the other menial chores that gossip rags love to say make stars seem Just Like Us. That’s because everyone knows that sometimes, it’s nice to forget fashion and wear whatever’s comfortable—especially if you’re just out running errands.

Well, everyone but Suze Yalof Schwartz of Glamour Magazine. In January, Schwartz took a trip to a Whole Foods store in search of women whose choice of garb left something to be desired. Her quest to take unsuspecting shoppers from “eek to chic” was documented for a Glamour Don’ts to Dos segment on the Today Show.

After checking out some produce, the video shows Schwartz ragging on a girl whose skirt is longer than her jacket. (Guess her victim must not have been a big Cake fan.) Then she praises another girl for dressing in “Whole Foods chic,” whatever that means. After saying snarky things about a few more shoppers, she finally zeroes in on Claire, a college student who says, “I don’t have a style. I wear lots of, like, sweatshirts and zip-up hoodies.” Good for you, Claire! I know plenty of college students who dress like this most of the time, and they seem to lead perfectly happy, normal lives despite their style deficiencies.

But to Schwartz, fashion suicide is the worst crime of all. As she explains to Claire, “You don’t want to get caught out looking like that.” They go shopping, and at the end of the segment, Claire debuts her new look.

Yes, she does look pretty cute in her post-makeover outfit—I’m a sucker for stripes. Even so, I have issues with the message of this video. Schwartz disses Claire for looking “more like she was headed to pick vegetables than buy them.” But honestly, why is that such a BFD in the first place? When a girl’s out grocery shopping, she’s probably thinking about whether she should splurge on organic apples or how much Psych reading she has to do that afternoon—not whether her ensemble is sufficiently stylish.

Telling women that they have to be hyper-aware of how they look at all times, even when they’re doing nothing more than running out to buy a quart of milk, reinforces the old stereotype that if you’re female, appearance always has to be your number one priority. What’s next, telling girls that they should spend half an hour on their hair and makeup even when they’re just hanging out at home? Oh wait…

And then there’s the mean-spirited tone of this video, which also irks me. Making fun of the ugly thousand-dollar dresses that public figures wear to gala events is one thing. Bitching that some girl you don’t even know should feel ashamed for wearing legwarmers is quite another. This video is tacitly telling girls that it’s okay to be mean, as long as it’s in the name of Fashion. But what’s the point of judging people because of what they wear, especially at the freaking grocery store? That’s just petty.

I’m sorry, Glamour, but as far as I’m concerned Schwartz’s conduct is a definite Don’t.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Dressing up to go grocery shopping is silly. However, wearing sweatpants or pj's to the store is a no-no for me.

  2. Jenny says:

    I dress up to go everywhere. I won't even run across the street to the convenience store unless I'm fully dressed. And yet, I would never tell another woman how and when to dress nicely unless she specifically asked me for advice. That's pretty rude.

  3. Lauren - University says:

    I just went to CVS in my pajamas from last night. And I don't care. I'm not gonna put in 20 mins worth of effort to run a 5 minute errand.

  4. Casey says:

    More often then not I dress up to go anywhere. I have a strict uniform that I have to wear to work Monday through Friday that consists of skinny jeans flip flops and plaid shirts, so I'm "cool and casual" every damn day, so on weekends or if I go somewhere before work I like to get dressed up and remind myself that yes, I do have some style. But then again sometimes I run to the store in running shorts, T-shirts, and running shoes, or cropped sweatpants (I don't own regular ones) and a hoodie, but that's because I think I look cute in workout clothes and that works for me :)

    But I totally agree with you about the message of the segment, that's pretty fucked up, clothing and style are personal choices that represent you as a person and the kind of mood you're in at the time. If we had people telling us what to wear or what we should be wearing then we wouldn't have personal style, we would all be exactly the same, and that's just boring.

  5. Robert says:

    Casey, where do you work that requires you to wear skinny jeans and plaid shirts?

  6. Erin says:

    I always try to look decent when I go to the store, but really that's just me. I don't like seeing pj's at the store that's my personal pet peeve. It doesn't mean I get the right to be rude to people.

    I also don't like the tone of video, it's super rude. Not everyone can be glamorous 24/7, and at the grocery store? Bitch, please.

    Like Casey I like to look good, but somedays I'll dress down in something lounge wear that still looks cute. Somedays I''m wearing makeup other days I'm not. It doesn't make me better or right. Styling people at the store bothers me, it's the store not a date.

  7. Syd says:

    Personally, I wear at least jeans and a shirt when going out, but apparently even THAT is not 'classy' enough for getting milk. Heaven forbid I'm sick, and don't feel like putting on tight jeans and lipstick.

    And even if that's not my preference, as long as everyone is properly covered and clean, I don't see what the fuss is. This reminds me of the big fuss in Wales recently where Tesco banned pajamas for fear of 'embarrassing' people. If anyone's embarrassed by flannel pants and tank tops, they need to take a good hard look at their lives and reorganize their priorities. I snark other people's outfits as much as the next girl, but this is just silly. It's the STORE, not the club.

  8. b says:

    Casey- you are incredibly lucky! I'd love to wear jeans and flops to work every day! I have to wear business dress every day, so all I ever want to wear when I get home is jeans or sweats. But then again- I can definitely see how you'd get sick of them every day. Wanna trade for like a week? lol.

  9. Perfectionishuman says:

    I completely agree with you. It's one thing to be dress well but it's another to bombard others telling how they should and shouldnt be dressing.

    Of course there are certain things no one get away with … hi there dark bra under a light top! I respect people more when they just wear whatever. If someone has an immaculately put together outfit that looks like its straigh off the the pages of Elle or something, of course, I'll think it looks good, but not as good as the girl who threw on a random tshirt and doesnt care if her lipstick matches her nails or whatever..

  10. Casey says:

    Robert, I work for Hollister Co./ Abercrombie and Fitch.

    And b, Please! haha, not that I don't like being able to wear jeans and flip flops to work, but it really gets old when that's your full time get up. I like to get dressed up occasionally.

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  13. LoveHoney - Carly says:

    If you're dressing up like a fashionista all of the time, how is anything that you wear 'special'? Surely the point of having nice, sophisticated clothing is that you wear it on special occasions as a treat to yourself (and/or a partner). It's like wearing lingerie every night to bed, so not worth the effort but nice on occasion.

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  15. kels says:

    i like to poopy

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