Hiddy-PrettyYou already know what Hiddy-Pretty is, even if you don’t think you do. Think about how something can be so hideous that it comes back around and becomes attractive. There you go: Hiddy-Pretty.

From Jess Hutchison, my visual arts idol:

For me, an item of clothing or an outfit is Hiddy-Pretty when it defies the known laws of taste (tasteful color, silhouette, length, etc), and yet still works and is beautiful… It’s the Jolie-Laide of style.

…when it comes to right here, right now, we have all a fairly consistent idea of what’s considered tasteful and appropriate (for our age, gender, etc.) by our culture, whether or not we agree with it. And Hiddy-Pretty is about tweaking and bending that in somewhat audacious ways and basically saying ‘fuck it, I’m wearing what I want, and I look GOOD!’.

Yolandi Visser from the group Die Antwoord is a great example of what Jess is talking about:

Anyone know where I can get me a pile of these necklaces cheap? Not real gold of course.

Anyone know where I can get me a pile of these necklaces cheap? Not real gold of course.

Jess tells me that:

Here's a photo Jess found of Jean Shrimpton looking mighty hot and Hiddy-Pretty.

Here’s a photo Jess found of Jean Shrimpton looking mighty hot and Hiddy-Pretty.

In particular, I like that wearing something Hiddy-Pretty can remove the question of ‘is this going to make me look sexy and/or attractive?’ and replace it with ‘is this going to make me look interesting?’

The late 60s/early 70s thing (also on Mad Men at the moment) is RIPE for Hiddy-Pretty inspriation. Lots of garish colors, odd hairstyles, gold costume jewelry… it’s like culture (all the way from haute couture to Sears) decided that we’re all just gonna look KEE-RAZY for a few years.

…Hiddy-Pretty is a choice, like any other choice we make about what we wear, you can do it with high-end couture or thrifted vintage, and it’s about looking good while being in questionable taste. It’s the BEST!

And the funny thing is, people ALWAYS seem to respond positively when I wear something that’s odd. There’s just something inherently glamorous in not giving a fuck.

Well said Jess! Sounds like time for a Hiddy-Pretty party to me!

Here are some Hiddy-Pretty inspired shoe clips I made.

Here are some Hiddy-Pretty inspired shoe clips I made.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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  • Hiddy-pretty? Sounds like “transgressive” to me, though I do subscribe to the “I like it so it looks amazing” school of fashion. In my mind, you can’t get much more hiddy-pretty than a Lily Pulitzer dress!

    • Lily Pulitzer is amazing.

      I know something’s Hiddy-Pretty when I see it and say “Eww, that’s… GORGEOUS!”

  • Hiddy-pretty? Sounds like “transgressive” to me, though I do subscribe to the “I like it so it looks amazing” school of fashion. In my mind, you can’t get much more hiddy-pretty than a Lily Pulitzer dress!

    • Lily Pulitzer is amazing.

      I know something’s Hiddy-Pretty when I see it and say “Eww, that’s… GORGEOUS!”