This stylish young woman transforms herself in a quirky way every day to make herself stand out from the crowd. But some of her opinions could also be said to be similarly out of step – and have left the internet divided.
Holly Foster is a 24-year-old retail worker and blogger from the town of Welling in the U.K., but she’s far from your average young British female. In fact, there is something very distinctive about her that she takes great pains in achieving and great pride in displaying.
After graduating from high school, Foster went on to study at Norwich University of the Arts in the east of England. She got a student loan, of course, but she didn’t blow it on partying and fast food like many other students do; her great passion would not allow for that.
Instead, she claims to have spent her loan purely on her appearance – but not in the way you might think. No, she didn’t go for expensive manicures and luxurious facial treatments or spend her time in and out of trendy hairdressers.
In fact, perhaps what she did spend her money on is not so unusual: she bought lots of clothes. And plenty of students splash their cash on the latest fashions, so what’s the big deal? Well, the difference with Foster is that she wasn’t chasing high-street trends.
It turns out that Foster’s very particular passion for fashion began when she was still a teenager. Yes, it all started when she stepped into a thrift store and bought her very first item of second-hand vintage clothing at the age of 17.
And from that day on her focus on 1950s fashion has become a way of life. It has even led to her winning the prestigious title of Miss Vintage U.K. 2014 – a hotly contested achievement to be proud of.
Moreover, Foster spends every day sporting ’50s-style clothes, complete with long skirt lengths, high collars and sensible cardigans. She argues that her way of dressing deliberately leaves something to the imagination, unlike the styles of too many other young women these days.
So where has this obsession come from? Foster told Barcroft TV that she lived with her grandparents until she was four years old. And she always enjoyed watching old films – including the retro ’50s musical Grease. So perhaps these two factors sparked her interest in vintage vogue.
Foster also admitted to having some old-fashioned values, too, admiring the attitudes she believes our modern society sorely lacks. “I think I love the vintage community because it embraces more than just wardrobe, everyone is very respectful and well mannered,” she said.
Foster further slated women’s magazines in her interview with Barcroft TV. She said that it was “irresponsible” to showcase stick-thin models because it makes girls want to copy them. She thought instead there “should be more emphases on clothes that fit well.”
And Foster maintained that dressing “prim and proper” encourages people to treat you with respect. In her Barcroft TV interview, for example, she explained how members of the opposite sex were more likely to engage in conversation with her because of her demure style. She even claimed that her dress sense helped her get jobs because it showed she has individuality.
Foster also admitted that one of her main inspirations is American burlesque performer and model Dita Von Teese. Foster said that it was Von Teese’s “everyday style” – as opposed to her on-stage persona – that is inspiring because “she dresses like a lady, she leaves something to the imagination – she looks classic.”
At the opposite end of the scale, though, Foster criticized the “reckless style” of pop stars such as Miley Cyrus for their “excessive nudity,” which might influence young girls to copy them and reveal “too much flesh.”
Unsurprisingly, then, Foster attracted some negative attention with some of her comments. Indeed, it was her thoughts on how men view women’s outfits that seemed to strike a nerve with a lot of people online.
Foster said, “If you dress like a lady you will be treated like a lady. A short skirt or, perhaps more, a see-through top may attract unwanted attention.” But even more contentious was the following comment.
“I don’t believe under any circumstances anyone should be taken advantage of; however when it comes to clothes young women have to take responsibility for their look if they do not wish to be left in a vulnerable position,” she said to the Daily Express.
Posting on the newspaper’s website, one irate reader said, “Holly Foster’s comments are totally misguided. Men are entirely responsible for their own thoughts and actions. It has nothing to do with the way a woman or girl dresses.”
Another reader wrote, “Once again we are blaming women for the violence men wreak upon them. How about an article telling men that touching is not okay without permission?” For her part, Foster later issued an apology on her personal website, writing, “Any person, any woman, should be allowed to walk down the street and not be leered at or subjected to abuse of any kind, regardless of what she wears, even if naked.”
So Foster may have ruffled a few feathers along the way – her fondness for ’50s fashion perhaps inspiring some ’50s attitudes – but her confidence and commitment to style is admirable. After all, it would be so boring if we all dressed the same.