Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Musings : 2014 style and shopping resolutions

The beginning of the year is weird to me; for some reason, I get more meditative around my birthday than on NYE. I mean, my birthday is exactly a month after, so if I've been too busy with the holidays to take time to reflect, it usually strikes me around this time.

Truth be told, I'm going through a change - my style has been evolving in the last few years and it's still changing and heading towards something new. For some reason, now I just want simple, neutral and monochrome things in good, natural fabrics.

I know now that I'll feel more comfortable in a jersey skirt than wearing jeans, I know low waist is not my thing, the American Apparel riding pant is my version of staple pants and as much as I am a lazy ass and hate ironing, I still can't quite endure polyester right on my skin.

I stopped buying new retail knits as they just end up piling super bad in a few weeks/months at best, I can't seem to find good cotton jersey and most things I get from ASOS end up being sent back either because the fit is weird or the quality crappy.

In the end, the stuff I love and wear most comes either from Etsy/Ebay or the thrift store; I'm desperately trying to find a reliable source for affordable new basics with no luck. Maybe I just need to accept that quality, durable things cost money. But how accurate is that even? Aren't brands just inflating prices because they invest so much in marketing?

I recently read this article on R29 about the Nu Woman and embracing minimalism and less is more; I love what Rhiannon has been sharing on her blog in the past 2 years and bought a few handmade/indie designer accessories which turned out to be a great choice.

Still, I am not fully convinced about spending $200 on a dress.

There is this big ongoing discussion about less is more, reducing, buying ''investment pieces'' and all that.
Then you get the weekly ASOS sale emails and trend guides, the special offers, the online ads when going on Youtube and, well... the bloggers.

I mean, it's all around us, this capitalist chant - buy, buy, buy! The other day I made the poor choice on taking Rue de Rivoli at 5pm and all I could see were people with shopping bags, final sale signs and a large queue to get into Andre (the shoe store).

I keep seeing articles about cleaning up your style, reducing your wardrobe, binge shopping (and shopping bulimia, if you believe that!) and just like guides about how not to get sucked into the whole ''it's 75% off, I should buy it'' thing.

I have to admit I'm quite a sucker for this sort of thing; I also get bored easily and my style changes quicker than my moods.

Then again I think about that Tony Takitani movie; it's this really disturbing story about this lady spending all her money on designer goods, then one day she died in a car accident while trying to return something out of guilt. The more disturbing part is how her husband is trying to hire someone just to wear her clothes, so he would remember her. It's one of those sick-endearing Japanese Murakami stories, a definite must see.

In the end I know I will always have an eclectic style and taste in pretty much everything.

So I guess my resolutions are pretty much similar to everyone else's in the end:

  • buy less 
  • buy better quality, more expensive items
  • buy indie/handmade rather than high end designer
  • never buy something just because it's on sale/a good deal
  • buy more vintage
  • buy more natural fabrics (sorry but viscose doesn't count)
  • invest in jewelry ( my we never sleep items are still my most worn items )
  • go thrifting regularly
  • buy more monochromes
  • buy no-brains basics like white tees, camisoles and panties
  • buy more books and records

This may sound all buy buy buy, but as a fashion blogger and vintage seller, buying is a pretty big part of it.

For me, personally, it works better to buy vintage that I can potentially resell when I get tired of it or it simply doesn't fit me instead of buying retail.

However, buying vintage and second-hand means you pretty much never find what you're looking for and if you do find a basic/staple you love, you feel like not wearing it to death because you know you can never find another.

Sometimes the most unlikely places make ridiculously nice/sturdy items; I had my share of H&M surprises. You just can never tell.

Nevertheless, this ASOS dress has been my bff in the last few weeks and after 3-4 washes it still looks great. I will get another.

I love this American Apparel skirt I got at their sample sale but again it's become SO ridiculously fuzzy so fucking quick I simply can't wear it anymore! The texture, fit and color are perfect, so it's really a shame. Then again, my first pair of riding pants are still super wearable after 2 years.

Retail is quite a gamble which more often than not ends up disappointing.

It's not that I'm an eco-freak or anything, but I do have a problem throwing away clothes ; it's the stuff you can't resale, donate or give away - the horror-chiffon florals, the stuff where the elastic stretches out to unwearability, the its-so-fucked-up-i-cant-even-make-it-a-rag things.

I am very tempted all the time my dear friends, and it's hard to stay strong. But ultimately I'd rather have fewer things I can actually wear and that feel good on my body than overflowing closets full of I-might-wear-this-someday-it's-kinda-meh-but-not-throwaway-yet stuff.

Most of my stuff is dry clean only or hand wash only too; I want good jersey basics that feel soft, look good and can be thrown in the washing machine. Is that too much to ask?

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