Loving, loathing and loving fashion again

6:51 AM

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I first fell in love with fashion amongst the grey metal stacks of my high school library during lunch. I had begun to retreat into there when the embarrassment of eating lunch alone became a bit too much for me. So it became a little tradition of mine. Every day I would escape into the silence of that large windowless room that would only occasionally be peppered with the sound of the photocopying machine. I would lay those glossy magazines across the table and dive into them while I nibbled at my lunch. And fall in love I did. I loved it all - the feathers, the garishness of it all, the four figure price tags and the angry/constipated looking models. It was a beautiful foil to my current existence - invisible, poorly dressed and awkward. I dreamt of the day that I would sail off into my future clad in Stella McCartney with long glossy locks.
In college, free from my preppy tormentors, I experimented with fashion. I tried everything - sexy, J.Lo (yes I went through a HUGE "Jenny from the Block" phase, and yes I have photos and no you can't ever see them), slutty, ladylike and everything in between. It was great fun. I watched SATC religiously and amassed quite a collection of fashion magazines. Suffice to say I was addicted. I loved the way I could change my personality simply by buying a new pair of pants. I loved the high I got from a new outfit. It was intoxicating.
My addiction continued well into adulthood. I spent a large part of our first years of marriage on a never ending chase of the "it" handbag, shoe, pant, etc... And then I kind of stopped. It all became incredibly exhausting. I didn't even know why I was buying certain items other than the fact that "everybody had it." Which seemed like a rather dumb reason for spending hundreds of dollars on something. I stopped buying expensive things and instead stuck to safer stores like Gap or J. Crew. I still didn't really know why I was buying or wearing certain things but at least my purchases lacked the guilt that used to sting me before. I read magazines like Lucky that made my choices easy for me with pages chock full of affordable put-together outfits that would look great on just about anyone.
It wasn't long before I began to despise fashion in general. It lost it's shiny veneer. It all seemed so silly and inconsequential. There was nothing glamorous about it to me anymore. The pages of Vogue just looked like a stack of nothing but credit card debt and wasted money. I stopped buying the magazines and the thought of fashion week would give me a mild rash. Somewhere around 2010 I politely ended my relationship with fashion. I took it from a break to a break-up.
Then I got pregnant last year and realized that it made me hate fashion even more. Every trip to a store seemed to leave me utterly frustrated and by eight months I just stopped shopping altogether. It was bad enough trying to find my sartorial place with my normal body! I was beyond lost.
Back in December after I had V I did a major closet clean-out. Four giant trash bags went to Goodwill and my closet shrunk to half it's size. However, I didn't run out and start buying clothes; I decided to give myself some time. And so I began to reacquaint myself with fashion.
I bought a couple magazines, I began to pin images that caught my eye and conveniently fashion season was in full swing. Little by little I began to fall in love with fashion all over again.
This time my love went deeper and felt more mature. I realized that just because I'm never going to buy that ridiculous $900 shoe doesn't mean I can't appreciate it or be inspired by it. The vast, colorful and wild fashion landscape was the perfect backdrop that I could use to build my new sense of style. Yes I am a mum now but it's not my child necessarily that has changed me. I feel different about my body now, I appreciate it more. I feel a different kind of attitude permeating my being these days too and that has changed how I want to look as well. And somehow amongst all the feathers, fur, leather and gaudiness I am finding myself again. I find that all the insanity that comes with high fashion leaves me much more room to breath and interpret than something more mainstream. It also makes me feel ok about the fact that I don't have a "look." Some individuals are able to always look more or less the same, albiet in a very effortless and chic fashion. I'm not one of them. Goodness knows I've tried but sooner or later something totally out of left field will beckon me and I'll be all over the place with my style again. I'm comfortable with that fact now. I don't care if one day I feel like wearing polka dots and ruffles and liquid leggings the next. I don't care if I'm girly, edgy, preppy, hipster and classy all in one week. I mean what fun is fashion if you think there are rules to it anyway??
So trust me I will still internally roll my eyes if I hear someone tell me that those pants are "speaking" them and I don't have an altar to Carine Roitfeld in my room. But I do have a considerable stack of fashion magazines on my coffee table that I peruse from time to time and I follow Miroslava Duma on Instagram. I suppose you could say I've found a healthy way to love and appreciate fashion. I'm not crazy about it but I don't hate it either. It has finally found it's rightful place in my life. And I have finally found my place in it too.

And below, just for fun, is the awful/scary evolution of my style so to speak:

2004 - 2006
2006 - 2009
2009 - 2010
2010 - 2011
2011 - 2012

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16 notes

  1. This post is so fabulous, I love reading your journey through it all. It's nearly exactly how I feel about fashion too. And p.s. I think you have incredible style. :)

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  2. Great post!
    Your style is endearingly quirky & beautifully unique...sassy, yet sophisticated.
    I am finding it really difficult to transition back into non-maternity clothes 8 weeks postpartum. I seem to have a dreadful rotating uniform of 3 boring outfits (and one of them includes my husband's v-neck sweater).
    Maybe springtime will give me the kick in the a$$ I need to get cute again!

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    1. It's not easy, you're right but I found that by taking in ALL style I was able to come up with a few ideas that work for me. Good luck doll! xo

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  3. yes - yes, yes, yes, yes. first, i love your story about how you spent lunch. while i know it must not have been easy, you found an outlet. and that is important when one is a teenager. and yes to going through the phase of following others just because "everyone had it", then cooling off and figuring out what i want for me. and YES to being inspired by the 900 shoes, even if i'll never own them. and yes, to not having a set look. i too, can one day be lady-like then wear wedges covered in thumbtacks the next. loved and understood this post so much. and thanks for all the old pictures - even if every outfit isn't classic, you look great and you look happy. that's always a classic look.

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    1. THANK YOU!! :) Your comments always make me smile :) You're the best! xo

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  4. I loved reading this post this morning. You worded your relationship with fashion so eloquently (from peppered to constipated- I love your use of language!).

    I actually haven't ever thought about my own relationship/journey with fashion. I've always felt like more of an observer than a participant- but then again, we all put on clothes everyday, no? Unless you're rocking out at some nudist colony, you're constantly developing your relationship with fashion. And it was too fun to get to actually see your journey at the end of the post!

    Sarah

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    1. Aww! Thanks so much Sarah!! You're so sweet! xo

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  5. I am in love with how you style your outfits! over thinking what to buy and if it will fit in with what society thinks its great is no fun at all. Being comfortable with your own style is what really matters, and i can definitely tell you have reached that level. Fashion is so fun!

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  6. Fashion is so much more fun when you have reached that level of effortless love for the clothes YOU love. I also had a bit of a struggle with my love and eventually frustration with the whole fashion thing. And then, i eventually realized it is all about what i love and feel comfortable in.

    P.S: I love your style!

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  7. Lovely pictures, during my pregnancy I felt the same way you did about fashion too :)


    www.vindiebaby.com
    Vintage Inspired Fashion by Independent Designers for Your Little darling

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  8. I can't get over that blue gingham skirt. So glad it makes multiple appearances through these pictures, I love the creative styling.

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  9. I have always admired your style. You prove that being a mama does mean frumpy.

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