Wednesday, May 21, 2008

making a list...checking it twice...

i used to be a fashion magazine hoarder. i had an entire bookcase from floor to ceiling with magazines organized by month for reference. it did come in handy when I was in fashion school, but I have no need for a bajillion old magazines now. fashion (trends/fads in particular) is so funny- the fact that something that seemed so fresh and new one season will look so stale and dated the next year. i think it is a testament to one's personal style when you can look back seasons and years and still love and want to wear a certain look or collection. i bought a pair of pants from rick owens' spring 06 collection. only two years ago in "real time" but in fashion-years it's seems like many more. looking at that collection i would wear a great deal of it right now, the same with other older collections from some of my favorite designers. i guess what i am trying to say is that i think i have been able to confirm/define my personal style in a way that (hopefully) i can make less mistakes when it comes to shopping.

that's not to say that experimentation and creativity will be ruled out, but impulsive purchases that coordinate with nothing else in my wardrobe will.

based on the above concept (my defined fashion identity) i have compiled a list of things that I want/need in my wardrobe, regardless of season and regardless of any trends. these things fall into two categories. the first are items that I have loved for many years and still do but have put in the back of my mind in lieu of fast and instant gratification achieved from other things. the second are items from current or future seasons that are missing in my wardrobe or that will increase the versatility of things already in my wardrobe.

I am going to try my hardest to stick to that list and stop mindlessly browsing the internet. I find when it comes to fashion what I don't know won't hurt me! I don't go window shopping in person much, but the internet is at my disposal at all times, which can be very dangerous for my wallet and for my sanity. i have no trouble admitting i am addicted. my motto will be: put the laptop down and step slowly away....

and another thing: do you ever feel over-stimulated? too much inspiration? i am getting to that point with the internet and blogs. about 6 months ago i got rid of any blog or website to do with celebrity gossip (toxic and useless information) except jezebel of course, and recently i have been trying to cut down my home-decor-related blogs a lot because it seems like the same stuff pops up on every one of them. my feed-reader is a blessing and a curse.

sorry for the rambling. i think this is the most writing i have posted in the history of my blog(s) on the internets.

so, do you think that you can or have defined your personal style? do you shop with a list or do you shop freestyle/on impulse?


Erica said...

Are you going to share your list? Curious because I loved everything you bought on that trip to Paris.

I spend much more time coveting than buying, but I'd like to cut back on even that, on the coveting. And as you say, we can only covet what we know (blasted blogs!).

Carlene said...

Yes, I was hoping for a peak at the list, too.

I agree 100% with the decor blogs. Sometimes I feel like I'm in some sort of infinite decor blog loop and they are all just referencing each other.

Also, I never shop freestyle any more. Not even thrift. I credit/blame Retail Recovery. I don't enjoy shopping enough to just shop recreationally. If I venture out into the land of retail, it has to be for a reason.

erica said...

i definitely spend too much time coveting and ferreting out great deals for things i don't actually want.

i've made so many lists, and they depress me. why do i have so many coats? because apparently i thought i needed one of each subcategory. and yet, i do not own a single proper blazer.

there is only one thing on my list right now, but it isn't available. everything else is just for fun.

grad school is a tricky place to be in terms of building a wardrobe. i've purchased a few things that will be more appropriate when i start working, but who knows if i'll even like them by then? for my budget's sake, i hope i will.

K. Eliot Fung said...

Fashion identity is so hard. I'm always struggling between pushing myself in terms of wardrobe and choosing something I feel comfortable in/already I know I like. It probably seems queer to a lot of people to buy clothes to challenge personal identity but I'm sure you understand. At times it's such an art. The problem is it leads to a lot of mistakes.. more than I'd like to admit. There's also the juggle between trendy items which can really influence your fashion in a positive way and more timeless stuff. I struggle between trying to be entirely classic, streamlined, minimalist and then boldly experimental. I haven't really gotten there yet.

Stephanie said...

i might share my list later. i know the things on it will not appeal to everyone, but they are things that truly speak to me and that i love and feel that i need in my wardrobe. and many are not "safe" or "classic" by any means. i agree with k. eliot fung that there is no need to eliminate fun or slightly trendy items that can inspire or "push" your wardrobe- i love those things. i just want to make a conscious effort that they "work" with the rest of my wardrobe and are not impulsive costumey things like "i want to dress 70s today!" which is very tempting sometimes. i don't want orphan pieces in my closet.

erica2- lists depress me sometimes too. it puts things in my head like "there's all these things i want and i can't have any of them" which is so silly because often times they are 'artificial needs.' i make them and then sometimes i will look back and think "why the heck did i put that on there?" like it was just an impulse want and not a real want. that must feel great that you only have one thing on your list! or do you feel anxious? to be honest, sometimes i feel anxious if i don't have a long list of things i want- which is quite sad. something i need to work on.

carlene- that is a good way to describe it: a loop. i'm not knocking the blogs, as many are fantastic and have very original content. when i see something on another blog i will post about it if i really love it and feel inspired (as this is a personal blog and i will post whatever i feel like posting) it just seems like an artist/craftsperson/designer will mass email all the related blogs about a new product or whatever, and then the next few days they all blog about it! oh well, i guess it's my fault for subscribing to a million blogs on my feed reader.

Eda said...

I completely agree with all the comments here. I would like to see a list, too.

Personally speaking, lists help me to decide what I really want and what I really need(even for psychological reasons).I tend to spend too much time coveting and if any piece of clothing doesn't slip off my mind for a long while, then I am sure I just have to buy it.

Great blog, Stephanie :o)

Leanne said...

Recently I decided to tear apart my closet and edit ruthlessly. Well - I got stalled about halfway through that process. After years of having a side job in retail, I became horribly depressed looking at the brand new clothing that I have never work, and never will. I decided to give a lot of it away to coworkers (I work at a non-profit and this made everyone's day). This all a part of my turning 30 anxiety, I think. I'm still trying to find what my personal style is. The problem is that it seems to be quite different than the way I have a dress at work ... which leads me to believe that I need a career change instead of living double loves. Am I crazy in thinking that this all came from cleaning out my closet?

I agree 100% with the decor blogs. I used to read religiously when I first bought a house, then I realized that I kept seeing the smae things over and over again. And then I felt bad because I couldn't afford to have everythikng that I coveted.

Anyway - I'd love to see your list and I thoroughly enjoy reading yoru blog.

erica said...

what makes me sad is that the things i purchased thinking they would push me in creative new directions end up sitting in the closet unworn.

i've spent the past year paring down my list. the longer i wait, the less i want most things. but you should see my other list. i call it my 'wouldn't it be nice?' list. sometimes i move pieces from that list to the real list, but after a week or two they're moved back again.

Stephanie said...

leanne- i have been in the process of paring down my wardrobe as well. i think i am just about done. it makes it extremely hard when your fashion identity clashes with your job. i went through this very same thing. luckily i work from home now which also is a problem because i dress like a slob at home because i can. but i guess i do put more effort in dressing when i do leave the house.

erica- that's exactly why i want to be cautious in bringing "wardrobe pushers" into my closet. i hate having a piece of clothing sit and not know what to do with hit. especially if it was expensive, which sometimes fabulous wardrobe-pushers are.

i do a 'wouldn't it be nice' list too. i actually like when i decide i don't covet something anymore and i cross it off that list. i guess it's a form of therapy.

depending on the item, usually if i want it for a long time (we're talking years) i feel it means i really do want it! i get a deep satisfaction from acquiring an item like this. there is a small handful of things in my wardrobe bought after years of waiting or searching and i hope to focus on more items like that rather than compromising and giving into "instant gratification" regardless of price point.

thesearchforchic said...

I would also love a list sharing.. sometimes is better to just get it out there. =)

Um.. I do like certain things still that I did a few years ago..nothing has changed much, but my summer style to my winter one are becoming the exact opposites... I want French minimalist laidback.. um.. I feel oversaturated with images of colourful floral pieces..

Hm.. much to think about, great post.

mapetiteamy said...

I just stumbled upon your blog now - love it. This is a great topic and the comments here are interesting and spot on :)