My Style Evolution…

Posted in fashion and society by bluewellesleyblue on July 12, 2008

Both Jezebel and Fops and Dandies have included entries on shopping habits and style evolution in the last week or so. It really makes me think about my own rapid “style evolution” of sorts, since I only really became aware of my fondness for fashion when I started college about two years ago. Since then, my ability to shop wisely has grown, but so has my capacity for spending. I think I manage my own finances alright, but I’m definitely not saving anything extra – and with this summer’s pay, I should be able to manage it, but my semester abroad will rapidly erase those modest savings – and it should be taken into account that a couple friends have expressed concern about my seeming shopping addiction. I find myself ready to return about half the things I’ve bought this summer. That probably suggests that I have been shopping a bit much, but I think it also shows that I’m now more careful about what I really spend my money on.

As a high school student, I had absolutely no appreciation for fashion. The vast majority of my shopping occurred at Ross and the rest at Aeropostale. There would be an occasional sprinkling of things from the Macy’s juniors section, and those I would count as luxuries. I shudder inwardly when I look at some of the pictures from those times because wow, I dressed really weird. Thankfully, in most of those pictures I’m in a suit because of debate, and I actually had a fairly nice blazer borrowed from mom (which I still wear when I have interviews). Though I didn’t spend much, I also had no sense of what was worth spending money on. I can’t even count the number of times I thought a shirt was kind of cute enough to buy in the store, then found that I did not want to wear it ever. The amount of money wasted was phenomenal when compared to how much I spent.

For me, the process of growing into an appreciation for fashion was expedited by the discovery of fashion blogs. Just looking at the variety of “what I wore” types of posts – which remain one of my favorite things to skim through – inspired me to begin shopping with some consideration for how I would wear things. At the same time, it also made me want to buy more things and make up for lost time. I accumulated all my handbags and shoes (I had no ballet flats and now I have many) in this time. While everything I bought would be worn at least once and there were no extreme spending snafus, however, I still ended up buying a fair number of things I would wear once and become unhappy with.

In the end though, it was also fashion blogs in general as well as the people around me that taught me to be more careful about what I spend and set a higher standard for how well something fits before I’ll spend money on it. A slightly ill-fitting, but still kind of cute shirt from Forever 21 or H&M is still not going to be a good buy if that slight awkwardness in fit is going to be a reason why I rarely wear it, for example. Sometimes I pick something up at one of those stores and put it down almost immediately because of concerns about the quality or seeming “cheapness” of the material, and that comes from other bloggers’ advice as well. In the end, I think I’ve had an experience vaguely similar to the one Fops and Dandies writes on: fashion blogs have made me wiser, but also a bit greedier.

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