Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dressing (Up)

I've always had a love-hate relationship with fashion and clothes. Part of the reason is that I have a lot of body hang ups (chest too big, hips too wide etc) and I also have trouble finding clothes that I like. There were even years when I barely shopped for clothes because I didn't like what I found, and my mother would beg me, to no avail, to spend money on clothes. 

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Still, even when I didn't wear anything fashionable, or, hell, let's admit it, anything even remotely nice looking, I read a lot of fashion magazines. I started reading Cosmo Girl the year it came out (I think I started with issue #2), and also regularly bought Elle Girl and Teen Vogue through high school and my freshman year of college. I even wrote an email to Atoosa Rubenstein, the editor of Cosmo Girl when the layout changed and I thought the quality decreased. 

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In college, I became a fan of Jane magazine (don't even get me started on how much I miss it), Marie Claire and Elle. Today, I'm an Elle and Marie Claire subscriber who occasionally buys issues of Vogue and (not so) secretly reads her sister's copies of French Glamour. During NY Fashion Week, I didn't read a single article that wasn't about fashion, and I kept refreshing Tumblr to see posts about fashion shows, and fashion bloggers get togethers.  

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One thing I've definitely become more attuned to are details and trends. Not trends in the "such and such is the new black" way, but larger-picture trends. Styles that are timeless. Sultry post-war and 1960s looks, such as the ones worn on Mad Men and in countless movies set shortly after WW2. 

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The details in the dress above are what drew me 
to it. I loved the belt, and the golden clip.  

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All those years, reading those fashion glossies has made me more aware of what I don't like than what I do like. I know I don't like flashy clothes, I'm not a fan of color block, and I would never wear anything by Guess or Juicy Couture. And on the Rachel Zoe Project, I loved Taylor's style a lot more than Rachel's. 

I used to be a Gap jeans girl. I would find tops from other stores, but would always pair them with Gap jeans, depending on the fit that was popular or wearable at the time. I wore skinny jeans when they became popular in 2006-2007. Then I wore boyfriend jeans the summer of 2007. Back then, I was a size 1, so clothes were easy to find and salespeople were friendly because I was slim and clueless as to what fit a much smaller frame. Last summer, I realized just how convenient dresses were, and bought a couple that I wore a lot in Portland. 

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For the past year or so, my style has evolved. Long gone are the jeans, and in are the dresses. I haven't worn a pair of jeans since October, and it's been liberating. I love jeans in theory. I keep seeing great pairs of jeans in magazines, paired with the perfect t-shirt or shirt, and I want that, but I also just love wearing dresses so much that I never think that I should maybe, just maybe, try on another pair of jeans. 

Fast forward a few months, and the seven or so dresses I wore from October to late March are just no longer weather appropriate. I go shopping, check out the usual suspects: Maje, Sandro, Comptoir des Cotonniers for classier, more durable items, and a few other stores "just in case" and spot a couple of dresses I could settle for. Being desperate to not look like I just got off a train from the far away regions of Russia, I mentally prepare myself to settle for them. 

Then, I end up on the website Place des Tendances. I make a list of the dresses I like (all in the €180-280 range, gasp), and suddenly remember my sister telling me, months ago, about a website with great items at more affordable prices. And I become addicted: 6 dresses purchased in the past 10 days on their website and there are still 3 or 4 that I really like. 

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I'm one of those people that likes a lot of items, but doesn't have the money to get them, or doesn't always find them when she needs them. My closet is lacking a few more cardigans to wear with those dresses. And a few more scarves that won't clash with the dress patterns. 

Those are my next fashion related goals: find a couple of cardigans, a couple of scarves and a couple of pairs of shoes. And maybe a couple of bags. I've had my sights on this Nat & Nin bag since December. However, it's leather and I try to avoid leather as much as I can. 

2 comments:

Rhiannon said...

i've been on a dress and sandal buying kick lately. hooray for new spring wardrobes!

Anne said...

Where did you get your dresses and sandals from?

I have a pair of super super cute sandals I bought at UO in Miami that I've been dying to wear again, but I can't wear them to work, sadly. I need ballet flats, or heels for the summer.