Friday, February 18, 2011

Brave new wardrobe declarations.

If this skirt had come from a regular retail store I'd probably have bought one in every colorway by now. It fills a wardrobe gap I had identified long ago. I tend to prefer my skirts to cover my knees or at least come close. But I've been wearing boots more often lately and I think the shorter (above the knee, not mini) skirt length looks better with tights and boots. So I knew I wanted a skirt like this one but it took me a while to find it. I sort of imagined that skirts of this nature would just start flying into my basket at the thrift store but that didn't happen. My thrift store mojo seemed to be broken. I just wasn't experiencing the thrift store magic anymore.

I was getting a bit concerned when I began this blog, that it seemed as if a huge percentage of my clothing came from the Gap. I've got nothing against the Gap. I shop there quite a bit. I have their store credit card. They have awesome sales. Their jeans seem to fit me pretty well. And I worked for them for a number of years. Oh- and the credit card rewards that I can spend at their online shoe store don't hurt either. But I like to imagine myself, and my style, as more creative, original, quirky, even- dare I of a kind? And that's hardly what the Gap is known for.

I try to always include a side shot for documentation but I hardly ever like them.

I'm aware that much of the creativity and one-of-a-kind-ness in any given wardrobe comes more from the way items are combined than it does from the individual items themselves but there's also only so much you can do with a wardrobe that has Gap basics as a foundation. I long to be a thrift store/vintage shop/local boutique shopper but I'm more of a Gap/Macy's/Anthropologie shopper when it comes right down to it. And I'm not pleased about it.

The thing is, I know why I end up at the Gap and it's not just because there's one walking distance from campus. It's because at the Gap I know that I can find something that will fit me- and it probably won't even be the largest size they carry. As my weight has climbed upwards my level of shopping enjoyment has decreased significantly. It's heartbreaking to find something at the thrift store which is perfect for you in every way but for the fact that you don't have a hope of zipping it up. It's crushing to find something you love in the adorable boutique that only stocks sizes up to twelve, and a slim twelve at that.  At the Gap I usually wear a medium, maybe a large. I swim in the extra large. It's comforting. And it's not emotionally challenging. But it's also not really stylish.

To be truly stylish is to seek out clothing which makes you feel special. Not to default to the easiest choice available because you don't have the emotional fortitude not to crumble when something doesn't fit you.
To be truly stylish is to expect clothes to flatter you, and to be able to reject them dispassionately if they fail to do so. It's hard to remember that a fantastic jacket (or skirt, or pair of pants, or whatever) is only really fantastic if it makes you look and feel fantastic (even if it's a mint condition forties crepe number with decorative bound buttonholes and hip pockets- my holy grail of thrift/vintage shopping.)

Another great hat from Deanna Gibbons via Fino Fino- the feather beret.

I promise to be a bit braver from now on when I'm shopping. If something doesn't fit me it doesn't have to be a crushing blow to my self esteem. I am the size that I am. And the garment is the size that it is. And that's that.

The elimination project has helped. It's a question of mindset. I went to the thrift store last week half hoping I wouldn't find anything I wanted. When I tried things on and found that they didn't fit, I was able to say- "Good. That's one less thing I have to make a decision about purchasing." Since my goal is to have fewer things, and have them all be really terrific, it is easier to just move on from the things that aren't perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Margaret, The beret looks great on you, love your blog!!