…Shop for quality and classic items (on Sale!)
I didn’t grow up being a fashionista. Everyone back home wore simple t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers so if someone followed the latest trends they’d stick out like a sore thumb. Every now and then this girl from school would wear high heels to school and the rest of us would look at her strangely. I remember once when I wore dress pants and a nice sweater top to work after school, other employees looked at me and asked, “special event?”
I lived in the middle of nowhere; the nearest Walmart was 1.5 hours and the nearest mall was 3 hours away. Plus the local stores catered more towards middle-aged mothers, selling embroidered sweaters I might wear twenty years from now. To city folks, this probably sounds awful, but we didn’t mind. The long drives made for excellent family bonding time and to a certain degree, being isolated from the rest of the world meant not caring about how we dressed.
When I entered college, I suddenly felt very plain and underdressed. I’ve never seen such colorful and skinny jeans. Hardly anyone wore sneakers, tennis shoes, or a waterproof Columbia coat unless they were going to the gym or it was raining. I saw trendy sandals, flats, boots, and omg even heels during the day. Also I was my first time seeting girls wearing tights as pants. I tried this when I went home for Christmas and my friends asked me where my pants were.
Then there was the mall…three-tiered heaven with frosting on top. I went on a spree, to say the least. Boots, scarves, leather gloves, my first peacoat, it was exhilarating. I guess you really don’t know what you’re missing until you have it! I also discovered retail therapy during exam periods and it was bad…real bad. I was turning into something I never thought I would become…a shopaholic.
A year later, I realized I only truly liked half of the things I bought. My cheap boots lasted for a semester before the sole wore out and there were some items I just couldn’t bring myself to wear that much. I had trendy pieces, which after a year of discovering more about myself, realized they didn’t fit my personality. I felt uncomfortable wearing this very loose purple top that would hang too low if I bent over, reminding me when I saw my teacher’s bra in elementary school under the same conditions. I felt embarrassed when my worn out boots clicked clacked as I walked through the library. Things just didn’t feel right. I was confused and unsatisfied with my wardrobe.
Then I met my European friend. She always looked so put-together and I loved her outfits. After further conversations, we discovered that we had the same tastes. We were classics. For the last two years, I had been lying to myself, thinking I could be one of those fun, trendy girls. I wasn’t that. In the end, I always went for the plain white sweater and simple necklace instead of a bright-colored tunic with tights underneath. My friend also told me that though she did not own lot of clothes, what she did own were high quality, comfortable, and timeless.
Trends come and go, but classics are always in. Now instead of blowing hundreds on random okay quality items that I won’t like after a year, I’m waiting for my Easy Spirit black pumps and JNY sandal…they were on sale of course :p.