mid-year fashion haul review & how everything I own will fit in a backpack
I am a statistically-derived newly single woman, hear me roar! I'm so excited for all the Eat, Pray, Love bull crap that's about to smother me to bits, I can hardly contain myself. I was born with a name that means joy and slid right into an identity crisis years later, maintained that faux sense of self for a decade while aspiring to greener pastures that were always out of reach such as elitist ivy league schooling and bustling city center social networks; had a love hate relationship with fashion that was greater than any affair I'd had with the men I was dating, and succeeded in milestones that would make much more adversely oppressed gals weep with envy while I'm simply rolling in disdain and contempt of it all. Ahhh, the life of an unfulfilled zombie. There's no greater feeling than wanting what you can't have, don't need, and will end up getting anyway to ignorantly fill a void that requires much more than material possessions. A sense of self? Well, there was no course on that in college! Must be unnecessary then. So with that, let's see what sort of mess I've made this year with my wardrobe but felt comforted by after reading this post, chasing all the lovely goods I deemed necessary whilst living a life that wasn't my own (though clearly I chose it as my own and have no one to blame but my imaginary therapist as blaming myself is un-american):
THE MUST-HAVE J CREW BUTTON DOWN IS NOT A MUST
- Let's start with my disillusioned new found loyalty to J Crew. It all started with an accidental perusal of those atrocious J Crew/Anthropologie lovefest blogs, which led me down a vicarious road into the arms of Jenna Lyons and her mysteriously androgynous sex appeal (she is now openly gay after recently dropping her husband) which tickled me with subliminal messaging until I had no choice but to believe that I MUST HAVE something from J Crew immediately, even though every instance in which I had previously sauntered into the pristinely sterile J Crew stores only led me to feel more like the 1800's minority I tried so hard to suppress. My purchases from J Crew before the brainwash? A set of greeting cards. On sale. Post-identity-crisis? This ill fitting, gender bending, man repelling chambray button down called The Boyfriend. It's all the rage, and I had to have it. Of course at the price of six bucks though, I'm no full-priced shopping fool. It's called thrifting baby, get on with it. And thank goodness I did, because this whole fantasy of mine where I buy items twice my size to step out of the house with a certain je ne sais quoi like Lou Doillon or Kate Moss has to end here. The reason they look so disturbingly chic in billowy clothing is because I could wrap shoe laces around their waists twice, with room to spare. I, on the other hand, have curves. Introducing boobs and butt, or what I like to call, one third my body weight. Sorry J Crew, but this blouse purchase was an experiment, and the verdict is out: a supermodel is not the profession I file on my taxes, so it need not be what I repeatedly yet unsuccessfully embody in real life.
I DON'T LUNCH, I BRUNCH...PREFERABLY IN ROMPERS
- I dreamt of being a lady who lunches for years when I returned to Manhattan, so much so that in my early twenties I launched a company catering to their every whim, subconsciously wishing to become one by osmosis. This explains my last purchase for this year: a Chanel-style fraying tweed jacket by Cynthia Rowley since I will never afford one by Chanel. But let's talk about this word "afford" shall we. You may not know me that well, but tenacity is my strongest quality. If I want something, I will seek to conquer it. I think living beyond one's means and being able to afford something are two distinctly different things. An uneducated fast food employee with a family of four could bust his ass to save up for a Honda Accord if that is what he desired or truly needed. The same way I imagine a criminal law post grad will save for a few days to finally possess the Celine tote that's been haunting her. I, on the other hand, never had any inclination to save up for a treasured Chanel jacket, new, vintage, or otherwise. And it is as clear to me now, as it was to me when I was playing slave girl to upper east side princesses, that I AM NOT THIS WOMAN and there's nothing wrong with that. Yes the magazines say a tweed blazer is a wardrobe staple, a classic, a must-have as we chat about in this post. But not for me dammit! It is not something I would wear by choice, but rather only for the sake of intermingling with certain social circles or to disguise my true personality for business and the 9-5 grind. I much rather toss my withering denim motorcycle jacket over a silk cotton daydress and call it a day. And that is why, my dear friends, it is one of the few items coming with me on my round-the-world trip. Not this Chanel knock-off.
- These boots are absolutely gorgeous, and again, had I been the 90s minimalist supermodel I so gratuitously tried to embody, then it would do wonders as a capsule wardrobe staple. However, I am shy of five feet six inches, and have more thigh than torso like most women of color, and these booties eat up my silhouette in a way that gives me hives.
THE "WTF DID I BUY THIS FOR" SHIRT
- There is no excuse for this. While debating endlessly for five full minutes in my local Goodwill, while circling aisles aimlessly rejecting the notion that I needed this, I still beat myself into submission and purchased a pullover that does absolutely nothing for my bust, while managing to pair well with a whopping 0 items already in my closet. Case closed.
LIE TO YOURSELF, IT WORKS!
- You see what I wrote above? Just reread that, and imagine me in a vintage shop this time, perpetuating the idea that I can bring back the Edwardian era in the most modern way man has ever seen. Now wish me good luck with that.
IF ONLY I WAS SIX FEET TALL
- Now this impossibly sheek linen blazer had massive potential as you saw in the aforementioned classics post, but due to a lack of self-esteem in my 90's supermodel self, combined with a saturating dose of me NOT WANTING to be a 90's style minimalist streetwalker, I think it's time to bid adieu to the blazer. In all it's hot pink glory. It will go on to make another Rhianna cum Diane Keaton obsessed poser much happier than I.
LABEL WHORE IS A STRONG WORD
- Recall my baseless theory that buying items in size large when you are a size small is conclusively astute? Well, not only did I use that load of bullshit to permit myself this unnecessary Ralph Lauren purchase, but this is where the awareness of my label whore alter ego reared its ugly head. More on that later.
FAIL, AND THEN JUST TRY AGAIN
- All in all I would have completed my 5 piece minimalist French capsule wardrobe building with this vegan leather doctor handbag and my skinny jeans mentioned below, but since the designer focused more on material sourcing and less on actually conceiving of a pattern that can stand up on its own, zip without fighting tooth and nail, and resist even the most arbitrary stains, then I regret to inform you that this particular Matt & Natt bag is not for me. Celine is not looking so silly of an investment now eh?
- Oh, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with these black skinny jeans other than their penchant to attract every single dusty microscopic organism floating around on planet Earth, andddd being one size too small, but I will still be giving them up as it is not the foundation upon which I want to build a signature uniform of style. Something about me being a zip fly kinda girl I assume.
So what did this fashion haul and midyear review teach me? That I have washed myself of conspicuous consumption sins, and evolved quite well into a minimalist shopper, but that I completely and utterly have no idea who I am anymore after living for years like the women in the magazines I worked on or the fashion bloggers who also are pretending to be someone else. That is why Kali's post brilliantly hit the nail on the head. I am that person that wants to start living now, not tomorrow. Not once I have already tediously decorated my apartment, or edited my wardrobe like its a science, or lost a few inches of stubborn belly fat and lived like a zen yogi. In order to do this I'll need to rediscover who I am without a man that looks good on paper but not right with me, without a job that other girls would kill for but that makes me dread getting out of bed for, and without all the unnecessary stuff surrounding me, sucking me back in. Until that happens, which I hope this impulsive trip around the world will aid in, I will start simple by pinning moodboards like crazy on pinterest and sticking to a solid uniform that makes me feel like my most vibrant, sexy, and confident self. I wouldn't be surprised if that was just a white tee and jeans or tube dresses from American Apparel. It worked once, by golly, it will work again!
HOW ARE YOUR MINIMALIST FASHION CHOICES COMING ALONG SO FAR?