Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunny afternoon

 Such a grad school cliche --- pot of tea and a book on the Eucharist captured in the late afternoon sunlight of a beautiful day spent inside.  I never spend so much time daydreaming, taking pictures, and reading other blogs as when I have final papers to write.

For a while I've been meaning to share some recent purchases and, by way of that, make some comments on fashion/lifestyle blogging more generally.  Recently I've read two excellent posts (on La Mignonette and Lola is Beauty) about related topics of the state of disposable high street fashion and the conspicuous display of luxury items on fashion blogs (I won't attempt to paraphrase them, they're worth reading in their entirety).  Seeing outfit posts everyday on so many blogs, it has really started to bother me thinking about the massive closets these girls must have, full of cheap polyester from Zara and luxury It-items that will be cast aside soon enough, all for the sake of never wearing the same outfit twice in a what-I-wore post.  It's refreshing to see people like Dead Fleurette who maintain pared-down minimalist wardrobes.  I can't say that mine is like that --- four years of living in Colonial Williamsburg and buying all my clothes at the local outlet malls or online haven't left me with a solid base, but in the three years since college I've been working to steadily improve things.

But one comment that I would like to add to the discussion is this --- cost does not always positively correlate to quality.  Expensive things are not always worth it, and inexpensive things can be great values.  This is fairly obvious, but it's something that often comes to mind especially when I look at something like Pinterest.  I can't tell you how often I've clicked on a pretty blouse only to find out its $300 and made of synthetic materials.  Seriously --- $300 for a fake silk blouse, when I could get a vintage piece in real silk for $30 on Etsy?  Nor do I find lusting after unrealistic items to be inspiring.  This is, of course, my own opinion, but I prefer, when pinning items, to stick to things I could conceivably see myself owning, based on price and quality.

So my policy is to judge piece by piece.  Some places like H&M, which generally sell cheap crap, can be great if you're just looking for something basic like a t-shirt or cotton dress.  Most of my closet is from J Crew and Madewell and they can be the same way, but there's definitely quality to be had if you look closely.  The pieces above were all purchased fairly recently, and they're great examples of really high quality items for fairly low price points.  The first is a J Crew bag that has become my perfect camera bag, and the shoes are both from Madewell.  I realized recently that all of my shoes are either black, cognac brown, or nude colored leather, but I think it's best that way.  Black, white, grey, and pastels probably make up about 80% of my wardrobe at least, with a pop here or there of a blue, green, or purple jewel tone, so everything goes.  My outfit posts might be a bit boring compared to some, but I think there is a way to appreciate clothes that goes beyond mere sensory overload.

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