10/29/12

thoughts on what I wear.


I hate offending people.
I hate it if people don't like me and I often think people don't like me.
I don't say this because I'm looking for attention, I say it because it's true. This is why I have avoided talking about bigger issues in blogland. But I've decided today to write on something that has been on my mind (and heart) for awhile.

It's about clothes.

I like clothes. I love putting together outfits. I like shopping and I have for a really long time. But lately, I have been trying to think about what I buy.

You see, fashion has become indispensable. Places like Forever21 and Target sell cute clothes for nearly nothing, making it so we can buy the latest thing without thought. Then we can toss it out when it's no longer in style a month later. Clothing (and the people who make it) no longer really matter at all. This has created an attitude in me where I can just buy something on a whim. It's no longer a big deal, I no longer save up, I no longer think about the purchase-- I just buy it because it's cheap, because it's cute.

 And I don't want to do that anymore.

I don't want to buy things without thinking. I want to think about who made that cute shirt so cheaply and I want to think about why I'm even buying it in the first place.

In this, I'm not trying to tell anyone that shopping at Forever 21 or Target is wrong. I do it, too; I've done it too. But I don't want to fall into that trap as easily anymore.

Lately, I'm trying to edit what I buy. I go to thrift stores first and see if I can find what I'm looking for there first. If I can't, maybe I should think about if I actually need it, if I'll actually wear it a month from now, or if it will be something that I'll get rid of in six months.

I'm also trying to look at my closet. I know that I have lots of things in there that I never or hardly wear. Things that maybe with a little bit of altering, a little bit of re-accessorizing, could be cute. (To get better at this, I'm linking up with Jen for her Closet Challenge on Wednesday.)

My heart is telling me to try to do a better job of thinking about what's in my closet. Your heart may not be telling you the same thing, and that's completely fine.

 As a indie shop owner myself, I can see how hard it is to compete against the cheap retailers of the world. Sure, you like my clutch -- but maybe you could find it cheaper elsewhere.

But if I really want to believe in my business, then I need to live in a way that shows it. Those handmade earrings on Etsy I'm eyeing -- I could try to find them at Target, but I want think about my purchase, and who I would rather support. Sure-- Target is easier and it's just as cute, but what is better? 

Thank you for getting through this post and let me reiterate, this is just what's on my heart lately and what your heart may be telling you could be completely different.

xo, erika

14 comments

  1. GREAT post! I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately and I really believe I've improved my shopping habits a bit. Instead of buying some cheap clothes, I rather save and spend money on one piece of clothing, which will last longer. I make wishlists and if I still want a thing after a month, than it's ok to buy it - if not, I delete it from the list and it's forgotten. This was I only have quality clothes that I really feel good in and that I'll still wear in a couple of seasons.

    http://www.tamarasblend.com/

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  2. I totally identified with your post! I am trying to steer clear of large chains and support small, local shops, particularly thrift shops, as well as other artists. I find I end up buying way less things this way (i.e. fewer things I don't need) and think more before I make a purchase.

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  3. Love this post friend. I especially like the concept of "editing" how we shop. Still shopping, just differently! :)

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  4. Wonderful post Erika!! Impulse buys are always sneaking up on me, but I try and really think weather or not I really NEED it or do I just simply WANT it.
    I really love supporting handmade too and I always feel better about wearing something when I know the person who made it and knowing that I am helping out artists!! xo

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  5. Thank you for being brave today! I also try and do a lot of shopping at second hand shops. It's especially exciting because you never know what you'll find (it's usually something unique and different). I also think it helps you to be more discerning when shopping for brand new clothes because you have the second hand perspective.

    Something that I've tried to do to keep me from buying what's cheap and hip is to look for good quality materials. Wools and cottons especially-you'd be surprise how many purchases this has kept me from. :)

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  6. I struggled with this same feeling for so long!! I finally decided to start making an effort to shift my mindset about clothes and shopping- two of my favorite things. When clothing/fashion is a creative outlet for you, it's hard to change this element of self-expression without losing yourself in the process.

    I did a series on Maximizing a Minimal Wardrobe over on my blog that has really helped me tackle this obstacle and create a closet I LOVE :)

    http://www.thedaileylife.com/2012/09/maximizing-minimal-wardrobe-part-i_10.html

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  7. Great topic, Erika! I think most of us, at some point, think about this issue and straddle the fence of the moral gray area. I love the part about going to a thrift store first--that's what I try to do too! : )

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  8. love that you posted about this....it is something I think about a lot too. I but forever 21 and target but I have cut down a lot on just buying any little thing because it's cheap. And, like you, being an indie shop owner I want to support more handmade/small businesses.

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  9. You know the other awesome thing about buying handmade? Typically you aren't going to find anyone else that has what you do. I love getting compliments on my earrings or scarf or purse and explaining that I bought handmade and it's OOAK.

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  10. I've been going through a bit of the same thing. My goal is to edit down to items I actually wear, and only purchase things that will last a long time. It means spending more money, but maybe not in the long run, I think.

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  11. I find forever 21 stressful to shop at. And I agree shooing just to fill the latest trend is not a wise use of money. I like that target sells essentials for cheap because my clothing budget is very small. But I have been thinking about trying to thrift store shop more often. So I might try to find some good ones around here.

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  12. Hi Erica

    Really liked this post and can really identify with the way you feel about clothes, this is the same reason I started making my own clothes and shopping second hand(thrifting) and I am myself trying to establish a wardrobe that will last me rather than be filled with cheap disposable items.

    Look forward to reading more of your blog

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  13. I love this post! It's so true and makes me think about my shopping habits. I've been cleaning out my closets recently, with winter coming and growing baby in my belly and I've been noticing I have a lot of clothes that I've purchased because they were a. Cheap or b. brand name. I want to get out of this bad habit and start "editing" my closet as you said. Thanks for your honesty!

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  14. Came across from Jen's post. I can identify with what your saving, I feel lately I have been buying a lot of cheap on trend pieces, but I have been thinking for a while now that I should invest in pieces rather then spending so much on items i'm only going to wear for a while.

    Sita xx
    http://www.buttonsapart.blogspot.co.uk

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