The good news: it’s been unusually beautiful here in Portland, with clear, blue skies and temps in the 70s and 80s.
More good news: my in-home sauna is included in my rent, and it’s on all the time.
This phenomenon is also known as no air conditioning, which means I am roasting like a Cinco de Mayo taquito. Real talk, though, my apartment is toasty as all hell and that means less time for creative sewing projects and drawing practice. Right now, I’m doing what I can to be an observer of the fashion world outside of the house. I admit, I have really saturated myself and I think I’m seeing metaphorical grey hairs. My house is scattered with magazines, my twitter is filled with style blogs and celebrities, and I’ve been creepily admiring stylish outfits around town. A few times I’ve popped my head in clothing shops and thought to myself “oh, I’ll take a peek and look for some summer stuff” but in these huntings for warm weather fancies, I’ve found that I’m wanting to smack my head against a brick wall. I’m on sensory overload! There is seemingly no limit to color, shape, size, style, and price point. Gone are the days of simple tops and bottoms, forgotten are the days of the gender specified garments, and one-trend-fits-all mentality.
It’s evident that mainstream fashion has really reached the 21st century, because conformity isn’t the norm any longer. Why would I settle for pants and a shirt when I could have a silky see-through tunic, a patterned camisole, pleather leggings, and boots that are also sandals!? And nobody would even think me strange for rocking that in a grocery store! On the other hand, it would be just as sensible for me to go find a standard shorts/sandals/tank look, but therein lies the struggle as I have to sift through manufactured frays, patterns, fabrics, prices, and lengths before I can even get to the dressing room! *gasp for air*
Sure there are trends! The high-low skirt, the printed pant, and the summer scarf are practically everywhere. However, I would suggest a case for the disintegration of trends as being boxes to check for of-the-moment wardrobe relevance. Variety appears to me as the biggest trend. I think it’s going to be more difficult than ever to say “oh that is such a 2010’s trend”. We’ve made such a habit of recycling the past 100 years of design, that truly “new” hardly exists anymore. Those who claim to be independents are really going to find themselves in a pickle if they think that clothing is truly the answer to deflecting conformity. Or they could just wear this.. then they’d really be in a pickle.
I hope a ticklish person buys this.
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to consider fashion to have a future as something it isn’t already. But let’s not turn this into a philosophy blog 🙂
My time spent these past few beautiful weeks of observation have led me to put down the magazines to attempt a handful of dressing rooms where I found less that suited me than I’d hoped. This led me to Target for some fingers-crossed budget hunting that ended in 4 grey and white tanks and tees.
I was looking for trends, but the problem is, trends seemed to evade me! The magazines say they are there, the stores put them in their windows, but with so many stores and so many window and so many “trends” I started to shake my head. Were I relegated to a specific demographic, I’d be set, but I’m not! Specificity doesn’t seem to appeal to me or my peers quite as much as it once did, such as in decades past when standards were more arguably uniform. Today, you can look like a punk-princess/safari-mailman/businesswoman, but then how to differentiate or express oneself next to the nautical-femme/boho-rainforest-clubdancer? Both are a mishmosh of inspirations, ideas, and repeated shapes and colors. Both are so hot right now.
It’s a style trap, with no style map.
I hit a turning point when doing some troubleshooting on Google. I had searched “wardrobe checklist” and up came list after list of must-haves for each season, lifestyle, and every which way in between. No two lists were alike. The bottom line was to just not be naked, I guess, and the only clear pattern was that there was no pattern. You can’t express yourself on a checklist, and I’m more sure than ever that all I really care to do is express myself. If I do that, then I can’t lose. This doesn’t mean I have to reject all the trends, this doesn’t mean I don’t wish to faun over designers, nor does it mean that the fashion industry has lost it’s ability to captivate me. It just means that we’re in a new era. Which may be a “duh” factor to you, but it really seemed to sink in with me this week as I shook my head at wardrobe lists telling me I needed 4 different kinds of panty-hose and only 3 casual (a.k.a. not spelled out for me) outfits.
I think that’s why I want to be a designer. I know I’m not a punk-princess/safari-mailman/businesswoman or a fraction of it, but I know myself, and I have to express that. I won’t always find what I’m looking for at the mall, and if I can create what I can’t find, then it can become part of my ability to communicate. Each garment can be a word in my fashion language, meant to share with any and all who want in on the conversation.
I came up with a new checklist for Summer 2013
Wardrobe Checklist: Dorky Chick in Lipstick Style
This could mean owning half the merch in this month’s InStyle, or this might mean that pantyhose and pantsuits are still key players behind your closet doors. What’s important in 2013 is that we recognize that we’ve hit a privileged sweet spot of more fashion freedom than ever before. As long as we’re expressing our hearts as our sleeves, we can’t go wrong.
This week I learned a lot, but I know I need to get back to my art supplies. I’m glad I got to take a break, get some sun, and let that vitamin D reinvigorate my spirits. Right now, I’m a sleepy lady with an early morning. And I can think of a perfect outfit that will check the one-billion-dollar box 🙂
….my PJ’s, of course.
Goodnight readers new and old.