I can’t help but wonder…

“How the heck do all of these fashion bloggers afford the obscenely expensive clothes they wear?!” I’m working on a project at the office right now that requires me to read a lot of fashion blogs. There are all of these young women running around in Prada and Gucci and such. I can’t help but wonder how they’re affording such things. I’d assume credit cards, or, for the more established ladies, blog sponsorships. But I have to say, I really respect the bloggers who re-style and use vintage or “thrifted” stuff more than the fashionistas who wear expensive clothes. I guess it goes back to the “fashion v. style” post I wrote back in 2010. Dressing expensively takes less effort than dressing well in less expensive stuff.

I have to say, though, that the general populace seems to appreciate thrifted/vintage stuff more too. I own a pair of boots that cost $4 at a thrift store when my mom bought them for me fourteen (!) years ago. I’ve been wearing them a lot in the past few years–to the point where I needed to get them resoled–and practically every time I’ve been out of the house in them, someone has complimented them or asked where I bought my boots. This is not a scientific poll, but it does seem to indicate that people really appreciate “timeless” styles more than trends.

That being said, I still don’t understand how gals my age, who say they work as “freelance bloggers” can afford Louboutins. Maybe they have several other part time jobs?


A high-heeled shoe
Image via Shoe Minx

Getting Real

I’ve been looking back at the archives for this blog. The first month I had it, I wrote a fair amount. From there on out, the number of posts plummeted drastically. This is surprising, actually, as I had a pretty eventful fall. At the end of September I went back to Michigan for a ten-day visit, I went to a workshop up in Sonoma (which is gorgeous) and I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. My dad came for a weeklong visit; I got a new camera; I made my own Halloween costume this year, and I have many other things that I could be writing about. But I’m not. I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think I have an explanation: I’m not being genuine on this blog. What do I mean by that? Didn’t I post things that I’d been baking, and the spiders in my car here? Didn’t I yell at people for not voting? What’s not genuine about that? Nothing. But those posts don’t really get to the heart of who I am. And let’s be honest here: people blog to have a forum for indecent exposure on the internet. You know what I mean, right? People want to reveal what’s really going on in some aspect of their lives. Some bloggers get more personal than others. For example, food bloggers tend to just talk about the last thing they ate/cooked and put up “food porn” pictures, whereas fashion bloggers put their faces and clothes out for all the world to judge. (And let’s not forget things like the Jennycam from back in the day. Ah, how tame the internet has become.)

The thing that really good bloggers–from food posters to shoe posters–have in common is that they all have a strong point of view. You tend to get a sense of a person behind the posts on good blogger’s sites. Plus, they tend to be pretty focused on one subject. (Food, Fashion, Tech, Writing, Tech-Writing…) I tend to think of myself as pretty bad at focusing on a single topic. I’m a renaissance woman in a world that values specialization. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that this blog has the potential to turn to randomness. And that’s not what I want. I wanted this blog to be about style for the sake of expressing personality. I wanted this blog to be about cooking for the love of it. I wanted this blog to be about the joy of experiencing new frontiers. I wanted this blog to be a celebration of SELF-EXPRESSION. But the thing is… I’m terrified of what people will think of “me”. And, at a certain level, I’m not really sure who “me” is anyway. If you were being kind, you might say that I have an innate talent for communicating to other people in their own language or in their own style. Or you could say that I’m fake. Either way, I can say that the way that I communicate with people varies widely, and is always based on acting in a way that will gain me the most approval. It’s not quite so extreme that I would, say, condone mass slaughter or puppy-torture, or fail to contradict people who say that global warming is a hoax. But it does mean that I have a hard time expressing an opinion to people unless I know that the person to whom I am speaking shares said opinion. (Oh, business writing, you loathsome beast, how did you end up in my blog.) The point that I am so lengthily talking around here is that, although blogs are generally a place to electronically “get naked” (“get real”?) in the internet, I’m afraid to do that. This is why there’s been such a lag in my posts.

But you know what? Screw that. It’s time to get real. To challenge myself to be “me”. Even if it’s just on this little piece of electronic real-estate that I call my blog. I’m going to challenge myself to write something every day. Even if it’s just “this is what I’m reading” or “check out this homework for my comic-booking class”. Let’s see what happens.

P.S. Eeek!

Fashion v. Style: Not the post I thought I’d be writing

When I started writing this post, I was going to write this whole long manifesto about Style and Fashion; how they’re different, and why I think “having style” is better than, “being fashionable.”  Then I looked in the dictionary.  “Crap,” I said.

The first few definitions for style are kind of recursive.  But if you look farther down the page, entries 4 and 5 in Dictionary.com’s definition of style read:

4. an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living: to live in style.

5. a mode of fashion, as in dress, esp. good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.

This made me pause, because, well, it appeared that these two things I’ve considered different are pretty much the same thing.  But then I reread the definition, and wasn’t so sure.  Meanings 2 and 9 seem to indicate a separateness of “style” and “fashion”:

2. a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style.
9. a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work: Her painting is beginning to show a personal style.

What this says to me is that, basically, if you are fashionable, you are always stylish.   But you aren’t always fashionable if you are said to have “style”.  Or, put another way, if A is being stylish, and B is being fashionable, all fashionable things have style, but not all stylish things are fashionable.

B is entirely enclosed by A.
What do you mean, "this is nerdy"?

In essence, Style is the way that one expresses oneself.  It might be through things that are “In Fashion” (e.g. skinny jeans, hooker boots) or through things that are unique, interesting, and fit your personality, but aren’t necessarily a popular type of clothing at the moment (e.g. these shoes).  Personally, I think that it’s better to have style than be fashionable.   However, I am terribly biased because, although I can be said to have style, I will probably never be “fashionable” (except by accident).  Nevertheless, I will, from time to time, post things that I think are stylish and/or fashionable on this blog, with commentary.  I don’t think I can be single-minded enough to make this a “fashion” (style?) blog, but I will probably post about clothes here.  The hope is that this post helps to clarify what I mean when I talk about stylish things.