Maybe I should make something else clear. While I do feel that fashion is my vice, I hope to never become a fashion “victim.” Yes, I try trends, new and different ways of putting colors and pieces together, but… I don’t ever want to look back on photos of myself and seriously wonder what I was thinking. So, while I may be reading magazines that print articles about the runways of Paris and New York, some club in LA and what to wear to the beach in Miami, I will be focusing on real people, real lives and real style. We all cannot afford to purchase designer labels, nor in the Midwest do we have access to every new “it” label. I don’t want to only stick to your basic mall clothing (although I dearly love Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft), my focus is on the truly affordable- the clearance rack treasure, the second-hand find, the garage sale staple. In this economy and in this tough market of Midwesterners, that will be work enough.
I love discovering new boutiques. And although I don’t live far from the city, with three kids I don’t often get to venture out shopping, especially to browse shops downtown. There is a shop I discovered on an adventure that has been around a few years now without me knowing, Runway. Although I do feel the market is for a younger audience than myself (now in my thirties), I do enjoy the clothing options. Reasonably priced, detail-oriented clothes are right up my alley. Not to mention I walked in and they were running a sale on ALL of their jewelry- 40% off. That’s hard to beat. Who can’t afford five dollar earrings? So for the grand total of a mere $20, I purchased four pairs of earrings, one that will go nicely with a chain necklace of mixed metals from a previous purchase (Cookie Lee) and one that I will wear with a black onyx cocktail ring (Lia Sophia). Thank you Runway, I’ll be back for a cute little party dress should the occasion arise.
So I’ve been thinking about what to write in this blog and I’m having a hard time deciding where to start. Maybe I should answer a few questions first.
1) Do I think I have style?
Of course I should answer “yes,” but there are days as a stay-at-home mom where I have to admit, I have gone to the grocery store looking pretty sad. I have run errands in my work-out clothes (gasp). I have even met with a teacher or had a meeting at church looking a little harried. Who hasn’t? That doesn’t mean that I don’t have style, it simply means I’m human. Style by definition is a prevailing mode of expression. Nine days out of 10 I’m dressed in what I view as appropriate.
2) Why is fashion so important to me?
As a little girl, I enjoyed my dress-up clothes and putting on makeup, but my mother chose all my clothes for me. And I recall, I had few variations to the outfits those pieces made together. I do remember desperately wanting a pair of stirrup pants and finally receiving them only to put a hole in them the first time I wore them. I also recall wearing knee-high socks to church with my frilly dresses my mother chose and feeling so embarrassed. During the height of the eighties, it was all push down socks and neon colors, not so much what I was wearing. My mother has a wonderful sense of style; hers is very classic and conservative. Which I have inherited…to some extent. But looking back, her influence on my clothes saved me from the horrid “what was I thinking” photos that would surely come later as I experimented on my own. [Insert dreaded high bangs photo from the 90s.]
As much as I felt I had to try harder than anyone else at my appearance, fashion didn’t really take on a larger meaning for me until after college, surprisingly. I had a teacher in high school whom I remember as never wearing the same outfit twice. This I can relate to. I get bored in the monotony of the same black-pants-and-button-down-shirt type of existence. Above all, I have learned about myself that I strive on variety and versatility. Amazingly enough, I think my first job out of college (a dot com) and the colleagues I had there sent me down the path of the fashion conscious. It was also heavily influenced by my sudden addiction to InStyle magazine’s Instant Style section. More on this later…
3) What do I hope the outcome of all this blogging will be?
Fashion is my passion. You’ve heard that many times. But for me, it is what keeps me going. It is the hobby that gets me through the long days of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sitting in the drop-off lane at preschool. Dreaming and planning a wardrobe and outfits for the events in my life only create more living for me to do.