Sunday, October 2, 2011

$#@!. I care about fashion.

Excuse my month-long hiatus from blogging, but I was enjoying the glorious Indian summer. Summer came late to Seattle this year, but by God, it delivered. We had so many gorgeous, sunny 82 degree days in September that we’ve almost duped ourselves into thinking it will be a tame winter.

Naturally Mr. W and I spent ample amounts of time soaking up our Vitamin D while we could. Idaho summers were so hot, I’d spent most days hibernating. But 75-80 degrees is perfect. I spent more time in the sun this summer than I have in the last decade. I should probably get checked for melanoma, actually.

Labor Day was no exception, beautiful without a cloud in the blue sky. I found myself with the day off and nothing to do but relax. Alki was packed, but I didn’t mind. I grabbed my sunglasses and a blanket, treated myself to a frozen yogurt and read my Glamour magazine on a bench overlooking the beautiful water. Thirty minutes later, I realized I was only on page 74. Normally in half an hour I’ve blasted through most of the 260 page magazine, stopping only to read the articles that interest me. What was slowing me down?

It hit me like a giant slap across the face. I’d been reading everything and not just skimming over certain pages. Including the style section, something I normally barely glance at. I studied the fashion pages, taking the information in like I was going to be quizzed on it.

“Shit!” I said out loud, sitting up straight. “I care about fashion. Shit.

Despite having a best friend who has been in the industry for 11 years and is literally obsessed with all things fashion, I have spent just as long trying not to get involved. Sure, I’d like to think I have a little bit of style. I get my share of compliments and can usually assemble an outfit that doesn’t look ridiculous.

But I’ve never read up on anything. I’ve never tried to learn what anything is called, and I’ve certainly never bought something solely because it was “in style.” My shopping process going something like: 1. It’s cute! 2. It fits! 3. I can afford it! Step three is sometimes optional. Ladies, you understand.

But now, damn it, all of a sudden I have to admit that I give a shit. I know the difference between a shift dress and a slip dress and I know the definition of surplice. I know what color blocking is. Thanks to You Tube, I actually know how to tie a scarf a few different ways and I have worn them with actual outfits. This is a huge deal.

It’s partially due to my job. Since I mainly write about women’s apparel, I write about women’s clothing, shoes, handbags and exercise apparel pretty often. And in the process, I’m learning things. And I actually like it.

It’s also who I surround myself with. I used to visit Sydney once every few months. Now I see her several times a month, and her passion is so contagious I can’t help but get excited about things that excite her. I’ve gone to some fashion events with her and loved every minute of them. I’ve discovered some of her followers on Twitter with fashion blogs, like this absolutely adorableprecious girl whose blog I just adore. Her excitement is contagious, too.

Last but not least, I finally “get it.” Fashion is an industry that can seem very superficial. I always felt like learning about it would be a waste of time. But it’s not. It’s so much more than luxury labels and designers. When it’s done right, it’s an art form. And having a beautiful style that’s all your own takes skill and a trained eye. It’s the perfect way to express yourself. And for the first time in my life (ironically when I have less money for shopping than I ever have), it’s a skill I’m willing and eager to learn… to a point.

I’m not going to go crazy. I’ll never be over the top trendy. I’m holding true to my refusal to wear leggings as pants, though just the other day I found myself wishing I had some for under my dresses (which means they’re about to go out of style—I always, without fail, cave in and buy something right before it’s no longer in). I still think half the models that strut down the runway look ridiculous. And I’ll gouge out my eyes before I ever give a crap about keeping up with a Kardashian. I’m still me. I’ve just realized that I should stop fighting the urge to care about something and let myself enjoy it.

I think the best part about it is seeing things through new eyes. There was a women photographed on the street in that issue of Glamour (not any of these photos), and a few months ago I would’ve thought she looked a little ridiculous. But I was able to see how she tied all her colors together and the look she was going for. I saw the beauty in it, even if it wasn’t my personal taste. And that’s amazing.

Then there are the crazy tips and tricks I’m learning. For example, did you know nude pumps elongate your legs? Probably, seemingly everyone did except me. Now when I see a woman wearing nude pumps, I notice it. And now I want to get my hands on a pair and do some justice to my short, stubby gams.

Seattle is constantly making “worst-dressed cities” lists because of our large collection of hipsters who wear too much plaid (which, by the way, IS back in style this year) and don’t pull up their pants. If only people would get off Capitol Hill for a minute, they’d see people actually dress very well here. And it took less than a year for me to get bitten by the bug myself. I care about fashion. Shit.


Anonymous said...

This is fun! What's the difference between a shift and slip dress? :P

...What's great about Seattle is the hipster population making you feel like it's 1995 again, no matter what the year is!

I guess the only thing that can be tricky about fashion is when you encounter people who judge your lack of this season's insert-outfit-here with one of those once-overs where you feel about thisbig. That just sucks. :)

motherofmany said...

Now that I got this tummy tuck and boob lift I can't wait till the swelling goes down and I flatten out so I can go out and splurge a little. I have my eye on a few things at a store called "cache." Pricey but ...I haven't bought anything for myself in years besides socks and underwear so I'm gonna go a little nuts. Also can't wait till I can wear a normal bra again and hit victoria secret for matching sets for once in my adult life. I've also been eyeballing some of the Jennifer Lopez stuff @ Kohl's since I always have coupons and get a discount since my kids work there.
I've literally avoided buying any clothes for years since I knew one day I'd get the guts to finally do this! Hub is afraid to see the bills when this is all over but I'm sure he'll be pleased when he sees the results! LOL

Blog designed by Blogger Boutique using Majula Designs 'New Skirt' kit.