the symbolic buy of the year
Just earlier today, I bought my first ever pencil skirt, polished black cotton, rather flattering. It's pretty nondescript, but an incredibly significant buy - as I paid for I told my friends that this was probably my most demure, grown-up purchase ever. But whenI got home and gave my wardrobe a cursory flick, I realised I was wrong about the grown-up and mature thing - all my recent buys (i.e. in 2007) have been simple, basic separates, some of which wouldn't look out of place on a woman of say, 50. This is a stark contrast to the things I bought last year - mainly dresses in odd prints, because I was on a dress kick last year (all the shops, frankly, were on a dress kick last year), and pretty tops to go with my jeans. This year, I've found myself reaching for basics and have lived pretty happily on a diet of ribbed tanks, cotton tees, grey knits, striped pullovers, and the occasional knit or linen shift. This is partly because the"on-trend" stuff being stocked in the shops are all incredibly repulsive to me, and partly because I feel like I've reached a weird age (23) where nothing seems to be made for me in the stores - everything feels painfully young (think of all that nu-rave neon which frankly looks best on 16-year-olds) or far too mature (all the incredibly smart stuff that seems suited for a lady who lunches and/or sits on boards making decisions involving lots of money). Or maybe I just feel that for the most part, a lot of fashion out there has gotten way too hyperbolic for me. There are designers who put out clothing and images I still find quite inspiring, but for the most part, a lot of it is, to paraphrase Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, "good, but not excellent". Or not even "good". So I assume this gradual shift toward buying all things simple (but not necessarily boring!) is a reaction to the hype and trends out there. I think this is basically me asserting what is "me", and it will be interesting to see if I still feel this way a year from now. This is one of the reason's why I'm keeping a style diary - to see if I dress in a certain way and how it changes over time. I mean, I have all these ideas of how I define my look etc etc, but then to actually take a photo of myself and putting it up and looking at it could lead to some previously unrealised detail being revealed.