the echo chamber?
So, did I just make you want a Charvet shirt?
I keep coming across comments about how blogging and reading blogs for some seems to have fed their desire to shop and consume more (indigoalison just gave her take), and have been thinking about whether I was honestly affected by this.
When I started blogging, whenever I saw something cool on someone else’s blog, I would instantly start a round of online shopping to see where I might find something like it. Only my dislike for online shopping held me back from doing real damage to my bank account.
My thirst for shopping grew when I started working and had more money to spend on clothes, and also when I decided I wanted to move on to better-made clothing. I was also transiting to the demands of dressing for work, and suddenly, it seemed like I had new things every week. Building up a foundation of basics, upgrading to better-quality clothing, and figuring out what works best on me – it was a never-ending whirl of shopping, with misfires galore.
Blogging and reading blogs provided me with inspiration and an idea of how “real people” dressed and shopped. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about what people were buying, what labels they were wearing, what editorials they posted – I saw it as educational. I tentatively posted shots of my outfits, sometimes just so that I can go back to them and understand what worked and what didn’t. I posted endless pictures of stuff I coveted as an outlet to let off shopping-lust steam. I wrote about designers I admired and celebrities who dressed well. I talked about new things I bought.
Along the way, I read about shopping bans on the now-defunct Observation Mode (she was one of the first), marveled the joys of a small wardrobe and other thoughts on consuming by Editor, understood the connection between inspiration and real-life dressing on Pret a Porter P (Star Wars chic, it’s possible!) and, as an aside, delighted in the threads on building a wardrobe on The Fashion Spot.
My blog wasn't scintillating stuff (nope, not the next Susie Bubble then), but it was all a great exercise in understanding what I like and how I want to look, and how I want to consume. I rarely got comments on blogs and I wrote for me and no one else, but increasingly it became gratifying to come across other blogs and like-minded bloggers. It was interesting to share and discuss things that, in my non-virtual world, barely gets 5 minutes of my time.
My blog may have started as pretty much a “this is gorgeous, I want!” or “look what I bought!” or “look what I wore today” sort of affair, but I think as I sought to become more thoughtful and considered about what I want from clothes, the blog has evolved as well. Blogging became part of policing the mind – forcing myself to write about why I want something became part of being more disciplined about shopping. Writing about what I love and exploring the connections I have to clothes that’s beyond material, allowed me to appreciate what I have more.
So, with all this navel-gazing about dressing and finding personal style, I’m not surprised if it seems like all this has become an echo chamber of sorts, amplifying the process of getting dressed into disproportionate significance. All this going back and forth between blogs about building the perfect wardrobe, is it actually blowing all this out of proportion and feeding a desire to shop? Even worse, has everyone come to develop the same “good, classic taste” as a result of some items becoming incredibly popular on blogs and seeming desired by everyone?
I supposed there is something to be said for blogging breaks (from reading blogs and blogging) but personally I haven’t felt the need. I believe many bloggers, don’t actually think about this stuff every hour of the day – we work, study, take care of our families, fight with enemies, empathise with friends, read, exercise, watch television programmes, films, travel, cook, volunteer at non-profits, worry about the state of the world, save for a rainy day, sleep.
My life does not revolve around wardrobe planning, and I’ve always assumed that about the blogs I read, so that’s always contextualised things for me.
What do you think? Do you think blogging and reading blogs makes you want more more more?
Picture from self service magazine #34