Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fashion 101

I suppose it's about time I wrote a fashion related post. Seeing as how as it's one of my main interests in life and everything. 

As the new season approaches - kicking off with New York Fashion Week, it's that time everyone starts thinking about what they're going to be wearing six months in advance - but also when we actually start buying what we're going to be wearing now.

I have the tendency, as I'm sure many other women do, to compile a mental wish list as I go through life. The list peaks around the start of a new season, as the pieces I've been waiting for finally drop. It also tends to spike during the periods that I'm flat out broke - but I fear that has more to do with me wanting what I can't have that anything else.

Anyway. Although I like to follow and keep up to date with fashion, the latest trends and all that jazz - it's part of what I do after all. I am also a firm believer in spending the majority of your money on pieces that you feel you will wear for more than one season. Unless you're a billionaire - which I doubt if you're reading this - if you spend £50 on a skirt, you'd hope to wear that for more than a couple of months. I certainly can't afford to buy a complete new wardrobe every six months and honestly, even if I could afford to do it - I probably wouldn't. When it comes to investing your money in clothes you should think wisely before you spend. It might be £20 or it might be £200 - the same thought should be going into it. 

I split my purchases into two categories - trend led and classics.

With trend led pieces I am reluctant to throw a lot of money at them. If there's a trend I'm crazy for but I sense doesn't have much longevity I might buy a couple of high street interpretations of it - but I won't spend much. This might be a t-shirt from Primark or something from H&M - if I look ridiculous in it a year down the line at least I can wear it to go running and I'm not upset I paid a fortune for it.

With classics, it's a different story. These are the pieces that I'm going to be wearing on a day to day basis. These are the things you will likely base your outfit around, for me it's jeans, black trousers, jackets, dresses. I'm a coat fanatic as it is so I'm always going to spend money buying them. Take the parka I bought about 5 years ago - it was the most expensive thing I'd ever bought at the time but I still wear it every year. I got it from an army supply shop, it cost me about £70 and it's still wearable. I can't, and don't want to, imagine a time when a parka won't be in fashion. I mean, they literally go with everything.

I don't want to mislead anyone and make you think you have to spend a fortune buying one piece of clothing you'll wear forever - when I say I spend the majority, that still isn't a lot - it's just more than I would spend on something faddy. I think it's mostly important to be mindful about what you're buying and spending less where you know it's a passing craze. Jewellery is also a great example of this - I would generally advise against spending £250 on a bejeweled, gem studded collar necklace. It might look pretty cool right now against your white tee but what about 2 years down the line when everyone has pretty, dainty chain necklaces on and you wish you'd saved the money? Exactly.

When it comes to shoes, I do believe you're going to get better value for money and quality if you shop outside of Primark, for example. Purely because I find buying shoes so difficult, I do it infrequently and tend to go for the same kind of thing. If I could get my foot into wonderful, spindly heels and S&M boots I'd probably be buying them all - unfortunately, I cannot. The gods have blessed me with height and awkwardly shaped feet so I must make my peace with that. But as with a parka - Vans, Converse and Nike Air Max 1's are probably always going to acceptable footwear choices, so it's not all doom and gloom.

So when pay day approaches and you're itching to buy - please try not to go mental and buy something you'll regret. Unless you are actually a millionaire. In which case buy what you want.

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