The mall. The end all of end all mecca for all of your fashion needs. Or at least that’s what they want you to believe…
I browse through some racks. “Hmm, this sweater is kinda cute. But, what would I wear it with?” Items of clothing come flashing in front of my eyes, one by one. “Maybe those burgundy jeans I bought last month. Or maybe that faux leather skirt… But nah, I just don’t feel it! Let’s move on.”
And like this, I browse from store to store, in search for that perfect piece, for that magnus opus that will revive all of my wardrobe and start my day with a kick.
As usual, I have a very particular image of outfits in my head and I’m not willing to let that go. Maybe this store will have what I’m looking for. Maybe they would have my size online, so I can order it before noon, this way it will ship before Saturday. Because, you know… I hate it when it ships on Saturday and you have to wait for an entire week – PLUS a weekend, to get that precious little item you’ve been eyeing for two weeks.
I was born in a European metropolis, but even though I adapted just fine to the more relaxed style of American suburbs and NOT having to run after the bus in high heels (which I never did, by the way, but saw way too many girls doing it!), I think the habit and the internal pressure to look somewhat put together when you’re getting out of the house has remained deeply ingrained in my soul. Because, let’s be honest, the way you present yourself does matter! And when you look nice, it does entice you to do more things and be more comfortable in your own skin. But here’s the thing: comfortable. My never-ending problem stems from this. I want something comfortable, but sophisticated, with a dash of bold and a pinch of cute or feminine. And usually the item I picture so perfectly in my mind, falls between the lines of these definitions and I am left with an almost impossible hunt.
I am not a fashion expert. I do not even care too much about a particular brand as long as it meets my (I guess) picky tastes and looks good on my petite silhouette in the same time. I am, however, an artist and designer, so wearing clothes that are aesthetically pleasing (by my tastes, and again, I don’t claim to be a fashion expert) is a daily requirement.
There’s nothing worse than spending a few hours in a mall and probably a few more online and finding… nothing. I love fashion. I love looking at pretty stuff. Heck, I even love the hunt for that next unforgettable & exquisite piece that will steal my heart and stop my breath for a few seconds!
Just like I do in my designs, I love to play with textures, colors and layers. I adore having my skin caressed by a myriad of flattering fabrics and I shy away from everything that might constrict my free movement.
But the problem of the comfortability meets sophistication, uniqueness and quality remains. Many items strive for it, but the execution falls behind and, with the rise of “fast fashion” and over-seas ateliers that manufacture everything super cheap in the detriment of quality, no wonder we’re facing such a dilemma. And yes, I know, better materials cost more. The sad part is that is not a guarantee for comfortability or perfect fit. Sure, I don’t mind if I buy something that I consciously know will only last me a summer (or a season); but I do mind when the item falls apart after one wash, or if the shoes I’ve been looking for for 3 months give me torturous blisters, AND I also spent a week’s grocery bill on it.
Way too many times I’ve heard the lines “you have to suffer for beauty” and I think many fashion-conscious people have silently suffered through blisters and bleeding toes, dresses that might crack at the seams, corsets that cut off breathing and probably even the circulation to the aforementioned bleeding toes, just to embrace this rule for far too long. I stand here to challenge this concept.
Why does it have to be one or the other? Comfortable or looking polished? Quality or price? Design or just a cut with the scissors? I want it all. And I do not want a replica! And you know what?
I’ll never stop searching for it.