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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Branded

So I've spent the past 48 hours cleaning my disaster of a room, including my very overstuffed closet.



When I did a post asking about personal style many of you responded with things like "Just make sure you love what you're wearing" I used your advice while cleaning out my closet and ended up giving away 143 items of clothing.

As great as I felt after, there was something seriously disturbing to me about some of the items I had thrown away. More than half of them were clothes from nicer brands that I hadn't even considered throwing away in the past no matter how poorly they fit or how little I actually wore them just because of the name on the tag.
This got me thinking about how drastically my definition of fashion has changed over the past couple years.

In middle school there were 3 categories that you could have belonged to in terms of fashion.

Most Fashionable - wore Juicy Couture and Coach

Fashionable - wore Abercrombie and Hollister

Least Fashionable - wore clothes from Kohl's or Walmart
Being the naive girl I was I fell into the trap of belonging to one of these groups - the first one to be specific. Every time my uncle went to New York he would bring me back a knockoff bag from Coach, Versace etc which I would then proudly carry into school. The Juicy obsession was worse. I got a fully tracksuit from one of my relatives for Christmas a couple years ago and incorporated it into every dress down day at school (we had to wear uniforms so dress down days were a way of showing off "fashion"). All the money I earned went toward buying every color of their signature velour jacket.

I remember on one shopping trip in CT I bought 3 at once with my mom nearly having a heart attack at the register saying

"What is so special about these jackets that you feel the need to spend hundreds of dollars on them?"

Too which I responded by pointing at the J on the zipper and saying " See, the J. The other jackets don't have these because they're not Juicy Couture."

She stared in disbelief and said, " I could make a velour jacket and sew every letter of the alphabet in diamonds on it for the price of that jacket."


Even though I have long since grown from the obsession I was surprised at how young I had been sucked in to believing that the more expensive your clothing was the more fashionable you became.

It also seems that when we are younger and have been exposed to all of these expensive brand names that it makes us more vulnerable to acquiring a false sense of entitlement - a "I'm better than you because I can wear more expensive things" type attitude. It really butchers the word "fashion" when people use it this way. Fashion (to me) is supposed to be a way to express yourself not a contest to see who can squeeze the the most designer brands into one outfit.

It's nice to have purged any remains of that from my wardrobe.



Before













After








24 comments:

lisa said...

Great job with the room-cleaning!

I confess to being a bit of a Coach and Chanel addict, but I put function before brand. I actually resisted buying my Coach tote initially because of the signature C print and ostentatious branding, then caved because of its functionality (easy-to-clean coated canvas, useful compartments and pockets).

Terren said...

good job! now i need to clean mine... :P

Sharon Rose said...

After looks fantastic-remember style is how you project yourself and I personally love mixing designer and vintage (thrifted, secondhand) to incorporate a stylish look. Work at using different items and mixing them for that total look!!

Nay'Chelle said...

Great job organizing your room!

Miss Victory said...

Oh, I absolutely love this entry and I couldn't agree more with what you're saying! You talk such sense. I'm pleased that you've come to appreciate fashion in a way that makes it so much more enjoyable for you.

Aliena said...

Oh I feel really bad now, you've just reminded me I need to organize my oown wardrobe... not looking forward to it at all!

pinup_girl said...

Hooray for your super-clean room and closet! Looks great. & thanks for sharing that story of your fashion evolution! The way you wrote it was fantastic, especially this line:

"Fashion (to me) is supposed to be a way to express yourself not a contest to see who can squeeze the the most designer brands into one outfit."

Love it!

The Clothes Horse said...

Wow! Great job cleaning out, it must feel so refreshing to start almost anew. I never could afford the brands growing up (or even now!), but I credit my inability to dress like others as the start of having my own taste.

Times of Glory said...

What a great job! Closet detoxing is hard but it is necessary, otherwise our styles will not grow. I should learn from you actually, as I'm terrible at organising xxxxxxxx

xoxo Jaimie said...

I think we all have a phase of falling into the label trap. School and bullies can be a bitch if you're not keeping up with the trends. But my mother didn't pull that crap. We always had nice things, but not jsut because of a label no matter how much I wanted to. You're right, you have to love what you're wearing. Nowadays when I buy expensive stuff, its because I love it. I have expensive tastes and I really like the nicer finer things. If somethings a certain brand and horribly ugly to me, no way am I getting it

Aliena said...

just to let you know i left you an answer about the jeans/tejanos question... hope you'll find it useful!!!

Sam said...

good job with the cleaning! I recently cleaned my room and I got rid of just as much stuff you did, it's funny to not know you have that much stuff lying around.

STYLE DU MONDE said...

Well done on organizing your stuff! I like what you wrote about fashion. I am so with you!

xx

CoutureCarrie said...

Good work! But fyi I think that being stylish/fashionable means combining high and low end items . . .
And you should sell your unwanted designer stuff on ebay so that you can buy more cool pieces!

xoxox,
CC

DaisyChain said...

Wow, what a great cleaning job! Fancy doing mine next?

Savvy Gal said...

good job. i donate things every season so my closet won't be overstuffed. i figure if i have not wore something in a year then i won't be wearing it, period.

Danz said...

I try to look at the actual item of clothing before I look at the label and if I like it (and it's affordable), I'll buy it.

The only time I obsess over a brand is if it continuously makes beautiful, quality clothes that I really love.

Great job cleaning your room btw! I love how much brighter and welcoming a room can be when it's clean and organized...although I don't do it nearly enough!

Would you like to trade links?

Wendiva said...

i LOVE closet cleaning. even though i haven't done it in years, but it's always fun to see how our styles have evolved over the years.

http://wendiva.blogspot.com

sydneydoll said...

wow that is SOOO much better.

i feel much happier when my room is clean.
a sense of accomplishment

good for you for giving away your clothes & not throwing them out.

ray said...

wow im impressed!i also need to sort out my clothes.i cant even shut my drawers now:)xx

thesil said...

hahaha!Great work!I hate cleaning up my bedroom but it is necessary if we want to put in them new clothes and if we want know what clothes we have in our wardrobe!

emily said...

bleughhh, i used to be so into juicy. i was really into "designers", like coach and juicy couture and ugh. but now, juicy actually has some ADORABLE peacoats that they're selling at south moon under. i was tempted to buy one, but i have no money!

Siljesfashion said...

Nice! I love mixing things up-like Sharon(!)to get a unique style.

Inside the Cabinet of Wonder said...

wow, your room looks fab, really nice. good job!! :)