Category Archives: opinion

Freedom?

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I’ve abandoned my blog for a while, because I am the person who is in her head, which means – I could not think of anything except for work for quite a while. But every now and then my brain relaxes and lets me actually DO something and not just flip through my RSS feeds for some fashion fast food. And since vacation brain kicked in, I am able to write a couple of sentences about the topic, that particularly pains me. Dressing for work.

Since I live and work in Germany and not in some big city – it is quite conservative around here. I mean there are people who dress nicely, but basically that is it – NICE is the word. Nice, as in “I hope I will not offend anyone’s, with the stick up their asses, eyes with my clothes”. Everyone knows everyone and it is SO important what everyone thinks, that this is how everyone ends up in this dull porridge. I know what I am talking about, I come from a small and grumpy town and country.

At first I intentionally did not overtry at work with my outfits. You know – button down shirts and skirts of appropriate length, with just red shoes to survive the boring-ness. Keep it simple. But during last year I developed I dunno…self confidence of sorts, when I just put on whatever the hell I like. No, that is not entirely true. I still have those mental boundaries, but they are much more flexible now.

Here is a good example of what I am talking about. Please feel free to enjoy/ignore the photos, that are not related to outfits.

It is not offensive in an obvious way – silk blouse, black skirt, flat shoes…And yet it is not proper in a way. Let us break it down a bit. The blouse is already funny, because it is not tight and because it has strawberries and butterflies on it. Red shoes. Green bag. Nothing matches in the standard way – in this case one of those mismatching things are the shoes and the bag combo. And yet, I expect to be taken seriously, while wearing this. Or at least hope, that no unexpected meetings will pop up with some high level management involved and I can just enjoy my clothes without feeling stupid or guilty, that I’ve put these on.

The things that are hammered into your head since childhood about all the appropriate things. I actually find it to be quite stupid, that some unusually colorful piece of clothing might earn you looks of disapproval at work. Then I think, is this just in my head? Might be, but I do catch those stares so I cannot be totally wrong. Though things are looking up, my female colleagues are embracing color, in a conservative way, but still. I think I can take part of the credit for that.

Anyways, this kind of duality in my head – I want to wear this against I should wear that – really stresses me out from time to time – I really want to wear this colorful blouse, but I have this big meeting today, can I wear this? Should I wear this? Sometimes I dare, sometimes I dare not. Then I think, what if I would to change jobs. I cannot wear such stuff to the interview. And it all turns so hypocritical, because I would go all grey and black and white to an interview…It is stressful not to be able to be yourself when you are all grown up.

Here is another example of what I wear to work.

The pants had their debut in Spring on the blog. This is how it works for work (what-a-pun…) – white button down and some ordinary pumps. I think the man repeller would see vaginae (yes, this is plural for vagina) on the pants for sure, which is not a bad thing either. Plus, when sitting at the table in some meeting, you see only a standard button down. At least here is less of an inner conflict involved and you cannot distract anyone with the vagina pattern on your pants.

So this is how a try to keep things more or less appropriate for work, and at the same time the outfits would not make me want to kill myself. It is not easy though. I overthink a lot and decide against wearing a certain piece (one dress hung half a year until I decided that yes it can be worn at work, despite the non standard pattern) or I have no energy in my legs to wear heels (oooh, I have several meetings and I will need to walk a lot), or… See – overthinking. But I do think I’ve come a long way already. It makes me feel good, when I know I am wearing something “offensive” and I know that the people that I’ve just passed by in the corridor are rolling their eyes out. And it does not make me feel good because I made them roll their eyes out, but because I accept that they are rolling their eyes and I AM OK with it. It is not some teenage like rebellion, though might sound like it, it is therapeutic I would say. I learn more about myself, learn to accept myself the way I am and enjoy the things I like and do not feel that I have to apologize for it. It is not always easy, but I am trying to get there.

With the fashion being so present online, I hope the people will adjust their eye sight to what is still considered weird will soon start to accept and embrace the weird and all us weirdoes will be able to feel free.

Good 2013 to us all, eh? Cheers.

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Investment

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When I moved to Germany and did not have a job for a while, a change of shopping attitude was in order. During that time I learned how to buy stuff. Most of my purchases from that time were bought on sale or at least some of the credit from earlier purchases used. So I never paid full price. The buys were also considered for a while before buying, because I had to make sure I will use the stuff. I am proud to say – none of the things lay around.

Since I have a job again and can put some money aside I decided to go back to my original philosophy of paying a bit more for shoes or bags, but getting my money’s worth. I have shoes that I bought 5 years ago they are still in a good condition, despite being worn rather often. And there are bags that I used daily for several years and after getting sick of them I gave them to my mom. And she gladly uses them now. So you see what I am getting at.

Now even if I can afford to do a bit of shopping now and then, I made a conscious decision not to buy stuff for a full price unless it is something really special and I cannot continue my existence without it (which happens rather rarely). It is a bit annoying to wait for a sale. And after you got stuff on sale you will not necessarily be able to wear the stuff directly (which I prefer) due to the fact that the season has already come to an end and you will need to wait about half a year to wear it… but at least you will not have overpaid. Of course, this also mean, that you will most likely jump on a trend wagon later than everyone else and that feels a bit like mimicking… Which bothers me and because of this fact some outfits were not photographed. But oh well, I do not buy stuff for being trendy, I buy stuff for being awesome regardless if it is on trend or not. They will make it to the blog eventually.

Anyway. Back to shoes and bags… I guess that is an investment of sorts. I would like to pass those on to my kids someday. I remember when I used to play with my mom’s old purses and shoes a lot as a kid and it would bring me a lot of joy… I hope to give that to my kids one day too.

So, here is my first investment so to speak. The shoes were on sale and I got a coupon from my in laws for Christmas:

Pretty Ballerinas with a bow

Rather expensive brand of shoes- Pretty Ballerinas, I don’t think I would ever let myself pay a full price, plus you can always get something from last season significantly cheaper. But I read only good reviews so far and they do look really good and are comfortable. They are cut very nicely so the edges do not cut into my bones (I had once a pair of really nicely looking ballerinas from Zara..they would kill my littlo bones on the inner side of a foot even when I wore them only in the office and did not do too much of walking. Death to such shoes!), which is very important. Will see how it will go in Spring, when I can take them out. I expect some blisters on the heel, but it is a usual thing for me. Other than that, it does not feel that the shoes need any kind of breaking in, which is also a good sign. My feet are a bit on a wide side and I try to refrain from shoes which need breaking in. Our feet are entitled to a better treatment, am I right?

So the moral of the story is – I guess that it can be another New Year’s resolution – buy good bags and shoes. On sale. Make an heirloom out of your stuff. Make your closet be worth something.

p.s. I guess there will be a lot of stalking on Ebay and Yoox this year…

Acceptance.

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Couple of bloggers wrote posts about why people do personal style blogging. So it got me thinking while writting comments and there will be a lot of random thoughts about the same topic: why do people blog about their personal style and why it is needed.

In the posts questions like – is it for fame or fortune? Is it ego, seeking acceptance? were raised. Some of it is true in my opinion, but there are also other things to it too.

Before I answer I would like to start from the beginning – why I got interested in fashion in general.

One day I was sitting at the office and started googling the word fashion. I stumbled accross The Sartorialist…then I found some website with the list of fashion blogs and this is how I found Sea of Shoes, the Glamourai and many more. And I thought to myself – wow, this is so cool, awesome idea. And it is not only high end designer stuff, but chain store clothing, second hand, inherited, self made clothing etc. People’s pictures are being taken simply on the street, because they look interesting. People actually write what, where and why they wear certain clothes. I always thought of myself as a good judge of taste, but after flipping through blogs I realized that I actually do not show it. No one can see what I see.

Why do I not let this ability to see beauty in something non conventional (or should I say non conservative) show? I never had money for clothes and because of my über chaotic nature and need for pretty things I always had a very random wardrobe (only now it starts to get into some sort of shape)..I would buy something when I had money(which was seldom), but I couldn’t wear that piece, because it didn’t go with anything – neither my clothing, nor occassion (I mean who would wear something sparkly to 8:30 lecture in the university, I thought to myself at that time)…So I would end up again wearing jeans and t shirts or shirts and having a stack of clothes I couldn’t wear.

So, years later, this is why I started my own blog – to force myself out of this comfort zone. Document my life through pictures. See myself from another perspective. Find the style that I like best. (And in about 5 years go and say – OMG, I WORE THIS? Hell no! :D) And if anyone will like my blog – even better. Isn’t it great when someone else not only you appreciates what you do?

And now about the name of the post and getting back to the name of the post. Acceptance is the thing I learned from fashion. It’s some sort of a side effect of being exposed to it. I used to frown when I saw someone wearing something unconventional. I think because I was born in USSR, where you were not supposed to be different and also because of general conservativness of my little home town and Lithuanians as a nation in general. Someone looking differently was always the object of gossip. (I hate gossip.) And even now you can avoid that only if you wear exact same stuff as everyone else or so called normal clothes(there are a lot of people who refer to clothes in categories as normal and strange) – conservative stuff, which is accepted by default. It is annoying, because when you wear something different – people stare..and I hate when people stare (my feet do not communicate with my brain then and I am paranoid that I will fall). You know, there are a lot of things that I would not wear, but why should it bother me, that someone else is wearing this?

After watching runway pictures, reading blogs there are very few things that I cannot accept. Now instead of going OMG what is that person wearing, I try to take a closer look and see, before I judge (it usually happens when I see people wearing crocs in the middle of the town or ripped tights). And you know what…judgment does not seem to pop up that often anymore. You learn to get rid of negativity. And this works not just for clothes, but in general for accepting things of any kind. So, you can say that fashion is actually some sort of therapy too.

Most of the blogs I read are written by hm..everyday people. They do not do this to show off, or at least I never got the vibe of showing off. It is so easy to relate to them, because they are written by a person, you see in the pictures. It does not feel artificial. And to get inspiration from a real person and not some glammed up magazine is really something. You know that you actually could pull the outfit off, since this person in the pictures taken with the help of the tripod can, and also – you could actually afford it!

The only thing I am afraid of now is that a lot of them blogs are turning into marketing tools. Established bloggers are getting free stuff from companies, organizing give aways, have sponsors, and well…make a living out of it. Which is quite cool. Doing what you love and getting paid…who doesn’t want that, eh? But with this it seems that personality starts to give way to marketing. I hope I am wrong.

So there you go. Fashion gives you perspective not just on fashion itself. So, let’s just all be less judgmental and accept each other.

Cheers.

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