My life in clothes

16 Aug

Today, as I stepped into my favorite mall within reasonable driving distance, I wondered how many times I had been there, and what I had been looking for. This led me to think about the different “style phases” I’ve gone through in my life. I thought it would be interesting to document them here. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to accompany this because I lack a scanner, but I’ll try my best. We’ll start when I first became interested in clothes, around the age of 10, the summer before fifth grade.

1999/2000: I had just discovered Limited Too. I was all about their (frankly overpriced for the quality) brightly colored graphic tees and jeans embellished with embroidered flowers and…zig zags or something? I accessorized with a fish necklace, those black plastic choker things  (that I wish I could find a picture of but can’t probably because it has a specific name that I can’t remember), and frog shaped earrings. Skechers platform shoes on my feet and a Winnie the Pooh backpack completed my look.

2000/2001: Middle school. The summer before sixth grade, I found out I needed glasses, so I was now sporting those. The majority of my wardrobe still consisted of Limited Too, but I also started wearing Abercrombie kids in an attempt to fit in with the “popular” kids. (It didn’t work). Blue nail polish and butterfly hairclips also became staples.

2001/2002: by now I was a full-fledged Aberzombie. I asked for it for my 12th birthday and was ecstatic when I got a shirt emblazened with the logo and matching sweatpants. Later in the year, I also discovered Aeropostale, so shirts with monkeys and those swishy pants quickly started filling my closet.

2002/2003: This was probably my most interesting year, clothes wise. Avril Lavigne’s song Sk8er Boi had just come out, and I thought she was the coolest girl ever. I started shopping at Hot Topic, buying black shirts with witty sayings on them and putting safety pins in my jeans and the bottom of my shirts because I thought it looked badass. Add black studded belts and those metal ball choker things, and you had yourself a perfect little poser. I also got a perm, braces, and new black thick-rimmed glasses. I don’t even recognize myself in photos from that time.

2003/2004: My freshman year of high school. I had quickly gotten over my poser punk phase and I had a major growth spurt. I got contact lenses and highlights. My stores of choice included Kohl’s and Macy’s (then Kaufmann’s) and my daily wardrobe consisted of flared jeans and a tshirt or a sweater. Pretty boring. As a freshman, I wasn’t trying to stand out too much, so I kept it simple.

2004/2005: The year Hollister came to a mall near me and I discovered designer purses. I received a black Dooney & Bourke “it” bag for Christmas and wore it to school every day. I flat-ironed my hair constantly and you could never find me without lipgloss. Flip flops also became an important part of my wardrobe.

2005-2007: the remainder of high school wasn’t much different from sophomore year. I shopped at Abercrombie, Hollister and American Eagle and had what I thought was a cute but actually  very generic wardrobe. You could usually find me in destroyed flared jeans and a logo tee. Bo-ring.

2007-2008: the summer before college, I became really preppy. I loved polo shirts and designer jeans, bought pink and green bedding for my dorm room and carried a black Longchamp Le Pliage tote. I joined a sorority and found out that only a few girls shared my penchant for all things preppy, although you could find many sporting pearls.

2008-2009: Fall quarter I had a boyfriend and stopped caring what I looked like. My daily uniform consisted of tshirts, jeans and flip flops or Uggs. My mindset was, “he tells me I’m pretty when I’m wearing sweats, so why should I put in the effort?” After that relationship ended, I vowed to make an effort not to wear sweats or boring tshirts to class. I became more interested in unique patterns and customizable things, so I tried to buy things that I knew nobody else would have.

Now, entering my junior year of college, I am about three things when it comes to clothes. When I find a piece of clothing I like, I then see if it has the following qualities:

  1. Comfort – if I don’t feel comfortable in it, I’ll never wear it, and it’s just a waste of money
  2. Versatility – When I go shopping, I try to picture several different pieces I already have that would go with what I want to buy. If I can’t think of anything, I don’t buy it.
  3. Quality – I don’t want to buy something that’s going to fall apart after two or three wears. End of story.

Currently, my favorite stores are Gap, Express, Nordstrom and Forever 21. I also love American Apparel deep Vs because they come in so many colors and go with anything. My ideal outfit consists of dark wash skinny jeans, an AA deep V, a cardigan, and flats or gladiator sandals. It’s simple but not sloppy, and it’s comfortable. I also really like tops in solid colors like grey, red, purple and black with small but pretty details like braiding on the collar or a subtle ruffle. I guess you could call my style classic and comfortable with a slight twist. I can see myself dressing like this for awhile. I think it works for me. I find it almost relieving, in a way, to have finally found a way to dress that makes me feel good about myself without a ridiculous amount of effort. I know this might have been a shallow post, but I always feel better when I’m wearing things I like 🙂

Oh, before I end this, I want to brag a smidge about the amazing deals I scored shopping. At American Eagle, I got 2 simple v-neck tshirts for $15 due to a sale they were having plus my 20% birthday discount. At Gap, I got $70 trouser jeans for $50 thanks to their “$20 off all jeans” deal they have going on right now. I got two tops that were on sale for an additional 40% each, and some underpinnings. At Victoria’s Secret, I got $5 off my purchase for trying on a bra, and I got more underpinnings and some super soft grey lounge pants that will be perfect for wearing around the house when it decides to be 10 degrees below room temperature.

Oh! One more thing, and then I’m done, I promise. Has anyone heard of Huggable Hangers? I first saw them when I was helping my big sister in my sorority unpack from winter break. Homegirl has more clothes than anyone I know and limited closet space in her tiny apartment. I wondered how she was able to fit all of her clothes into two miniscule closets. Then, I realized it was the hangers. Not only are they thinner than most plastic hangers, they also retain the shape of your clothes. I bought 25 for $25 a few weeks ago at Target because at the sorority house we are only given an armoire-esque closet for clothes we need to hang up. They’re a little pricier than your average pack of hangers, but I’ve used some of them already and I have to say I’m really pleased. I can’t wait to see how much more room I have once I have all of my clothes I need to hang up on them.

Whew. That was long, but pretty fun to write. Props to you if you actually read all of it 🙂

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2 Responses to “My life in clothes”

  1. dressingmyself 08/16/2009 at 6:13 am #

    Thanks for this saga. I started reading ‘Seventeen’ when I was in high school. Later on I moved on to Vogue.
    Those huggable hangers sound good. I will look for them in Target next time I visit the USA.

  2. Erin 07/27/2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Hahah I’m glad my hangers made such an impact!!! Btw… I have a slight clothing obsession, what can I say?! haha

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