recently red envelope asked me to participate in their ‘#redstyle – embrace your personal style’ campaign. as i wrap up my nearly year-long shopping ban i decided it was the perfect opportunity to share my final thoughts on the experience. march 1st marks the day i will be debt-free and embarking on a new path of when and how i spend my money- and it’s nearly here!
for those who don’t know, in april of last year i enacted a shopping ban on myself in order to accomplish a purge of sorts and reach the goal of paying off all the debt i had accrued over the years from my ongoing habit of excessive shopping. the original plan had me paying off my debt two months ago but i am fine with the extra months that came about- i hadn’t factored unexpected expenses into my budget but overall i am very happy with the experience. for one, my will power got a major work-out and largely rose to the challenge, and being (almost) debt-free is an awesome feeling! the experience also made me take a long, hard look at how and why i shop, inspiring new models and habits for the future.
first off, i’ve vowed to stop supporting fast fashion. to me that means no longer patronizing those retailers that specialize in mass-produced collections put out on a weekly or monthly basis, especially when those items are made in china or india. to that point, unless i can verify that a factory provides safe working conditions and a living wage for their employees, i won’t be buying anything manufactured overseas. instead i intend to support independent designers who use domestic production facilities. this should see me buying fewer though arguably better made pieces that support small business and/or my local economy. heavy, right? maybe but in the end, i believe this approach will have a more positive impact on both my wardrobe and my conscience. second, i will be staying within my monthly allowance when it comes to spending- no more credit. i believe these changes will make me more mindful of what i’m spending my money on while creating a habit of making fewer but more meaningful purchases.
which brings me to my current style goals and wardrobe needs. as a child of the 80’s, i was five years old when madonna suddenly rose to fame on MTV (her ‘material girl’ single was my first ever vinyl purchase!) and i credit her early videos for my initial interest in fashion. imagine five year old me suddenly and desperately coveting lace skirts, jelly bracelets and over-sized hair bows! needless to say, that was only the beginning and akin to madonna, my style is ever-changing. the past year has been close to excruciating as my tastes have changed but my wardrobe has not. in fact, i am finding huge gaping holes when it comes to casual wear as i had been focusing on my work wardrobe just before i enacted my shopping ban. so here is where i take stock of what i have that fits the aesthetic i’m moving towards now.
first up is the chambray shirt. undoubtably a classic piece, i only acquired my first last year. the verdict? i would live in it if i could, though i am still working out the many ways to wear and style it –
– chambray shirt : jcrew / scarf : jcrew / belt : trouve / jeans : paige denim / booties : dv by dolce vita –
– chambray shirt : jcrew / necklace : tiro tiro / leggings : sara bergman / flats : gap –
next is the shirt dress. i am obsessed with them and scored this one at the frances may warehouse sale last fall, making it one of my few shopping ban cheats. i just couldn’t pass up a $600+ dress on sale for $65!! now i want all the shirt / tunic dresses –
– dress : les aperizes / belt : billy kirk / booties : bp. –
one of the areas i am most lacking in currently is casual evening wear, something easy and cute for drinks with friends, a fashion show or party. here are my current go to’s –
– cropped jacket : fossil / peplum top : reif / jeans : paige denim / booties : bp. –
– sweatshirt : everlane / dress : reif / : necklace : tiro tiro / booties : bp. –
when i need to fancy things up, i pull out this baby which is a little bit witchy and a little bit saucy french school marm –
– dress : vintage / belt : trouve / booties : bp. –
my last look is inspired by my friend jessica who often rocks long, vintage skirts. she is easily five inches taller than me though and i am still undecided on whether this look works for me or just emphasizes how short and wide-hipped i am. either way, i am determined to work out the long skirt look this year –
– sweater : jcrew / skirt : vintage / necklace : tiro tiro / shoes : bc footwear –
not forgetting accessories, my current collection is definitely in need of more friends and i am dreaming of breaking my shopping fast with a great statement necklace and a new bag (or five). here are my current fave pieces –
– earrings : elysium jewelry –
– earrings : ay marieke –
– earrings : scarlett garnet –
– necklace and rings : tiro tiro –
– clutch : seaecho –
so there you go. i definitely see my upcoming style transition moving towards classic pieces with a slight edge. in the next few months i’ll be focusing on solid basics, interesting tunic dresses, more vintage pieces and bad-ass accessories. wish me luck!