(photo via deadfleurette.com)
Personal style is a much neglected topic in this blog. That is why I have decided to devote more posts to it. You see, while I do tend to ramble on about stuff that I want, the fact of the matter is, I manage a very small wardrobe. Ok, fine, small is relative, but believe me when I say, all my clothes fit in 2 small cabinets.
I do not have a walk-in closet, and if I did, I would have trouble filling it.
Simply put, my philosophy when it comes to shopping is very Parisian or shall I say Parisienne, ala "A Guide to Elegance".
"One of the most striking differences between a well-dressed American and a well-dressed Parisienne is in the size of their respective wardrobes. The American would probably be astonished by the very limited number of garments hanging from the Frenchwoman's closet, but she would also be bound to observe that each one is of excellent quality, expensive perhaps by American standards, and perfectly adapted to the life that the Frenchwoman leads...Americans are often shocked by the high prices in the Paris shops, and they wonder how a young career girl, who earns half the salary of her American counterpart can afford to carry an alligator handbag and to wear a suit from the Balmain boutique. The answer is that she buys very few garments; her goal is to possess a single perfect ensemble for each of the different occasions in her life, rather than a wide choice of clothes to suit her every passing mood."
Growing up, I had a very limited shopping budget, which I found to be well, limiting. But on the bright side of things, it eventually trained me to think all purchases through. I only buy what I love. I buy things that last. Now that I can afford to splurge at times, I do not settle for second best. I would rather have one classic piece or wait until I can buy the item I really want, than spend on ten trendy or "pwede na" items I would end up giving away.
When I was in college, I was worried about repeating outfits and thought it necessary to buy a lot of cheap stuff. Looking back, while I did have a some great buys, I wish I just spent my allowance wisely on pieces I can use up to now. Such as my first "designer bag", a Burberry satchel I bought for £60 (which was a lot for a 19 year old me at the time) at the Burberry factory outlet in East London, and a pair of Patrick Cox loafers. In fairness, the bag is still alive up to now. The Patrick Cox loafers, I have given those away years ago. While the leather and construction was great, the style wasn't timeless enough. Lesson learned? If you're gonna spend on quality, then make sure it's going to be a classic that can withstand the test of time. Otherwise, its not a good buy.
Sure, the drawback to having a small wardrobe is I tend to repeat items a lot. I have a pretty uniform look. But everything is in a style that works for me and my lifestyle. I can dress up in five minutes, because everything in my closet is true to my style and they all work together. And because I value fit, proportion and quality materials, even if I keep on wearing the same items, they will never look tired.
In this age and time where people seem to be obsessed about acquiring, hunting for deals, substituting and other fleeting fancies, I think the focus should be on building the perfect wardrobe. On a collection that "tells the story of your life". On quality, not quantity.
Watch out for more posts on this subject. If there is one thing I would like for all of you dear readers to learn from this blog, it would be a mind towards thoughtful consumption.