I doubt Eddie Scarry would read my blog, but I know firsthand that it doesn’t cost a million dollar to look like a million dollars. My recent style change from fully femme to rather masculine has hammered home the sometimes inverse relationship between how fancy something looks versus how much it costs.
Despite the fact that I don’t spend much on my apparel to begin with, I’ve had some modest success in making a little bit of money from clothing that I no longer wanted. I also picked up some tricks from working for an eBay consignment company.
About 3 years ago, I decided I was done trying to conform to the pricey, difficult, nerdy “not like those other girls” fashion standards. That is, I was tired of shelling out $30+ for quality “girly” tees with logos or designs on them and about as much for jeans that fit me. My heart yearned for dresses of all kinds: fancy, summery, floral, weird. Now, between thrift shops, ModCloth, eBay, and Etsy, I have accumulated a collection that would have made 3-years-ago-Heina weep with envy.
Despite wearing dresses 90% of the time, I am no delicate flower. I am, as a matter of fact, rather clumsy, including with my food and drink. Yet I’ve only prematurely lost a single dress to a stain (half a glass of red wine on a white bodice — RIP, lovely). What is this sorcery?!
More like chemistry by way of motherly/grandmotherly wisdom and Google.
A version of this was originally posted on my fashion Tumblr, where you can see how much I care (obsess?) over my presentation.
I think a lot about clothing and the way in which I present myself because I have yet to shake the sense of wonder I feel both at my expanded sartorial possibilities and the fact that my such choices are far more my own than they ever were before.
Sometimes, we stop wearing things, or refrain from wearing them in the first place.
Once upon a time, I was rather into things that visually referenced the Subcontinent. I loved the rich embroidery, vibrant colors, shimmering fabrics, paisley prints, and so on. It was a way to connect to the culture that, during my upbringing, was all too often ignored or even denigrated in favor of religion. I got excited when my local Kohl’s started carrying mojari-style flats since the ones made in the Subcontinent and sold in Little India never fit my 9.5W feet.
I had never thought much of Terry Richardson or Dov Charney, but all the information I’d heard about “them”, until very recently, somehow ended up in the same mental box, as it were. I instinctively thought they were the same person until the so-called “News Media”‘s propaganda machine told me that one is a photographer and one is the head of American Apparel. I remained a believer in this false enlightenment until my eyes were recently re-opened. When I read an article on The Toast by Mallory Ortberg that compared the “two” “men”‘s looks, and saw in the comments that I was not the only person who recognized “them” for the same person that “they” are, I knew I had hit upon a troubling truth. Before I reveal it, let me present the facts.
Recently, the Internet (especially its feminist and feminist-flavored corners) has exploded over the topic of makeup. For many, the personal became political and vice versa. The aspect of the debate that seemed to have been missed by many in both the pro- and anti- makeup crowds is the variation in perceived cultural pressure regarding feminine conformity, including makeup.
In other words, that some women don’t feel forced to wear makeup doesn’t mean that others can’t feel that way.