Yesterday we cleaned the house and put away most of the holiday decorations. I normally keep the tree up well past New Year’s but for some reason I wanted to have it all cleaned up early. This holiday season has been exhausting for me so I guess I’m ready to see it all end and have life be somewhat normal again.
Today we are going to see The Shape of Water and then run some errands. This evening we are going to a friend’s house for a New Year’s party. In all honesty, I’d kinda rather stay home and play Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The hubs and I bought a Nintendo Switch on Boxing Day and have been playing together each night. It’s been the one relaxing thing I’ve done over the past two days. Playing video games may not sound too relaxing to some, but it’s a sign of normalcy for me. Now that we are done playing Hollow Knight, we can immerse ourselves into Zelda and it looks like it’ll take us a very long time to complete.
I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but I do like having a few goals to work towards. Starting them on New Year’s sounds fitting.
- Be better at money. There are several “last minute not necessary but I’m going to buy them anyway” items because it’ll help me clear my head for starting off fresh tomorrow. I’m not actually bad at money at all right now, but there’s always room for improvement. I need to figure out where I’m wasting the most money and develop a better system for my discretionary spending.
- Be better at pull ups and exercising in general so I’ll be in better shape when I get this effing boot off. Even after scrubbing bathrooms, cleaning floors, de-pilling sweaters, and cleaning the kitchen yesterday I still forced myself to work out. I did pull ups and have fallen back behind in my reps again because I’ve not exercised in over a week.
- Hone in on my style more. This year I was very experimental and a lot of my spending most likely came from that. I think I’ve gone to extremes and now looking at some outfit photos, I think my style right now is some degree of weird schizophrenic. I wear both fitted clothes and those that make me look like colorful potato sacks. I don’t regret any purchases because it’s been a learning experience for me and I’ve been thinking of ways to work with what I have to make some items work better for me.
I’ve read many blogs about style this year and I’m starting to get a better idea of what I like and what I don’t. Sustainable fashion trended a lot this year and being more selective of fabric types and construction also made lots of waves in blogs.
Many blogs talk about the importance of fabric and how natural fibers are the best. Looking at a few work horse pieces in my wardrobe say otherwise. If an item is well made and if I take care of it properly, then does the fabric really matter? I don’t think so. My acrylic sweaters may pill more, my polyester shirts might get a few loose strings on them faster, but in general those are not make-or-break problems for me when it comes to my enjoying them. Yes, natural fibers are very nice and may last a little longer, but I do think a lot of what makes clothing last is how I take care of it. I’ve been ironing clothes more this year and paying attention to how often they are cleaned and how they are cleaned.
After reading about where clothing was made and how that makes a huge difference in it’s quality, I went to the mall and decided to test this. The only sort of “high end” store near me is Bloomingdale’s at the mall. I went there and looked at the more expensive clothing designers available. Some of the silk shirts were amazing and made me think my Everlane silk shirt was more Wal-mart quality in comparison. The heft and drape of the silk was incredible and even the stitching made Everlane and Grana look horrible. I think I confused a few SAs who constantly asked if I needed anything because I was taking clothes off the hangers and turning them inside out to look at the stitching and tugging a little at fabrics and checking tags. I was a bit skeptical about the quality because I know that a lot of big name shops have designer clothing that’s specifically made for them: Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, etc….. Although what I gleaned from it all was a mixed bag. For example, the brand Theory had lots of items that said “made especially for Bloomingdales” on them. All of those items were made in China. The few items that didn’t have that notice were made in USA. I checked the stitching and tried to gauge the general fabric quality of both and both were well made. Another brand, Hobbs of London, had almost every item made in China and some clothes were well made with good stitching and some not so much, but the pricing was generally even.
The only thing I managed to get from all of this experience and reading was that being a conscious fashion shopper is nigh impossible. Yes, shopping at stores that have transparent policies and who use sustainable fabrics is best, but the likelihood of finding the best of both worlds like that isn’t all that probable. And for the few places it is, it’s not very economical for most people. For me, the best I can do is be a hell of a lot more discerning with my clothing choices and decide: do I care about the fabric type? Only if it’s well made. Do I care about the quality? Hell yes, the better made an item is the better it will last [caveat] as long as I take care of it. Does expensive clothing equal better clothing? Generally, yes. However, that’s not a set in stone rule. Clothing that has better construction will last longer and it does take longer to make an item that way so the pricing should reflect that. I’d much rather make sure the person who made my clothes gets paid properly for doing the extra work to ensure it’s durability.
I’ve never really meant for this blog to cover such heavy topics in fashion, but in some ways it’s unavoidable. The more I delve into what clothes I like and why, I need to be better informed about them.
Lastly- item of note in this long, rambling post:
New handbag: top (showcased next to the most important item in the house – my lint roller) vs old handbag: bottom.
There’s nothing wrong with my old Coach bag. I still love it. My mom surprised me with the new bag from Dooney & Burke for Christmas. It’s not anywhere near the style of bag I’d choose for myself and the colors are not my cup of tea either. That being said, I’ve started using it and I really like it. The pocket placement inside the bag is awesome and I feel more organized than ever using it. I didn’t think I’d like the little hand grips because I’ve always been more a shoulder style fan, but I have found it easier to grab the little handles when necessary. At first, I was thinking I’d say “thanks, but no thanks” and have her return it, but now… it’s actually grown on me due to it’s practicality. I’m still not crazy about the color scheme, but maybe it’s exactly what I need to break up my black cycle lately. (My inner goth is harump-ing right now and saying: we’ll see how long THAT LASTS.)
I hope everyone has a happy and save New Year!