In case I haven’t made it clear in the 2 introductions on this page, I have a severe shopping problem. I love clothes. No. I mean I looooooooooooove clothes. I find it difficult to not spend at least some part of my day either on one of my favorite shopping websites, or popping into a few stores when I’m in town.
Over the years, my style has changed pretty drastically. When I was a little girl, you could not get me into a pair of pants without a fight. Only dresses and mary janes (the shoes, not the weed). I wanted to be Pollyanna from the Disney film. My dresses had to be a cross between princess or fairy, ballroom dancer, one of the female Von Trapp children from the Sound of Music or any female lead from any periodical Walt Disney movies that took place between 1920 – 1940. Yeah.. I know. Weird.
Then, nearly overnight, I switched to pants. Not jeans yet. That didn’t come until later, but now, you couldn’t get me out of pants. Stirrup pants and bubblegum pants (as they were called in South Jersey where I grew up, aka leggings) were the forte of my outfits, complete with oversized sweatshirts or t-shirts. Give me a break…it was the 80’s. Side note – those responsible for bringing the 80’s “fashion” back, should be strung up and pummeled with gummi bracelets and Jellies while being forced to listen to ‘Take On Me’ by A-Ha for eternity.
Then, dear readers, I became a fully fledged metal head. Gone were the IOU sweatshirts and BK One’s. In came the Iron Maiden, “Seventh Son of the Seventh Son” and Metallica “Ride the Lightning” t-shirts and Asics black and purple wrestling sneakers (oh yeah.. that happened). Out went the bubblegum pants, in came the skinny stretch jeans in a multitude of colors, except “blue jean”. Some even had zippers going all the way up and down the length of the jeans. I called these my “easy access” jeans, which coincided well with my weekend “metal slut look”. Think Christina Applegate, circa Married With Children 1991 when she turned into fabulous slutty Kelly. I kid you not, my friends and I even called it our “metal slut look”. Big hair, over the knee “F-me” boots as we called them. Hair that was responsible for part of the deterioration of the ozone layer… yeah. This look was one I had nailed down.
After typical metal head and weekend metal slut, came baggy clothes phase. Although I was anti-grunge, you’d never guess from my baggy cargo pants, flannels and Doc Martins. Funny story about my first pair of Doc Martins… I’ll have to make sure to tell you about it this week. Anyway, I looked like one of them, but still wore my Cannibal Corpse t-shirts to show how anti-grunge I was.
In my late-twenties, I lost a ridiculous amount of weight through the South Beach diet and a vigorous exercise routine. So much weight, in fact, that people were asking me, very politely, “Umm…wow, you sure have lost a lot of weight. Do you have cancer?” Nice, right? Because people only lose weight when they have cancer…. oh, the humanity. Anyway, something strange happened and for the first time in my life, I craved blue jeans. I just woke up one day and wanted blue jeans… bad. I finally felt confident rocking my new non-cancer attained body. So I bought jeans… and not just one pair to see how it would feel.. I bought like 7 pairs (I already admitted to the problem). From this point, my style started changing more and more. My tastes started becoming more and more expensive and I was soon so head over heels in love with clothes, that I couldn’t even make it to the bank without stopping in a store to, at the very least, try something on that caught my eye in a store window. Stop judging me. We all have our thing.
What’s worse, is now in my mid-to-late-thirties (yeah, that’s right), I seem to have surrounded myself with others who have the same problem. Fellow shop-a-holics. Example: My friend and I have been talking about walking around Stockholm and taking some photos in areas that we haven’t paid too much attention to in the past. You see, she’s moving back to NY this year and I think she’s feeling like she may have missed out on some of the amazing sights Stockholm can show you that DON’T have stores. I can completely relate to that, so we decided that we would get out the good cameras and stroll the streets of Gamla Stan (avoiding the areas with stores) and the little surrounding islands.
I packed all of my cameras, including my Holga pinhole camera with 6 different lenses and a variety of colored gels. I packed my good Canon, and my little Canon with the fisheye and toy camera effects built right in. She brought her overpriced, prized mega pro Canon. We were dead serious about doing full on photo shoots around town.
We met at one of our usual spots and began heading down towards Gamla Stan (aka Old Town, an absolute smorgasbord of photographer friendly themes). I’d say we walked approximately 8 minutes before it was there. Staring us in the face. The 70% off, FINAL SALE sign in front of the Twist & Tango store. FINAL SALE!!!! Do you know how threatening and at the same time, inviting these words are to shopaholics like my friend and I? Well, that settled it… we owed it to ourselves, and those beautiful clothes to go in and at least have a look.
Three hours and an approximate 4000 SEK later, we walked out with our new purchases, proud that we had just made 70% profit. Yes, you see, this is how we justify splurging on sales. Especially, higher end sales. We actually EARNED money that day. Sure the sun was now down and we didn’t even come close to accomplishing what we had set out to do, but we still won that day.
This is what I’ve realized in my mid-to-late-thirties and have now finally found my own, personal style. A style that sums up who I am, not what everyone else is wearing. If I’m going to splurge on somewhat high end, designer clothes, I better make damn sure that these pieces are timeless. Nearly every piece I buy now, I make sure I can wear it with everything else I own and that it will never go out of style. Did I actually see stirrup pants for sale at Twist & Tango? I sure did. Does that mean that they are a timeless piece because they were once popular in the 80’s and those who are (hopefully) strung up somewhere being pummeled with jellies and rubber bracelets while listening to ‘Take On Me’, decided it was ok to bring them back again? No.. these are not timeless pieces. These are fleeting trends that come in and out through time.
This gorgeous leather jacket that I picked up on an unexpected shopping trip, is an example of a timeless piece and I get butterflies when I think about all of the outfits it will go with.
Yes folks.. I’ve come a long way from “metal slut”.
Can any of you relate to this post at all? I’d love to hear about it :-)!