I regularly go through phases when I feel bad about spending too much money on clothes, or simply about owning too many clothes already. For the most part these phases come after massive shopping sprees. This year has been slightly different: I haven't actually bought huge amounts of new things, nor have I spent that much money on clothes either. It has been just the opposite; I have got rid of big piles of clothes, shoes and bags. Interestingly enough, though, I seem to be still entering another phase where I question my role as a consumer. It is not that I have anything in particular to feel guilty about - okay, I have bought a couple of pairs of wonderful shoes, a second hand cape, sequined leggings, some undies and perhaps a cardigan or two... okay, I have bought quite a few things, but it is nothing compared to last year - but I still feel uneasy about the relationship between myself, consuming, and style.
The other day I was browsing through a bunch of new fashion/style blogs (they were new to me anyway). I am not going to start naming them here, because I have absolutely no right (nor desire) to judge them or their authors. It simply hit me that a lot of fashion/style blogs concentrate on consuming. Probably the most common inspiration for a blog post is a new purchase, or a new desire to purchase. (I went back to my own old posts, and noticed the same thing: my sense of excitement is palpable when I have bought something new, something fresh that I can share with my few readers.) It doesn't really even matter whether a blogger is a high-fashion spender, a high street consumer, or a vintage hunter. We all keep looking for the next piece of clothing, the next pair of shoes, the next handbag to make us feel something.
Is this simply the core of fashion and style? That we must consume? That we must renew our skins, and ourselves? Would anyone follow a style blog if the blogger kept wearing the same things over and over again, in the same way? It is often said that fashion works in cycles: it doesn't really go forward at all, it reinvents itself again and again. It inspires itself, it lives off its own past. Yet we are stuck in the new and exciting. We consume in order to reach something new (that is actually old), only to dump it after a short while, just like we (or our mothers) have dumped it years ago, in order to go back to the future. Is this really how it works, and more importantly, is it working for us? Does it make us happy?