Tuesday, 10 August 2010

1/52: First thoughts on TGAAD

My first week of The Great American Apparel Diet has gone by quickly and without any real trouble. It certainly helped to be in the middle of all sorts of things-to-do and traveling. At an upper-scale consignment store in Princeton this past weekend, I was tempted by a beautiful pale-pink-and-green 1980s strapless chiffon gown ($40) and an embroided clutch ($30), but I did manage to leave the store empty-handed.

I have been wondering whether not being able to shop for clothes will make me spend more money on other things. I have treated myself to a new book already, a couple of cds, as well as two new pictures to be hung on our walls. My interest in interior design seems to be on the rise, but to my defense I can at least say that our house projects have been an on-going issue for quite a while. It does seem like I have suddenly found new energy to tackle the decision-making process regarding the paint colours for our kitchen.

As I was unpacking my suitcase (read: stuffing the contents into an already-full wardrobe) the other day I got to thinking that from the standpoint of figuring out what to wear, TGAAD really should be a walk in the park. I have so many clothes just sitting there, and the blinding appeal of buying new things has, for a while, steered me away from the clothes I already have. In other words, I don't really get much wear out of my clothes. I wonder how big of a portion of my shopping decisions has been based on my desire to buy, rather than the want to wear.

When I told my father about my decision to go on TGAAD, his first question was: "What is going to happen to the blog?" I haven't felt that I've paraded my purchases here all that much, but I guess it is true that a lot of style blogs, if not revolve around, certainly display buying an awful lot. Whether my clothes are old or new is almost irrelevant: the images that I share portray clothes that I have, at some point in my life, bought. I wonder whether promoting the culture of buying (even if we talk about buying second hand) is inescapable when one blogs about style.

Dress: flea market, bought about three years ago
Belt: MaxMara, bought last summer
Necklaces: flea markets, bought this summer
Shoes: Trippen, bought last year


Eline said...

Well, you had that one woman who experimented with wearing a simple black dress for a year, each day in a pretty refreshing way. In that sense I feel like there could be a lot of blogs out there that don't promote that kind of consumption culture but even promote an anti-consumption culture. Reading these sorts of blogs and thought has certainly changed my mind in shopping lots.

Sal said...

I think shopping and style blogging are interconnected, but that they can have a meaningful and thoughtful relationship.

Those two necklaces are AMAZING together, by the way!

jesse.anne.o said...

"I wonder whether promoting the culture of buying (even if we talk about buying second hand) is inescapable when one blogs about style. "

I think about this a lot. Even if one person is not-buying and others are reading, I think the go-to response is sometimes to buy more to recreate what you see vs trying to "shop your closet". And sometimes it doesn't work to shop your closet to recreate stuff, and I think that creates a want.

Sometimes I get bummed that it's so hard to lay off STUFF. You would think it'd be so easy, but it's not.

Teenysparkles said...

Hello! I wanted to confirm for you that, i read your blog mainly for your musings - whether you are shopping or not - you will still be musing and hypothesizing and philosophizing...so have no fear, your blog readers will still be here!

a cat of impossible colour said...

I have been reading your blog avidly, as always, but just not commenting! The upcoming move to the US next week has rather fried my ability to communicate normally, I'm afraid. :) But I just wanted to say that I am so excited about your TGAAD challenge and wish you all the best for it.

Holly said...

I think it is possible, if not common, to have a fashion blog without emphasizing consumption. I would say that for a lot of readers, it's kind of a vicarious pleasure to see a blogger acquiring beautiful things that they may not necessarily be able to afford or justify buying. [Perhaps a vicarious pleasure that ultimately creates discontent, though.]

tigerteacher said...

I am enjoying reading and following your TGAAD challenge!

In terms of making different use of things you might have, as well as addressing an aspect of the culture of buying in style blogging, I wonder if you follow the New Dress A Day blog? It's awesome! The author has bought thrift shop dresses, pretty much the stuff you might pass up, ie too big, stained, torn, not very cute stuff, and remade them with quite basic sewing skills. Reading this blog has been inspirational to me - and rather than make me want to thrift new stuff to remake, has made me want to remake some stuff in my closet that doesn't quite work or doesn't quite fit, etc. Here's the link if you're interested in checking it out:

Charlotte said...

I have to confess, Waves, that I glance at what you're wearing in the photos, but mostly, I read your blog because you write well and interestingly about things other than what you're wearing. You could cut the fashion angle altogether and I'd still be a loyal reader.

Holly said...

Ditto Charlotte, actually.

Eyeliah said...

I don’t know about this other spending…. Maybe there should be some sort of limit there too? Up to you, but consuming things goes hand and and hand with clothes I think. I am also wondering what will happen to my blog now that I’ve cut out 70% of my wardrobe, but that’s what we see as we keep going right?