Upon reading Park & Cube, I discovered the Battle of the Bloggers run by Asos. Naturally, this is just another reason I wish I lived in the UK, but residence aside, I quite liked the topic to write about.
I'm young, and I've been young forever. I frequently feel that I never change - my appearance, my personality, my taste in music, etc. But inevitably, after long enough, nothing is the same. Of course, uniformity and too much similarity makes me crazy. Sometimes it's difficult to gauge time, so little changes are easier to take note of, and to carry with me into the future as a time-marker. And naturally, I look back too much.
Take the example of my clothing log. I've actually never designated a name for it, but I've been keeping track of what I've been wearing since March 20, 2006 as a seventh grader, six days before my thirteenth birthday. How do I remember the date so well? Perhaps I have a keen memory, but perhaps it's because I remember what I wore.
I suppose I've always had a weird relationship with clothes... as a preschooler, I would insist upon wearing the same dress nearly everyday. The top had black long sleeves with a heart in the middle, and the skirt was black and white gingham. Throughout elementary school, I insisted that every item in my wardrobe was purple. I also remember the Maryjane sneakers (in purple, naturally) that I wore everyday in kindergarten. With the exception of my beloved preschool dress, most items I used to wear have since been discarded in some manner.
Incidentally, when I woke up this morning, I was overcome with a desire to sort through my clothes. It's been nearly a year since my last closet clean-out, but I don't feel that much has changed. Over the past year while my weight has been constantly fluctuating (to my dismay), I've focused more on my shoe collection. Admittedly, it's still relatively small - by no means am I a shopaholic nor do I have sufficient funds to buy pair after pair of shoes.
My room is cluttered to the brim with various "stuff." It builds up, and my environmental science class has instilled in my head that there is no "away." There's sample size products that I've never used, but still have around. But I digress - this is about clothing. However, as it turns out, clothing, style and fashion are not synonymous. I suppose I should have known this forever, but during the first couple years of my adolescence, I found great pleasure in buying the latest items from my favorite stores. Fortunately for my present-day self, these pieces were more likely to come from H&M or Forever 21 than the ubiquitous coveted middle school brands - Hollister, Aeropostale, American Eagle, or Abercrombie.
Despite my distaste towards such "mall brands" as I used to refer to them, I enjoyed the irony of wearing a pair of Hollister jeans with a studded belt. Unfortunately, I must have sold out in some sort, since it's not as though their jeans fit me particularly well. In fact, they were completely wrong for me. But I couldn't resist the faux-Californian vibe these stores tried to present.
Let me add something - the summer after eighth grade, I took a fashion construction summer course at Moore College. I was by far one of the least "fashionable" persons there, and my style was hardly defined. I cited my favorite designers as Chanel and Betsey Johnson - the first two that came into my mind. But I attributed my love of fashion to my aunt and grandmother... countless nights I had sat in my aunt's guestroom, reading fashion books and flipping through every September issue (since the early 1970's, I believe) of Vogue.
As I journeyed through high school, I grew nauseated at the thought of dressing like everyone else clad in Ugg boots and strangely colored tshirts decorated with the logos of "mall brands." Slowly, I put my Hollister jeans away, exchanging them for dresses. However, with this new found anti-high-school-fashion attitude, there is another conformity to be confronted. Sure, I enjoy reading style blogs, but I grow tired of seeing the same Jeffrey Campbell shoes paired with some dress from Topshop.
I've found that most girls in my age bracket spend hours getting ready, regardless of where they shop. Frankly, I can't be bothered to wear something that takes effort to think of. I've grown so familiar with the pieces in my closet that I just brainstorm combinations without ever opening the door. And a majority of the time, I wear outfits that were created in my head.
I suppose I'm not the best dressed person around, nor is my shoe collection highly noteworthy. I've discovered clothing is necessary, style is personal but somewhat superficial, while fashion is the entirely optional part of the equation. My choices are unlimited, and as cliche as this sounds, what I wear is up to me. I can choose to disregard "fashion" in exchange for my comfiest tshirt, or I can wear a new pair of high heels in attempt to break them in. Or both. Ultimately, what's left is style.