When I got my first ‘proper’ job, I splashed out on a whole new wadrobe.
A few well chosen, pieces from Jigsaw and – wait for it, – a brand new CHANEL dress, with an adorable matching jacket.
Finally, I thought-, a Grown Up Wardrobe! No more H&M, Goodbye Top Shop days! Back then Chanel was not nearly so heavily branded and was much more work appropriate – not quite as expensive as it is now either, I hasten to add.
I still have the belt from Jigsaw and the Chanel jacket still fits and looks tres chic. Everything else was a disaster, and has now left my wardrobe and been donated to charity. There is little doubt that the jigsaw clothes were well made in quality 100% pure linen. Pure linen, as any experienced fashionista would have known, proves to be, too high maintenance to survive a 9-5 work day in London. (fashion error # 1) The CHANEL dress really just ended up too formal and making me look somewhat matronly, (fashion error# 2). I had it altered twice, at considerable expense, tried it dressed it up and down, but realistically it had to go, to avoid frumpidom.
Those first purchases contained so many fashion lessons, there somewhere: about how even the best clothes have a sell by date, buying too much, too cheap or too expensive. In this case, the clothes themselves are lovely, but the crucial error, was they were bought too fast, without a proper evaluation of what I actually needed. Throwing money at something doesn’t solve the problem, as I were to learn. Buying slowly is key.
None the less, I had now spend the money and wore my new wardrobe at work , every single day. My colleagues would come in bragging about a new frock (that’s a “dress” for the Brits) which was such a bargain. “Sarah”- they would say, ” don’t be a snob, you could get a whole new look for the price of a pret sandwich!”
So, I went back to Top Shop and Zara. I can mix it up a little, I thought. High end and low end, as those savvy fashion editors love to tell you! Who is to know? Add an expensive bag to elevate the look, and Bob is your uncle Funny is your aunt.
Let me just explain, that the expensive bag with a cheap outfit, looks exactly like an expensive bag with a cheap outfit. It destroys the planet, and doesn’t elevate anything. It may look ok in a photoshoot or in someone’s sponsored (some bloggers get paid per click) blog, but in real life don’t wear Chanel jacket with a Primark top. It is not a good contrast. In fact I’d go as far as to say that mixing flamboyant designer items with sweat shop, bits and bobs screams of such an absence of social responsibility, it is verging on the obscene.
How I made my transition from fast fashion to (real) slow fashion – final post in the series coming up!
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