The fear of being labelled as a style blogger for me (although admittedly self-titled) is the expectation that comes with that title, the hope that my wardrobe is bursting with brand new, totally trendy, 90% designer threads. Let me tell you something up front, if that is the idealistic wardrobe for a twenty something female, I welcome you to a world of disappointment. This for me is completely unrealistic and I’m sure for some, very much unattainable. I cannot and will not bankrupt myself just to earn my cool girl Instagram stripes.
I have always been a lover of affordable style. I think this stems from my childhood. My parents always taught us that nice things don’t come easy, they take hard work, they are a reward and to be appreciated. Buying new is something they couldn’t always do for me or my brother. Whilst all my gal pals at school were rocking the super cool Tammy Girl flares, I on the other hand sifted through hand-me-downs from my Auntie’s next door neighbour. Almost five years older than me, she was the teenage girl I aspired to be just like. Rummaging through sack fulls of black bin bags, I remember some of the gems I snapped up; over-sized Adidas t-shirts, silver metallic halterneck tops and best of all a rather funky pair of faded purple corduroy jeans. I threw these clothes on instantly, and although slightly too big for me at the time I thought I was the luckiest girl in my street. Before you get your violin out, we never went without and to give you the happy ending, I did get those Tammy Girl flares one day. My mum walked me up those stairs to Tammy Girl heaven and said the words we always appreciated and more importantly respected, ‘time for your treat’. I will always remember the look on her face at how happy I was and for the next year or so, I practically wore them every day straight. Fast forward to now and these days, we’d snap up our latest ensemble without hesitation, throw it up on Instagram with a few relevant hashtags and then toss it to the side just like that, in speedy replacement for something new and improved. I suppose what I’m trying to get at, is that we seem so fickle. Of course, style changes, it evolves, trends and come and go and yes I do buy into them but strip it all back, what are you left with?
Without generalising here, I want to point out that I can only see what the Instagram algorithms want me to see. No longer are my favourite feeds popping up, just scrolls and scrolls of designer hands bags; Gucci, Chloe, YSL. Instagram is slowly becoming a little like the school playground circa 2000. That awful feeling remains of not being able to keep up with the popular crowd. I don’t own a Gucci handbag, does that mean I can’t enter the ultimate circle of blogger chic? There’s a lot of pressure to buy new, with the likes of reward apps glorifying fresh off the shelf frocks. Don’t get me wrong, each season I throw in some new additions to my wardrobe but I have a handful of clothes that still remain from (dare I admit it) a couple of years previous. Why is that so frowned upon?
I think it’s really important that not just as bloggers, stylists, fashion addicts, I’m talking as females, that we don’t loose our touch, our quirks and most importantly our individual style. Don’t let the gram stop you from dressing exactly how you want to and as my Auntie’s super sassy neighbour used to preach ‘make your own cool girl vibes’. If you buy something; a new top, a bag and you love it, make sure you do love it for all the right reasons. Throw it on immediately, mix it up, pair it with new, old, whatever feels comfortable to you, be obsessed with it and maximise the cost per wear. Cherish those gorgeous garments you own!
P.s the jacket is Boohoo two years ago! Comment below with your oldest most-loved piece of clothing!