Yes, this is the place to be. You know me. I grew up in clothes from the thrift shop, hand-me-downs or clothes that came from the attic in the north where I'm from. However, I think I always loved that other world, that world full of glamour. It's not because I care what other people think of me, because I don't. Not in that way, but clothes from labels such as Armani or Ralph Lauren are in better quality than most of the clothes from mainstream stores. Sometimes I think I hate H&M because when I walk inside the store I struggle to find a single item that's not tacky and it's not tacky because of the design, it's tacky because of the choice of fabric or because of how it's been made. I can always buy basic things such as socks at H&M, because they're in cotton and maybe some t-shirts or something like that, but finding something else. Something I will be able to keep for years to come, that's not easy.
I'm an environmentalist. I care about the environment and believe it or not, but if you love shopping as much as I do, that doesn't have to be a bad thing for the planet. I'm going to exaggerate a little now, but picture this: The garments at Steen & Strøm are in the price range of 200$, 300$, 400$ or maybe 150$ if it's on sale. That might seem like a lot, but the fabrics and the way the pieces are executed means that if you buy a piece of clothing you might wind up hanging onto that piece for many years. I found the most exquisite real silk skirt for only 150$ and I'm sure I could have kept that skirt for the rest of my life. Now, if one walks into a store like H&M, Cubus or Lindex one might wind up spending 100$ quite easily! I mean, a jacket could cost 40 or even 50$ and you might think it a bargain, but it's in polyester, the seams are badly executed and many, many other people have the same jacket. Then maybe you'll get a top for say 20$? Plus a skirt for 30$, but the skirt doesn't look good. You already spent 100$ on clothes that look tacky and one year later, you just don't like them anymore.
Maybe this is just me being me, but growing up, I would prefer to go to thrift stores, the good ones, where you might actually find Ralph Lauren or Louis Vuitton and I would look for pieces that were in good quality. Because I realized that if I went shopping somewhere mainstream, I'd often wind up with a closet full of crap that I'd never even want to put on. That's a waste. It's a waste of money and also of the planet. To understand that I could spend the same amount of money on clothes during a year, getting only a few basic pieces from a good label and feel better when getting dressed in the morning took me a long time to come to terms with. It took me a long time because I grew up with a mindset of not belonging to that world of glamour and intimidating labels such as Chanel, but I have the same right as anyone else to walk into Armani and try on a dress. Of course, it's a choice. We are all free to make our own choices and I choose to be clever. I understand that if I learn what my personal style really involves and then put some real thought into those few key pieces, that I could be glamorous and still stay in tune with my own personal values. In other words, less is more. Maybe I do belong here, in this mall and not in some other, worse mall? Maybe I can define myself and fit in anywhere I want to be? Maybe Armani is for everyone.
In Asia, it's more common to think in this way. They'll bring their clothes to the tailor if there's a hole in it, because their clothes are fine. I do that too, or I fix it myself and I'm proud of that! I am not ashamed. What's bad, is to throw away clothes from for example H&M because there's no relationship toward that piece of clothing, because it cost so little. So that when there's a hole in it, it's just trash. One ugly t-shirt might not seem like much of a wasted resource, but several tons of clothing are going to waste constantly. It might seem like any personal effort like recycling your own garbage at home is insignificant against the situation at large, but that's still not a good enough argument. You wouldn't throw away a pair of jeans by Ralph Lauren if there was a hole in it, because it's a good pair of jeans. We're all different, some people don't care about clothes at all, nevertheless I find this whole idea of being OK with owning less to be of importance. The idea that this can in fact be cool, because what's more cool than doing something good? Than being so comfortable and confident in your own skin that you don't feel the need to fit in? To follow what's in fashion or to constantly strive to reach some kind of ideal, when our rolemodels might be bad rolemodels and the collective ideas of what's right, might be wrong.
This post is about style, offering an alternative view on the whole fashion industry in an attempt to stop global warming. There is only one planet earth and we are loosing animal species and plants that are irreplaceable. How important is it really to fit in? Do we even need the fashion industry at all? Could many of us make do, with less? They say that we, the consumers, are the ones creating the fashion because the fashion industry is producing whatever they hope will be the most appealing to us as a whole. Maybe I can make up my own mind? I want to add that the same mindset applies to interior design. Getting antique furniture secondhand will look stunning and getting something from IKEA will cost the same or maybe even more, but you will not be unique and you will have wasted a resource from the planet. Go for quality over quantity. Take care of your belongings. Be mindful about your choices. We have to wear clothes and we have to have furniture, but we don't have to be idiots about it. My wallet is by Marc by Marc Jacobs, I got it secondhand and it's in real leather. It cost me 70$. Some girl was bored with it, but I'm not. If I ever get rich, this side of me won't change. I would decorate my house in vintage pieces and it would look magical. It's a choice and choices have consequences.
The underwear department is the best. I am in love. I found a suit that was on sale, 50% off. It's checkered, it's a perfect fit and there's only one left. I didn't get it, because I already spent 300$ on beautytreatments today and I need to draw the line somewhere. I might still come back for it, if it's still there... My point is that, though I could turn down other pieces, there was no arguing with the underwear department. It was too beautiful for words. Underwear is something that I already knew I wanted to spend money on because none of the underwear from the mainstream stores fit me right. The underwear here is not more expensive than what I'm used to, honestly it's not that bad! I mean, it's really worth it too. It's such a wonderful way to reflect your personality, by wearing unique underwear that fits perfectly, looks amazing on you and makes you feel confident.
To all the "poor" girls out there. You might believe that you can't walk into this mall, but you can. You have the same right as everybody else and you should just walk in there and own it.