I may have been wading knee-deep through school and adjusting to So-Cal, but at this point I think any anthropologie-fond blogger knows about the situation unfolding with the Anthroholic blog and the Anthroholic Personal Shopping Service.
There’s been so much said about it already, and I honestly debated with myself for quite a while about what, if anything, I could add to the discussion. (Also, I’ve got a giant paper due** . . . . and really shouldn’t be putting it off so irresponsibly . . .) But especially as I’ve been reading everyone else’s blog posts, I’m noticing a trend; this breach of trust has been causing the blogging community to take a good long hard look at what we’ve been up to.
Foremost, I want to make this clear; I love y’all’s blogs. It’s always such a fun little delight to look at everyone else’s style, to pirate ideas, and occasionally to live vicariously through someone’s gorgeous outfit (long since vanished from the rails, or not practical for my own life, or waaaaaaay too expensive for my meagre purse).
I started this project (as I’ve said before) for a bunch of reasons. I so loved all the fashion blogs I followed regularly (and you can visit them all to your right), and wanted to participate in the joy of sharing our creativity and our style. Secondly, I knew that my shopping addiction had begun to spiral way, way, way out of control, and I wasn’t able to find a tool of moderation I knew would work. Thirdly, I wanted to use all of the fantastic pieces I’d collected; to figure out what worked on me, what didn’t, what I liked versus what I wore – to make my wardrobe a working one. And finally, I wanted to see if it was simply possible. This was my dare to myself; I double-triple-dog-dare you to go a year without buying anything else to wear.
I’m about sixteen weeks away from completing the challenge. (I’m still working on what happens next, but I’m hoping not to return to my former habits . . . and am pretty sure I’ll be able to stay somewhat strong.)(My student loans don’t have wiggle room for a Brand New Closet budget, for one.)(But they might squeeze a new pair of yoga pants.)
There’s been a lot of discussion about the sort-of silliness of what we do. And . . . well, yes, let’s be honest with ourselves; it is a frivolous hobby*. But it’s a creative one, and it’s fun, and it creates community. And until recently, it wasn’t harming anyone at all.
When I started reading fashion blogs, I noticed a change in my spending and my shopping. Very simply, I craved more. There’s already been plenty of discussion about how certain pieces become lusted after and start popping up in everyone’s closet (the Peppered-and-Striped skirt from anthropologie last year, for one – it showed up in so many places that I became convinced I wouldn’t be able to show my head as a fashion blogger without it.) (And um. Maybe, possibly, the Verdant slipdress is just sitting in my anthro account wishlist. You know. Cause there’s going to be so many popbacks in January.)
And now that there’s a community-wide conversation going about how to move forward. How do we encourage ourselves to be responsible bloggers and readers? How do we enjoy our love of style and sharing it without strengthening the notion that any one item is a must-have, or that your own closet is completely lacking, or that you have to spend beyond your means (whatever your means may be) in order to be a well-dressed, confident, and happy human being?
(Oh, umm. That last one might just be me, apparently.)
It was important to me, in this experiment, to test my final hypothesis; that one can be a reasonably-stylish, happily-dressed woman without anything except what she already has.
And I know I have sixteen weeks left to go, but I can already say this. All of the fashion bloggers I’ve loved, I’ve loved most when I watched their creativity; when I saw old pieces re-emerge, to be blended with new, or outfits that drew on different mixes of color and shape to change stuff we’d already seen into a brand-new ensemble.
Let’s not let this circumstance ruin our fun. Let’s move forward. Let’s keep enjoying our creative hobby, our community, the beautifully written and expressive words by some very well-dressed and well-spoken women, and remind ourselves to be responsible to the reading public . . . but first, responsible to ourselves.
*So is fly-fishing, or World of Warcraft, or wine-tasting or collecting spoons.
** And yet, I’ve been snapping some pictures; some grad-school outfits on the way if I ever finish this paper . . . .