He’s Just Not That Into You, Fashion Ed.
Let me throw some cold hard truth your way. (Ok, it’s just my truth, but still).
Remember how happy Miranda was when Berger (hmmm, admittedly a total asshole), provided the ultimate bright-line assessment of why her date hadn’t called? Like a verbal bucket of ice water. He’s just not that into you. Far from being offended, for pragmatist Miranda, it was the ultimate (in the words of Bitch Sesh’s Danielle Schneider) breath of fresh.
So many of us long for these clarifying ahas in fashion. So in the spirit of my Pragmatic Miranda pals (and you, Mom), I’m giving you my 11 “He’s Just Not That Into You” fashion statements right now. You may want to fix yourself a beverage. And have a seat.
- There is no “dupe.” Anything worth having can’t — exactly — be replicated. And the details in fashion are fine ones. It’s those teeny little things that make or break. Whatever this “dupe” is, it won’t make you happy in the long term. It won’t! Rather than buy something disposable, skip it or rent it* or wait until you can marshal the resources, sell something, or there’s an occasion. The worst result: You buy the dupe and then end up also buying the real one out of lingering dissatisfaction (been there). *I’ll put my friend Rose’s rental discount code at the end of this story.
- And also, I have never not regretted a fast fashion purchase. I look back and none of them ever gave me any long term pleasure. There’s 1 Zara skirt I haven’t parted with and it’s — ok. But there is something about the smell and lack of story of these pieces that makes them joyless. And there’s something about the fact that they begin a whole cycle of joylessness that makes them not just fleeting but even kind of dark. Rent, wait, shop your closet, shop a friend’s, shop consignment. I get the desire for new and I get the strictness of a budget (I’ve been there) and I will not judge you, but this just *will not* help with the itch you want to scratch.
- There is no forever “solved!” Like right now, I feel like socks solve most things. When I don’t feel modern, I’m adding a sock with a sandal. But I will look back on this the way I do with anything else I tried that was “out there.” It will look dated. (And eventually new again.) You never solve fashion. You never figure it out. Just like you never figure yourself out. You have to, I think, embrace the delicious uncertainty. The inability to master things is what gives those things life. Uncertainty, risk, that’s what makes style exciting and you have to keep shuffling and f*cking around to have it. The ahas are fleeting.
4. Also, there is no “uniform.” You think you want one, but when you buy lots of the same thing, or repeat the same gist over and over, you lose the creative spark and chance to express different moods. Uniforms exist at some times to level the playing field. To make dressing cost effective for working people. And to take the thinking out of dressing for daily life. But this is why we ultimately shirk them when we can (post school, post work hours). In spite of the ease, the natural instinct is to want to keep trying to express your individuality. Just because you have a great day wearing something doesn’t mean you should go out and buy it again. And —
5. Repeat purchases fail. Re the above. I am currently in some Tibi sleeves that I bought in 2 colors. I have my reasons, but I can tell you based on repeat experiences that this is dumb. You rarely need a second one of whatever, no matter how much you love it. Fashion moves, and by the time you wear it out (a badge of honor!) you will actually want something different. Especially the case with jeans and shoes and especially sneakers. They change the fastest. (The sleeves won’t change much in style or fit.)
6. Pants or jeans that are neither short nor long are a freaking problem. There. I said it. I’m sure you can make them work. It always involves more thought, though. The exception might be balloon pants. Either your whole shoe shows with some breathing room/intention, or your whole shoe is hidden, with the pants just almost touching the floor. The rest IMO is a potential fast train to Dowdy-Town. Hemming pants = my personal terror. At the very least ask for it to be reversible if you change your mind.
7. Shoes you can’t walk in are art, not shoes. Shoes don’t look good when they hurt; they look awkward and try-hard! Painful shoes often look dated. Shoes have changed and comfortable shoes got cooler, too. If you look at stylish people you love, I bet they all look relatively comfortable in their shoes most of the time. I’m not here to judge if you want to look at shoes in your closet. I have this one pair I wear out to dinner and we’ll have to valet. I’ll get rid of them soon. I’m much more focused on something I can enjoy. Shift your focus from shoes you wear .000001% of the time to shoes you wear. Period.
8. Dressing like shit at home makes no sense. Home is where you are the vast majority of the time. And there is virtually nothing to “dress up for.” You can be casual anywhere now. Home is where the people you love most are — you and anyone you invited in. Dressing like shit at home and saving your “good stuff” is like keeping plastic on your furniture. Also it’s not honoring yourself. Also, it’s not like clothing is made of sandpaper. It’s 2022 and it’s all relatively comfortable. Also, eating in pajamas is weird.
9. You will never need or want the “thin clothes” you’re saving. That’s just some mean bullshit no human should ever do to themself. If you aren’t happy with your weight and then x amount of time later you are, you’ll be excited to treat yourself to what you want then, not put back on the bad memory schmattas collecting dust and moth holes in the back of your closet. In the meantime, celebrate where you are without these not useful clothes lingering around.
10. Don’t buy anything for whatever event you’re going to. Spend the most on what you love + wear the most. If you wear jeans constantly, invest in the best jeans. Event-only stuff is the worst investment. How often do you go to events? When they come up you can always wear your best black blazer and pants and deem it a tuxedo. Yet somehow we go all out on an event and then go oh no, we can’t have the B-Sides jeans we know we’ll feel amazing in? It makes no sense. The last wedding I went to I wore a navy shoulder pad t-shirt and my navy featherweight Tibi skirt and a vintage navy bag I borrowed from my mom. I felt great and looked like I was in a day dress. And spent zero. Also my wedding dress was $69.
11. Stop trying to fix mistakes. Repeat after me: Shit happens. We buy mistakes. Even the most versed shoppers and style icons do. The only thing worse than the mistake is making yourself feel lousy about it — or even worse than that, holding on to it to try and fix it (“well if I lose 10 pounds, maybe …” OMG evil! ) Let yourself off the hook, learn what didn’t work, sell it, accept the loss and move on. Don’t throw more money at altering it. Don’t throw more money at another item to “make it work.” It’s just not that into you. And that’s ok. Turns out you’re just not into it either; that was a key learning.
And learning is good.