So, I saw a black Prada Saffiano handbag perched on a desk this morning. Sometimes, my office can look like a designer boutique. That worn and faded lap blanket that resembles your grandmother’s sofa cover, is from Mulberry, London, and those antique tea mugs with the quaint flowers, are from Wedgwood.
Image courtesy Pinterest.
On Monday, some of us were talking about the dessert, but one of my colleagues misunderstood and dug a Montblanc pen out of his desk drawer. He said he couldn’t be bothered filling it with ink through the converter. The three of us tried to jump him to get it. We were bickering quite loudly. And, I saw it first, so hands off.
The thing I wonder about when people spend a lot of money on name brand things (not fountain pens, or fine stationery: there is no limit to how much you should spend on those), is how come they don’t notice the other stuff?
I don’t care if you use a gold nib fountain pen and carry a beat up briefcase. That’s the way it’s got to be. I applaud you if your clothes are from twenty years ago and you’ve got a vintage Rolex on. What I don’t get is how come a woman spends so much on one handbag when she clearly should have spent a third of that on a full year’s wardrobe at the outlet mall just down the street.
Image courtesy: Marcus Link
Seriously. I am proud to say that I own skirts or dresses that cost less than thirty dollars. I mess them up with food, paint, ink, more food, more paint, more ink. The cheap ones never die, by the way, wash after wash. I’ve got $12 wool sweaters I bought fifteen years ago at Uniqlo. They go right to the cleaners and return looking as good as new.
This is me talking about what I personally prefer. I prefer natural fabrics and I also enjoy synthetic fibres, as long as I don’t look flammable. I don’t want to collect silk shirts because I can’t wear them without fretting about getting raspberry sauce on them. My favourite skirt is charcoal gray, in cotton and it cost me nine dollars. It goes for formal and casual events with the right jacket. No one can tell I bought it eight years ago.
I have absolutely no opinion on whether other people should be paying a lot for clothes, so that’s not what I’m going on about here. My concern is about balance.
I am also one of those individuals who can resist a designer label if I don’t like the thing. I enjoy having the labels that most people can’t recognise from a first glance or from the logo. I pay attention to labels because sometimes people model counterfeit bags and shoes as if they were real, and I want to stare blankly at them while they’re trying to impress me with a fake Hermès Kelly bag.
Prada: Image courtesy fashion lover
I don’t believe that possessing designer labels is equivalent to having good style. Labels can sometimes encourage us to escape from the responsibility of carefully arranging ourselves. I’ve seen some awful looking things from Dolce and Gabbana and Versace and would never let them near my body, even when they were offered to me as gifts. “It looks awful, but it’s from that designer, therefore…” I don’t think so.
Easy bun hairstyle from Gal Knows
But let me put it to you, women. What is the point of carrying a Prada bag when your sweater’s all stretched out and faded? Or your patterns and silhouettes are mismatched? Why have you got that $4000 bag and a very large scrunchie in your hair holding up what could have been a cute chignon? I’m sorry, but I just cannot with scrunchies. Please, someone, do something. Do you need a Prada bag, or did you need an extra two minutes to find a black ponytail holder?
A balanced style requires time, rather than money. I like the idea of rearranging a few items of clothing week in, week out, to get a brand new total look. Perhaps I am that way because I had to wear uniforms to school until I was seventeen, and after that to work in a bank. I enjoy the challenge of getting creative with limited items.
That’s what it means to have a personal aesthetic. Labels cost money, and they take time to acquire but in the end, they’re products. A designer label doesn’t always do a good job of cleaning up your presentation and it certainly shouldn’t.