Chictopians, last year I wrote you a letter about what it’s like to be in the later half of your 20s as a fashionista. It was a little solemn, a little sad, a little hopeful, and ended on a note (actually, very 20s) – that no one or no number should decide who you are. With a year’s worth of new experiences, thoughts, closet and even style changes, I thought it would only be appropriate to update you on this experiment that is the art of dressing.
I never bought the Jeffrey Campbell creepers we talked about last time…at first it was an issue of money, but at some point, I just decided that I just didn’t want them any more. I even gave away the harness denim jacket I wore to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week just last September. As always, our styles fluctuate and change as time passes, and right now my wish list in fact includes a nice cashmere sweater and a pair of floral Tory Burch espadrille flatforms (which really resemble creepers – some things never change!). Maybe my style is slowly going to morph into that of 30-something-Sarah after all! And it really doesn’t feel that bad, promise.
Regardless, what I’ve realized was that my previous mantra was to consume, consume, consume, and I was constantly buying to keep up with trends, not with this as a purpose but because, like many of you, I love having a new favorite top or shoes to gush over. In Kalil Gibran’s poetry masterpiece called “The Prophet”, he says of clothes “you may find in them a harness and a chain.” While most agree this passage is more about having your body meet nature, I like to take it to mean that your possessions can possess you unless you’re careful. While I still love shopping, I’m starting to figure out that it’s more important to build a wardrobe that will last the test of time both in style and quality, than to have a large wardrobe. Can you believe I just bought my first pair of basic black pumps? Even from an environmental standpoint, it’s easier to buy less that will last than buy a lot and have to figure out how to relieve yourself of it when you’re over it.
Growing a little older often means having a little (or for some people, a lot) more money…which is a lot more meaningful than even I imagined. As I look back to my youth, I didn’t really begin to develop a personal style until I got to college and started to be able to pay for my own clothing. The first thing I ever bought on my own was fuzzy pink sweater from Wet Seal, and even when I stopped wearing it, it still had a special little place in my heart (insert warm and fuzzy feelings here…pun intended). Obviously, financial independence from parents feels amazing, and at this age it might eventually mean having to deal with a mortgage, but for now it means splurging on that Tibi blazer if you want. Having the ability to do and purchase what you want is for obvious reasons, very refreshing. It’s a part of adulthood I certainly like, and certainly makes the quality over quantity closet we just talked about more easy to attain.
But Chictopians, you want to know the best thing is? Thanks to what hopefully is a heightened level of maturity, a world that is slowly but surely becoming more friendly to women, and a bit of confidence, I think I’ve come to a heightened sense of independence unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s one much more powerful than the one I had as I was fudging my way through my early 20s, trying to figure out who I was in the same manner that you look for a light switch in the dark. As a result, I think my style is more sure of itself than ever. Sure, I wouldn’t call it an IDAGF attitude anymore, but as you get older, you get to know your body, your lifestyle, and most of all yourself so well, why not couple that with your new-found adulthood and wear whatever the hell you want? Much like eating ice cream for dinner if you want to…because really, it’s just the adult thing to do.
Image via gastrochic.com