Settling into your early 20s is a long and embarrassing journey. I cannot tell you how many times I had to hide my clothes from my parents or how much I sat down in the middle of my closet, contemplating why the hell I bought clothes I wouldn’t wear today in the first place. The worst part is having to confront yourself and ask why you wasted so much money during your college years on poorly made fast fashion clothing that ain’t gonna last more than a year or let alone a trend cycle.
I had to admit that while I loved being my rebellious, expressive self, a rude awakening jolted my system when a mullet hemline tee I bought on Nasty Gal couldn’t match half the the things I had in my closet. From there, that sparked the need for me to let go of it. Ditto with my brown round John Lennon Cobrashop sunglasses, which I’ve had to let go as I realized that the product felt cheap over time. Though I liked stinging on myself when it came to the trendier products like Pixie Market’s faux suede thigh high boots, I had to sell it on Depop as it made me sprain my right ankle. (I blame lack of solid construction!) Upon realizing that cheaply made products weren’t the solution to my short term needs, the only way I could invest my money on better made products was a return to something I once ran away from: designer items.
The full circle to loving designer fashion was a therapeutic form of healing. Before I radically transformed my style, I was simply just a clean cut girl who proudly wore ballet flats, skinny jeans and designer bags. With a handful of reinventions mentioned in part one, I realized that I couldn’t run away from the glamour puss inside me, which came from my designer bag-toting mama and designer jean-loving papa. Before I rebelled, I clearly didn’t understand why my parents bought expensive clothes and accessories or why I gravitated towards them when I was a teen. Despite my liking for these items, my mom had to bar me from wearing pieces from her collection or buying anything too expensive as she felt that no child under 18 should wear them as she felt that it was reserved for adults. Thankfully, a sense of maturity walked into me when I was a couple months shy of being 23 and graduating college.
So, what really got me into going after designer stuff? Well, I remembered that I had a Chanel bag with faux pearl and leather chain strap handles that my dad gave me for my 20th birthday, which I barely wore out much. It was so beautiful and I was sad that it didn’t get much wear out of it. Even though it was my birthday gift, it was something that was waiting for me to wear it. I recalled that I wore it a handful of times, which I paired it with vintage dresses to my Miista velvet high high boots! From there, that sparked a journey to lust after designer goodies again as I realized that branded bags are forever timeless regardless of design. With the fact that there was a higher resale value for older Chanel bags, I guess that was what finally brought me to appreciate designer goods once and for all.
One night, I was surfing through The Real Real, where people sold secondhand Chanel goodies from the ’90s to ’00s. (Say what you want about its latest scandals, but it was great to me during 2015. I no longer shop there today.) At that time, I was consigning a handful of clothes there as I wanted to have enough money for myself. Since it was relatively cheaper than an upscale vintage boutique, I managed to walk out with fun new goodies! One of my earliest purchases there was a Chanel ankle purse, which came from their S/S 2008 show. It was so tiny, but an iconic novelty as it was inspired by Lindsay Lohan’s ankle monitoring bracelet. (Ha! Beat ya, Kendall! I bought it three years before she wore it!)
Then, I slowly started to collect more vintage Chanel, which ranged from a pair of suede leather pants with oversized gold buttons from S/S 1993 to a turquoise patent leather vanity purse from its S/S 1995 collection, which was sported by Naomi Campbell. Because I grew up to seeing my mom all dolled up in Chanel, it was a way for me to embrace my full circle moment and a teenage fantasy to wear the most cherished luxury brand. Being 22 at that time, it was perfectly appropriate.
From there, I started to hunt for more vintage designer goodies whether it be a Dior bow choker, Versace safety pin adorned bag or Claude Montana shorts. If I wanted something more recent like 2010, I would spend countless hours finding runway pieces like Miu Miu’s satin cat print Mary-Janes or flower printed clogs. I’d find those goodies from vintage dealers (online or at markets), Poshmark or at bazaar sales, which were hosted by my mom and her friends. Such items were material things, but emerging into that phase served a bigger chapter into my life: NYC me.Continue reading “My Style Evolution Part 2: 2016 to 2019”