There are two things in life that I’m funny about; cheese and money. With the former, it’s actually English cheeses I have a real thing against. It just turns my stomach. ‘Nuff said. With the latter, it seems to be a subject that people like to probe me about here on the blog and as I’m not an uber intellectual fashion blogger who muses about the art of fashion and make things stop at Hussein Chalayan’s mechanical dresses, the subject of ‘buying shit’ be it shop reviews, new purchases, value for money, the act of assessing whether something is ‘worth it’, and ergo money, does make a regularl appearance here. I don’t make any bones about that.
When I say I’m funny about it, it’s really just the usual politeness that comes with the touchy subject of how much money one has. You just don’t talk about it. It’s a necessity that we need but not something we need to blah on about. It seems though in fashion blogging, (or perhaps in other areas of blogging) invariably questions arise. The one I get the most via comments and emails is…’How do you afford all this stuff?!?’
The very brutal truth is though, I’ve never really been lacking in the funds. I’m not a bajillionnaire (so much more fun than being a millionnaire…) but I’m not a pauper. In my student days, I was never scraping the baked bean tin for the last scrap nor was I driving around dropping into Hakkasan for meals. I started working in digital advertising immediately and it was pretty decent post-graduate-in-London kinda wages. Now that I’ve moved jobs and it’s still a decent packet and I also take on freelance work on the side. Facts established. I’m probably a lot older (24) than some people who read this blog and I’m just at a bit of a go-getter stage in my life (I fully plan on burning out and collapsing mid-work in a high heel clad dramatic way at the age of 30….).
I guess what fundamentally irks me a little about the probing questions is that I’ve taken for granted being able to blog about personal experiences in fashion and doing so without the need to take into account whether this applies to many people at all. Blogging about London-y things could be conceived as selfish but to that I retort I can only inform about what I see and experience. This applies to my fashion experiences. So yes, admittedly, not everyone is going to be able to afford some ¬£170 sample sale Pierre Hardy shoes or even physically ge there, but it’s something that did happened to me yet I have feelings of guilt when someone pipes up and says ‘Hello! Student here!’.
A lot of blogs I admire fully demonstrate the very obvious and ‘Oh-gosh-let’s-not-go-there’ BLATANT fact that nobody needs money to be into fashion or to be stylish and you can look to the left to see that. Yes style doesn’t cost a thing. However, I do get the feeling that as a result there is this slight flip reverse situation of the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’. Suddenly the ‘Haves’ are made to feel a little guilty about being able to afford a designer splurge and the ‘Have Nots’ are saintly for being able to thrift an outfit for ¬£5 and shop solely at H&M. Evil moneyed fashionistas vs. angelic thrifty fashionistas. See what I mean…money is funny and the more I write about this, the more I’m not making sense, even to myself…
In a schizophrenic sort of way, whilst I have the means to treat myself and buy nice things, I’m also a stubborn bargain hunter. It’s odd that in the right circumstances, I can drop a wad on something quite extravagant and then in charity shops, car boot sales and markets I’ll haggle if I can and scrutinise things very carefully. Hell, in some weeks of the months, a fiver for an outfit can become a necessity if I’ve splashed the cash a bit for the a few weeks on the trot. Even my designer buys have mainly come via the lucky eBay dip or through very good sample sales. The key thing is though that even if I ever became a bajillionnaire (which isn’t a goal by the way…), I still think I’d be cruising the Topshop sales and thrifting and doing all the things that give me bargainous joys purely because I’m very abdamnant that I have that fully varied ‘mix’ of origins in my wardrobe and my own personal style. In any case, on the opposite end of the scale, there could be a bajillionnaire reading this blog right now chortling at my poorman’s Balenciaga SS08 vintage dress customisation, so it does work both ways.
What I guess I’m saying is whilst I thrift by choice and simultaneously buy something at Dover Street Market I don’t feel like I have to be apologetic about being able to do that. However at times the obtuse angles of fashion blogging can reveal, that these things might come out with a negative light being shined on them and so whilst I took this opportunity to get the ‘funny money’ business all out, I’m still hoping with sparkly eyed optimism that in the broad spectrum of style and fashion and all the lovelies it offers up, that dough/cash/moolah stuff just really isn’t an issue at all… because it shouldn’t be…