style sacrifices

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the constant onslaught of choices we face every day.  The cardinal rule of economics, that people face tradeoffs, is true for every possible choice in life. Personally, I find the choices surrounding fashion, wardrobe, outfitting, etc. to be quite complicated (So MANY choices!  So many WRONG possibilities!).  For every decision surrounding what to wear, what to buy, and what to avoid, another possibility is given up.
Everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes an ‘investment piece’ and where one’s money should go when seeking out additions to a wardrobe: for every investment piece, many smaller purchases of ostensibly lesser quality (and, presumably, lesser consequence) can be made. This is something I experience when I fight with my inner monologue/budget fairy on whether a potential purchase is worth it, especially with mega-retailers like H&M, Forever 21 and the ilk cranking out cheaper versions of current trends.  When the true cost of fast fashion is examined under the economic microscope, it becomes clear that less is indeed more.
I’m also making a conscious effort break out of my norm and add new styles to my repertoire, which adds another dimension of choice and potential complications into the mix. When I do shop, I always seem to be drawn to the same things: printed, structured dresses are my Achilles heel (Eva Franco’s designs are perfection) and also I seem to have mastered the art of subconsciously buying the same things over and over, even when I’ve convinced myself that I don’t already own something like what I’m about to buy.  Apparently, I’m nothing if not totally predictable when it comes to my sartorial preferences.
There’s also the old, tired argument heard ’round the world that comfort must be sacrificed for style; an assertion that I would argue is usually not the case (even if I do fall prey to the comfort trap from time to time).  “But it’s just so COMFORTABLE!” is a protest I often hear from men and women of all ages when faced with a more tailored, structured (read: less elastic) option.  Is it really that intrusive to one’s personal comfort to wear pants with a proper waistband, or to don garments in a fabric that doesn’t feel akin to being naked?  Unless you’re clad in head-to-toe skintight burlap, I just don’t buy the comfort argument.
Some sacrifices are most definitely worth it, including the marginal sacrifice of personal comfort that yields a much larger degree of comfort for those around us.  Airport attire is a prime example of folks choosing personal comfort over the comfort of others (Grown women in velour pajamas?  Seen it.  Bare feet on airplanes?  Smelled it.)  Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s a romantic appeal to the idea of people dressing up to catch a flight, as was the norm in the 1960s when commercial air travel became accessible to the masses.  Fat chance in a country whose residents look less Mad Men and more Honey Boo Boo with each passing day.
Four arguably disposable dresses or one fabulous coat?  Heels or flats?  Overly casual or overdressed?  Take your pick, but always bear in mind: don’t take it too seriously.  Fashion’s made to be fun; an evolving form of self-expression.  Make the choice that best suits your needs, goals and personal style.  Just don’t let me catch you at the airport in Crocs.

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