Let me start with a disclaimer: this post is not really about confessions, at least not in the common sense of that word. It’s more about … unexpected things I have learned or realized, and are style-related.

1. Getting My Dream Bag Did Not Change My Life

I mean, duh. I wasn’t really expecting it to, but I did think that the walking-on-air feeling I experienced when I first got my dream (Chanel) bag would last forever.


Two years on, it’s just another bag. It’s not even – gasp! – my favourite. I do wear it regularly (when I’m working), but not enough to justify its price. And I don’t feel any different when I do wear it. It’s. Just. Another. Bag.

If you’re currently lusting over some unattainable sartorial object of desire, I know this will probably not help in the slightest, but I’ll say it anyway. Console yourself with the thought that the pleasure you get from thinking about owning it is about as intense – but far more long-lasting – as the pleasure you’ll get from actually owning it.

2. I Don’t Really Care What Size I Am, As Long As I Have Cute Clothes That Fit

It only took 34 years.

Listen, do I wish I still had the body I did at 30? Yes. Much in the same nostalgic, but-not-really way that I miss my pre-kids weekends. Let’s face it: if I was serious about it, I could probably do something about getting back to that body, or something more closely resembling it (unlike my kids-free weekends, which are not coming back anytime soon, le sigh). But I’m not, and I don’t, because I have way better clothes now, and none of them would fit if I lost 20 lbs.

Priorities, people.

3. Fashion Magazines Are Boring

Along with the eleventy billion fashion blogs that try to imitate them.

Ok, playing the what-would-I-buy-if-I-had-a-million-bucks-to-spend game is still fun. Never gonna be not fun, because I’ll never not enjoy spending imaginary lottery winnings. But that consideration aside, I much prefer looking at what the woman next door (figuratively speaking) is wearing as she goes about a day that resembles mine more than Gisele Bundchen’s. (Bonus points if she’s wicked funny, because you can never have too much of that in your life.)

The funny thing is that I used to be a huge fashion mag addict. I have years’ worth of scrapbooks full of collages I made from fashion mag clippings. (I’m positively prehistoric, you guys, and believe it or not this is what we ancient ones did before Pinterest.) But, now, the real fun of fashion, for me, is a participatory one, not a purely voyeuristic one. I might enjoy ogling pretty clothes, but it ain’t a real thang unless I can realistically picture myself wearing them.

4. I Have Price Set Points, Good Luck Changing Them, J. Crew

… well, 99% of the time.

I’ve been meticulously tracking my clothing spending for over 5 years now, and one thing is clear: no matter how much I spend overall, the amount I spend on individual things doesn’t really change. My income might have gone up by 50% in the interim, but I still shop like it’s 2009 up in here. (Just … more.) I can count on one hand the pieces of clothing on which I’ve spent over $100.

That 1%? Bags and shoes, man. Always the bags and the shoes. Five years ago, I damn near hyperventilated when I bought my first $200+ bag. Nowadays, a $500 bag seems perfectly reasonable. (Provided it retails for at least twice that, because I ain’t taking that “new off the lot” depreciation hit if I can help it.) Lifestyle inflation, I guess.

OK, your turn: hit me up with your confessions in the comments.

12 Comments on Style Confessions

  1. The bag comment is good to know. I’m saving up for the Chanel (it’ll only take 4 years…) and I’m certain that I’ll never actually go through with it. I’ll probably use half the money to buy a truly useable bag and the rest on…vacation, moving, whatever. But it’s fun to think about owning one 🙂

    My style confession: it’s okay to be “boring” in this blogging world. Dressing for the blog is something I’ll never do. What’s the point?

    • Yeah, I was thinking of you when I wrote that. If there was an easy way to do it, I’d lend you mine so you can see how it feels, maybe scratch that itch. Anyway, you can always re-assess in 4 years’ time, and see if it’s still a must-have.
      And I fully support your confession – we need more “boring” bloggers like you!

  2. The bag confession resonates with me so much! I swear there was a naive time in my life when I thought that I HAD TO HAVE x and x could have been a bag or a dress or a coat or whatever. But if I’ve learned anything in my 34 years, it’s that there will ALWAYS be another x. Always. After you get what you thought you had to have, something else quickly moves into that empty spot on your wishlist.

    My confession is that despite knowing the above I still sometimes buy into the broken promise of the consumer fix. Buying very rarely fixes anything (unless you are actually buying a replacement for something you legitimately need) but it keeps the lure through distraction. I notice that I buy more when I’m stressed or feeling less than great about something, hoping that the distraction will be the fix.

    • I completely agree … and I have the same confession as well. As long as it’s within reason, I’m generally not too torn up about it – I figure it’s healthier, at least, than eating a bag of cookies 😉
      Healthy coping mechanism, what’s that?

  3. Totally agree on fashion mags. I get Elle because I like looking at the pretty pictures, but I also really like a lot of the articles they run that aren’t about fashion and if I didn’t, I’d stop reading it. While I’m far from a style blogger, my confession is that I gleefully ignore a lot of the “rules” about professional dressing because they don’t matter. Outside of general guidelines of taste with regard to hemlines, necklines, etc, no one really cares. I’ve been in two conservative industries (law and politics) and I wear my 4 inch heels with bright colors, with florals, with super feminine 50s style silhouettes, and never EVER with pantyhose and no one gives a shit. If your clothes fit well and are tasteful, and you can pull them off with confidence, wear whatever you want and no one’s going to give you grief. Life is too short to wear black all the time, unless that’s what you want to do.

    • I used to do that too, but I feel like I’m finally at an age now when I probably SHOULD pay more attention to the rules, at least when it comes to professional dressing. I think it’s because I’m finally ready to feel like … well, a grown-up.

  4. I used to love fashion mags but the UK ones really are all adverts now and not worth £4. Plus I’m not a slave to trends so I don’t care what they say the latest must haves are. I buy what I like if I can afford it / need it / really want it. I still subscribe to RED and Marie Claire but only b/c £12 for 12 issues!

    Don’t know what my confessions are really. Never coveted a designer bag. I get turned off brands that I see gifting bloggers left right & centre. Doesn’t entice me to part with my £ when these girls get everything for free & you never see if again… In fact boden started to piss me off doing the same here & in the US. Partly jealousy there though given how much £ I generate in sales for them but they ignore me as I don’t use social media.

    Other than that I’m really boring too and love wearing all my old clothes. No very bloggery of me as no one could get hold of them except via eBay.

    Oh my biggest confession is that I want to slap everyone talking about autumn / fall as it’s still only JULY!!! I’m just miserable & don’t want to think about autumn until October… 🙂

  5. I’m right there with you on #! and 4! (Although mine isn’t J Crew per se, but just in general.) That said, I still have a few bags that I’d love to own even though I’m aware that they’re not life-changing!

    p/s: Found you through GOMI. 😉

    • Welcome! And thanks for reading 🙂

      Listen, #1 applies to pretty much every pretty thing I’ve ever coveted, and I KNOW that … but it still doesn’t stop me from coveting more pretty things. Just because it’s not life-changing, doesn’t mean it’s not entirely covetable 😉