I have a rule. I only buy for one of two reasons, either practicality or love. I’m not sure exactly where my, and sorry to use this cliche, ‘passion for fashion’ came from but I can hazard a guess. When I was a little girl, I, like many, took up ballet. Whilst a part of me wanted to be the next black swan, I mostly did it for the outfit. It didn’t last long. Only a few months into lessons did I ask my mum to quit because the ballet hall was cold and so I moved onto ballroom, and a much warmer dance venue.
And then, a few years later, I watched Gone With The Wind. The 1939 film is known for many things: its legendary actors, beautiful cinematography and for a young girl like me, its costumes. Despite being set in the Civil War, Scarlett sashayed around in the most opulent gowns and picture perfect make-up, enough to make me want to roam my country lanes with a similar get up. But Vivien Leigh I was not. But that didn’t mean I stopped loving it.
Chances are you’ll have been asked what your favourite Disney princess was growing up. The 2017 Stacey would say Belle. She’s smart, headstrong, loves to read, is ambitious and knows what she wants from life. Sure she has the yellow gown but the 90s Stacey adored Aurora for her colour changing dress and I begged my parents for the costume for what seemed like an eternity. Mine did not change colour, but it made me happy for a good few years.
And fast forward to 2017 and the principles are still there. I don’t really have a need to shop. My drawers are overflowing and I’ve got clothes spread over a couple of addresses but like many, I continue to buy because I love it. And no, I’ve not got a problem. But aside from practicality, because we all need clothes to one, not walk around naked, but two, to keep us warm and say if it’s snowing, help us battle the elements and all that, if I love something, why not buy it?
If something as simple as a piece of fabric can bring you joy and make you feel bloody good about yourself, there’s no harm in that. Maybe a wrap dress shows off that killer waist you’ve got or those skinny jeans compliment just how fab your legs are and give you that boost you need. You’ll get to a certain age where you’ll have a stupid amount of clothes so if you’re in that changing room and you’re not getting excited about what you’ve got on, don’t buy it, because you’ll probably never wear it. The same goes for clothes you’ve already got but forgot about. Your body shape changes, your likes and dislikes change, and with it, so does your style.
When I was younger, everything I wore was fitted and the idea of a loose garment had me rolling my eyes. I don’t know if it’s me getting old(er) but bodycon scares the life out of me, which is ironic really when my body is in pretty good shape. For me, fashion isn’t flaunting what you’ve got - every now and then, sure, do it, but it’s also an art form. Like how the ruffles sit, how a fabric nips you in at your waist, how the piece moves when you do and the memories you make wearing it. I like dresses that twirl when I dance so I can remember being a dancer, high-waisted trousers that show off my small waist that I was never okay with growing up and I have a lot of time for heels that make me feel all the more confident for being six inches taller.
Fashion has its practicalities but It’s also something you can fall in love with. You participate in it every day, so why not love something that takes up so much of your time?