Admittedly, I am just catching up on the style section of the NY Times and an article from April 18 entitled ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me,’ We Tell Our Clothes, really resonated with me and is a topic I had considered approaching. How many women do you know who have been wearing certain labels for years, even though they no longer really work for them (or maybe never did). Personally, I have not really been loyal to one particular label since my Laura Ashely days when I was a teenager (am I dating myself?). I remember most of my wardrobe was Laura Ashley (as was my bedroom) from the ages 16-19. My mother even managed to clean out the store on a trip to London when the American dollar was particularly high and their sale was particularly amazing. I even wore some of my frilly dresses with combat boots in college. Then when I got to my small liberal arts college I traded my Laura Ashely for J.Crew. I was a preppy slob. After college when I got my first job, my closet was full of Ann Taylor and Armani hand-me-downs from my mother.
That is the last time I can remember favoring one label. Since then I have favorite designers, but I wouldn’t say if you opened my closet you would see that one label stands out. I love to try fashions from everyone and everywhere. I also know I am not the norm. Particularly for a woman my age. I have always been obsessed with fashion. Just ask anyone who has known me since childhood.
According to the NY Times, in a retail climate overrun by new labels, with design teams frequently changing direction to remain competitive, the days when a customer would stick to, say, Brooks Brothers or Talbots for life might be over. And severing ties with a brand, for whatever reason, can come at an emotional cost. I never thought about breaking up with a label. Yet, I have thought that sometimes labels used to love take a turn that no longer speaks to me.
Penny Lovell, a stylist for Rose Byrne and Ginnifer Goodwin, was not surprised at the intensity of such reactions. “Clothes are so psychological, they’re like a second skin,” Ms. Lovell said. But “some seasons just don’t work, they’ll be too avant-garde or just not your personal style, and you’ll want to go explore something different.”
Sometimes you just outgrow the styles or maybe you body has changed as you have aged and have had children. Sabrina Soto, 36, an HGTV host who lives on the Upper West Side, admits she recently ended a long affair with lines like Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch. “It was all this stuff I should not have been wearing in the first place,” Ms. Soto said. “Low-rise jeans? They’re not meant for my body. My 16-year-old niece took it all, and I was so glad. It was like a mini-intervention for me.”
That is one thing I see all of the time. Aging out of a brand. While you wouldn’t ever catch me in a Hollister store, I have been known to cruise through Anthropologie and leave empty handed. I say it’s for research, but even though I am checking out what they have, I secretly hope I might find something I would wear. Many times I leave these stores feeling old. And sometimes I leave pleasantly surprised.
Have you recently broken up with a label? If so why? Read “‘It’s Not You, It’s Me,’ We Tell Our Clothes” here.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Source: NY Times
Image: Cellar Door