Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Confessions of a Maximalist

black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
A long time ago, I could've been a billionaire if I had received a dollar for every time I'd ever exclaimed, "I have nothing to wear," while staring into my perpetually overflowing, disorganised wardrobe of clothes dating back to before I was born. I would push aside twelve pairs of jeans to look at thirty variations of the same top and sigh, I would try on five or so tank tops and wonder why it was so difficult for me to get dressed. It wasn't so much that I had nothing to wear but everything I owned was basic, tacky or ridiculously overdone. I mean, how was I supposed to stand out when I continually wound up in a pedestrian combination of jeans and a t-shirt, or an a-line skirt and ballet flats. 

This was made all the more difficult by the walk, walk, fashion baby fashion rags I kept in every corner of my bedroom. The sparkly girls in those pages came alive in all kinds of wild prints, new age silhouettes and effortless effortful proportion play. Man, I wanted so bad to be one of those fashion girls. There was something about being the kind of girl who wore three different plaid-pattern items in contrasting and clashing colours that meant you got to be the kind of girl who could describe every night of her life as the time of her life.

Eventually, I figured out the secrets of those almost-mythical creatures: all their dressing decisions were made on the shop floor, not their hideously carpeted bedroom floors (I finally got wood ones a year before we moved to nondescript tiled-ness). So I vowed that I would never again buy anything that could be described as a "wardrobe staple" or a "basic". Right now, any tank top or camisole I own belongs to my sister or my mom. I have maybe two pairs of everyday jeans and I've had them since 2013. You'll be very hard pressed to spot a blazer, tailored trousers, a little black dress or a "classic" white dress shirt in my wadrobe. (I mean, you might find it because I'm a chronic hoarder but you're gonna have to reeeeally look because I'm a chronic hoarder.) Instead you will find all manner of bright and bold patterns and prints, loud pops of colour and night-time-y fabrics and silhouettes.

And I got to be one of those fashion girls for a while. For a long while, actually. (My mom still rolls her eyes when I frown at the pretty-girl-things she offers to me or shows me when she's we're shopping.) And then minimalism became a thing again and I started to look at my 50 million prints, textures and cuts, and I became that Drake from three years ago. I was not at a higher place. And now I was presented with a new problem: these fashion girls were dressed in the same "staples" and "basics" I had foresaken yet there was nothing ordinary about their outfits. Some of these girls were literally in jeans and a t-shirt, or straight line dresses and ballet flats or (what I can only describe as) a cloth and I once again had nothing to wear.

For a while, this was something at the back of my mind. I had a series of aesthetics that worked for me and which I loved and I could be happy that way. But part of maximalism also grew out of the frustration of having to wear the same thing - in neutrals no less - every day for the past five years. But now that school uniform is no longer a thing, I'm dying for something consistent and easy to rely on. I can't deal with the concept of exclaiming "I have nothing to wear" on a daily, instead of weekends only.

I'm, what, two years too late but teetering into minimalism.
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
T-shirt/dress: work in progress Glitter Betty: | Socks: Mr Price | Boots: thrifted/Hot Topic.
(Lol: this t-shirt/dress was the result of 32 hours of no sleep, an over-heating sewing machine and a desire to rid myself of all the fabric I'd bought a year ago and hadn't touched. But I'm pleasantly surprised at how my sloppy satin and mesh combo came out and might sincerely pursue it at a later date. What do you think?)
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress
black girl with purple yarn braids in a satin t-shirt dress

PS. Does anyone who does't/hasn't/no longer wear a uniform have any tips for trying to look, at least, half-human on the daily? Please and thank you.

6 comments:

  1. This post has so much depth, and I agree with it so much (although I'm still a maximalist)
    I think the staples and basics generally have more shape and structure to them now, then they did a few years ago
    But whose wearing what will always be a huge influence

    secret-hipster.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the OG when it comes to maximalism, actually. Your pattern and colour matching/mixing skills are inspiring.

      That's a good point, actually. Especially about basics and staples having a change recently.

      Delete
  2. u look so good?????? I feel you definitely-- I'm so constantly at odds between an aggressive pattern-wearer and like, the Weezy line. have you been to womeninclothes.com? it's fun/u may dig :))))

    Claire
    www.augustlikethemonth.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claire. You understand the struggle. Womeninclothes.com is great, thank you.

      Delete
  3. HAHA I can definitely relate to this post! I'm a hoarder myself so trying to simplify my wardrobe is hopeless; I ALWAYS struggle to decide what to wear but 9 times out of 10, comfort and colour coordination never fail :)

    ReplyDelete

We can also talk about the overweight, grey cat I'm gonna name Atticus one day or how you're feeling.

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