How do you talk about brand name things without talking about brand name things?
This shirt is the Newton blouse by Jesse Kamm, in case you were wondering #whoiamwearing, lol.
I feel like something dies inside of me every time I list a brand name here or on Instagram. It doesn't matter if it's independent designers or fast fashion I've had for eight years; I hate feeling like a cog in the consumer machine. I even hate the terms "conscious consumerism" or "careful consumerism." I don't want to be a consumer first and foremost.
But I do love dressing. I love picking out clothes that make me feel good. What makes me feel good is the right aesthetics but also the right backstory — sustainability, ethics, all that. I know the most sustainable thing is to buy nothing. But I have to be honest, that's not happening now. I hope that by tracking what I am enjoying wearing I can be better in the future be making more thoughtful choices when necessary.
One reason I started this blog is that I want to make known my experience with a particular piece in hopes that it will help someone else make a more informed decision in their own life. I don't care whether you buy the thing or don't buy the thing. I have no stake in this. But if you were thinking about buying the thing, and you read that someone with the same curvy pear hips as you thought the thing was really unflattering, maybe that helps you decide if you want to bother with the thing.
When I come across anything, any product that I have found changed my daily life in some noticeable way, I don't hesitate to recommend the thing to anyone with a remote interest in that sort of thing. I have been likened to an infomercial when you get me going on the FURminator, live demonstrations and all. I feel like it's no different with clothes — when you love something and it checks a lot of the boxes you want checked, you kind of want to shout that to others who may be in your same boat.
So it feels like a necessary thing to talk in specifics. I like THIS specific blouse, it fits me this specific way, it was worth the purchase. Or, THIS specific dress was a bust for whatever dumb reason, you might be better served with something else.
What I want to avoid is humble bragging or name-dropping like I'm some minimalist blogger queen, which I definitely am not. I want to be true to myself. In real life, I like to get on with my day and feel good in what I'm wearing without thinking too much about it. The whole point of practicing active minimalism is for me to spend less time focused on this area. I'm not where I want to be with this yet but I think getting more comfortable in my wardrobe is getting me there. Online, you're better able to reach the community interested in what you have to say.
So I don't talk about what I'm wearing to people in real life unless specifically asked, and only when pressed do I ever go into designers or brand names because, honestly, it makes me feel uncomfortable — a lot of what I wear is expensive and I don't want to draw that kind of attention to myself. I don't run in a homogenous social circle and I realize spending hundreds on a shirt is damn horrific to a lot of folks, and it's not always the right time to make the high horse case for prioritizing ethical manufacturing or sustainability. Those sound like really dumb affluent excuses to someone who is excited to tell me about how they just snapped up some jeans for $16. I'm excited for them too! That's a deal! To each her own, and I will not preach to you unless explicitly invited to preach.
I'm not ashamed of what I wear or spend; I don't think this makes me better or worse than anyone else; I just want to be sensitive to people's perceptions.
Having a blog and talking about "who I'm wearing" on social media is very foreign to me, but I think the goal — helping others make their own decisions on what they might wear or do — justifies the means — name dropping. It feels icky, but I may as well talk to a pillow if I'm not going to get into specifics. Maybe I should have just done that in the first place! But I can't ask my pillow whether these jeans make my butt look big.
How do you feel about this? Don't care? Care too much? How do you even get on with your life?