Among the forest people

I have a confession to make; though I was proudly patting my own back for having hardly bought any clothes and strongly had been able to avoid consumerist sartorial temptation in Switzerland, I visited Belgium during the holidays and comfortably let all this pride go and shopped, shopped, shopped. Everything seemed so damn cheap after having lived in this awfully expensive country! I could go on and argue that a lot of my purchases were useful ones (warm sweaters for the first time in my life, at last!) and most of them were totally green since they were second hand yadiyadah blah blah blah… really, I just thoroughly enjoyed getting new things and sad to say, this is also one of my biggest motivators in wanting to dress up (as I own a fashion blog, can you imagine how often I get new things…). Though I am doubtful that I should feel guilty for owning and buying clothes often since pretty much 90 percent of what I own is second hand (or should I?), I feel sad that I have this inherent urge to just own new things. But then I look at my clothes with such soft and beautiful love that I say, “fuck it” and consequently feel even guiltier that I have such an attitude. Insert eternal vicious spiral of consumerist guilt!

But damn it, sometimes clothes make me feel so good, like this outfit. These socks totally rock my world (Happy Socks!); they go so awesomely with my weird shoes and show all the cool coloured details, and I am pretty much literally in love with this fluffy top as I am continually stroking its furry hairs while pretending it to be a furry little animal (I miss cats here in this sad Switzerland that is so devoid of pets!).

But there, I’ve said it; these are my eternal struggles of being a clotheshorse and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to change either my feelings of guilt or my shopping behaviour. Obviously I need to find the key to enjoyment in old clothes but I have basically been trying that for two years now.

23 Comments

  • <3 je fluff vestding! Jouw outfit vind ik dan weer heel jaren 90, ik zit te wachten op de jaren 90 revival, we zijn er klaar voor denk ik. Je roze kleedje vind ik ook leuk! Is het leuk in Zwitserland?

    • Ja de fluff is echt jaren 90s, hah! Ik dacht dat een 90s revival al lang begonnen was? 😀
      Het is hier super! 😀

  • If it makes you happy; and you aren’t buying cheap rubbish, that has had questionable manufacturing, and especially if it’s all second hand, then I reckon you are making sensible consumer choices rather than bad ones. So in the quest of avoiding consumerism, and feeling guilty about shopping, I generally think you can’t have done too badly…. 🙂 xx

    • Yes, I agree yet I keep feeling so guilty just for wanting “new” stuff gah! It just makes me think ‘is my creativity in my clothing really only limited to newness?’ and it makes me question why exactly I want that feeling of newness and why that feeling gives me such a rush. Can I really not be happy with all the awesome clothes I already have (because it’s a lot). Just randomly thinking out loud here, trying to vent my frustration 🙂

  • YAY to the high ponytail!

    Also, the socks my mom got me for Christmas were Happy Socks too. THEY ARE AMAZING. Finally fun (& semi-thick) socks locally <3.

    • High ponytails are the only ponytails!

      I know, I’d already seen them on their website (eternal sock-obsession!), & was so totally psyched to see them in town! :DD

  • I was thinking about this issue for a while too 🙂 as well as overstuffing the closet/throwing things away 😀 The post doesn’t come together somehow though, so for now will just leave a comment. (Maybe this discussion will help me to finally give birth to that damn post :))

    I consider getting excited about new things to be normal, because change is good – one of the ways to escape the routine. Usually, at least me, always wear the same outfits, that come together during some time…and a new piece makes me think on what I would wear it with and come up with something new. I often lack imagination to put new outfits together with what I already have, because it seems that everything I have is sort of overused or after looking at the picture of the outfit I see that I could maybe put this or that on, none of which I own 😀
    I haven’t shopped for a while as well, but I am hoping to get a job soon and will let myself enjoy the excitement of NEW.
    P.S. I would shop in second hand stores as well, unfortunately there are none nearby. I think your way of shopping is very good! You don’t spend much money and it does not hurt when you do not like something you bought after all 🙂

    • Change is great! But does it really have to go hand in hand with consuming? What would be a good solution, and especially for you because you currently have no money, is clothes swapping! I occasionally just give clothes away and also receive some and it’s pretty great but of course, this once again isn’t for everyone as you have to be lucky to have a set of friends that have a similar mindset and similar clothes size 🙁

      Yes, I don’t end up spending a lot of money on clothes at all, but in the end I might’ve only spend maybe 20 euros but come home with maybe 20 pieces of new clothing and that seems perhaps a little…. utterly crazy? hah!

      • Sounds quite reasonable actually, but unfortunately I do not have many friends here (as I moved to another country a bit more than a year ago :D) and other friends of mine wear a bit bigger size than I do, plus our tastes are really different 🙂 So I am keeping my fingers crossed for a new job 😀
        And consumerism…dunno, I think if you buy something that you will wear and just go around the stores throwing your money left and right, is not that bad. You buy clothes, companies who employ people get their profit, their employees get paid, suppliers of materials get paid…there are always to sides of one coin 🙂

  • Eline! I admire you for thinking about these issues, because so many people don’t/choose not to. But don’t feel too guilty because you have to wear clothes – it’s not appropriate to go to work or school naked. Plus the people who make the clothes you purchase need jobs.

    • Yes but aside from the people who work in second hand shops I don’t really end up supporting many people’s jobs XD. But really, I truly just hate the feeling of continually wanting new things because if I really think about it I feel as if I don’t need many things, yet I so very often just have this itching to just get something new. It feels out of character for me and it’s very closely aligned to a consumerist mentality; whether I am buying second hand or not I still have the mentality to just consume, consume, consume. Though you could definitely relativise my behaviour, I find I cannot relativise my mentality regarding this. And I loathe it! I guess I’m just spewing out some self-hatred in this blogpost here haha.

      • WIth this feeling i tend to agree, I go through my closet once in a while and I think to myself, I will wear this and this and than…you know, I do not really need anything or one or two basic things…but then I flip through personal style blogs etc. and I see that I would like to wear this or that in this way or another…and I think this might be where this itching is coming from…I would like to switch it off somehow and really find what I like myself, not just something other people wear 🙂

        • Yes exactly and the fact that this itching seems to come from outside factors that promote shopping (whether it be consciously or unconsciously) just doesn’t feel right to me… but then again I enjoy it so much and I don’t seem to be doing anything wrong with it, argh! 😀

          • sounds like addict justifying her addiction 😀 As I mentioned before, as long as the shopping is reasonable and the stuff does not collect dust hanging in the closet – why not 🙂
            I find it hard lately to update my blog, BECAUSE I try to keep away from retail therapy, which means I have to reduce not just shopping but also eliminate or reduce the factors pushing me to shop as well (reading fashion blogs)…vicious circle…:D

  • FLUFFY CARDIGAN! You make me miss the 90’s so much if it’s possible for me to miss it even more. I’m glad that you too wear furry clothing and pretend you’re an animal, it’s the best isn’t it? Ohhh and i’m also glad i’m not the only one extremely obsessed with the ballet russes…oh my gosh, are you actually going to see that ballet soon or is it just a life goal!? Haha, either way, i want to see it too so much 🙁
    Wonnderfful outpost as ever 🙂
    xxxxxx

  • I’ve been feeling similarly regarding my clothing consumption: even though I only shop secondhand, I own TOO MUCH, & that itself makes me feel a bit guilty. I’m hoping to pare my wardrobe down & only buy things I know I’ll wear & love, but it takes lots of time & energy.

    • Same! I’m glad you understand my sentiment as by the looks of these comments I started feeling even more self-conscious about feeling this way hahah ;_;
      I’m always looking to give away clothes I don’t wear enough to friends. I’m thinking maybe I should throw a party, get people slightly drunk and start forcing clothing upon people? Yes? But then again maybe I should only give it away to people who will love said clothing enough as not to just place my burden upon someone else. But then again…
      Because of the list of “rules” I made several months back I’ve drastically cut down my shopping though and it’s awesome yet I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep it up in cheap (or rather not expensive) Belgium. But because of these rules I’m also starting to get more picky about the materials and the like and have so once again avoided a lot of abundant purchases.

      etc etc etc wooowww terrible and unnecessarily long comment. Should not be allowed online when sleep-deprived, goodbye.

  • Ahh I am so happy that I found your blog again! I used to read it all the time but got a new computer and couldn’t remember the URL. Yay, blog love <3

    (p.s i am totally in love with the outfit a few posts down, with the cat cardigan and striped tights)

    x

  • God, I get such intense cravings for new stuff sometimes. I do dumb shit like look at the dresses section on Topshop and just have to try so hard not to buy a thousand stupid overpriced frilly things made in a sweatshop in China by a seven year-old. 99.9% of my wardrobe is second hand and I try so hard to find things like ethically-made tights, but then I see girls flitting around in F21 cute crap and get all grumpy, like why do *I* sacrifice that convenience and rush and sizing easiness of new things when they indulge so easily and ignore the bigger issue?! But then I remind myself that I fly so much I have to offset that horrible carbon output somehow. Anyway, I commend you for actually caring. So so many people choose not to.

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