Wednesday, September 1, 2010

money does not buy you style

What if you woke up one day and your closet was full of Lily Pulitzer, and it was the absolute only thing you could wear? Would you go naked? Would you cry? Would you be elated? (if you so, click the exit button because you will most likely hate my blog) Lily Pulitzer "Started with a shift. One glorious print to cover up juice stains." Glorious print to cover up JUICE stains? More like hideous print to cover up expensive wine stains drunk cougars spill on themselves. I, personally, would go naked...

It's been about 2 1/2 years since I moved to Hartford, but it wasn't until February 2009 that I decided to venture into West Hartford (particularly the center). CULTURE SHOCK. If you can even call it culture? This was all new to me. Young, rich, white women decked out in collared shirts, pearls, LILY PULITZER, and anything else one might consider "preppy". (where i am from, there is a large range of skin tones...and outfits at the bar are anything but uniform..although, Neptune Park might be able to compare, but we all know that's NOT really New London) Everything on these girls from their bags to their bracelets was surely expensive. This was expected. What wasn't expected was the lack of style. The abundance of what seemed to be clones was confusing to me. Why is everyone dressed exactly the same? Same bag, same jeans, same pearl necklace with matching earrings, etc. Glorified brand whores. Classier than the Ed Hardy/Juicy daunting broads, but approaching their shopping sprees with the same mindset - SHOW OFF THE BRAND! These young women clearly have money to spend on their wardrobe, in which they undoubtedly care about(you can hear them discussing their designer duds from a mile away) YET they all seem to focus on dressing alike, avoiding risks and preparing to look like their mothers for the next 50yrs of their life. Check out my new Vineyard Vines belt. YIKES!

So, as I was sitting in my Read 180 training session today my mind began to drift. I started to think about West Hartford Center and how it has changed since my first experience. More people, from other towns discovered this little area full of delicious restaurants and bars making WHC no longer exclusive. Since then, I have heard from many residents how they "hate" the center now because it's like the Jersey Shore. Maybe some bars are but most are not and at least I can look at a variety of styles now, even if they aren't anything I would wear.

So, what makes fashion? According to magazine advertisements and runways, money does. But, a view from the streets would scream the opposite. When your checking account averages a total of about $300 and your savings are depleted, your clothes need a creative mind to make things work and that is exactly what I have seen. Does the lack of money force brains to be innovative, inspired, funky, stylish? Probably not. But for some people it definitely has. The best dressed people in my opinion for the most part (this does not include celebrities) are never wearing designer anything from head to toe. THIS does NOT mean I don't like designer apparel. The point I am making is the people with money who wear designer clothes bore me with their predictability year after year, buying new clothes that look the exact same. Maybe if they lost their job, they would gain some edge? I doubt it.