Category Archives: Fashion

How You Should Approach Dating ~ A Fashion Analogy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make sense of the dating world again. 

As it often does, my mind drifted toward analogies, which I find to be a massively underrated way of explaining things in life, by the way. 

Bear with me on this lengthy analogy for a moment.

In the Fashion world, there are a vast number of designer bags. You’ve got everything on the spectrum from $100 Coach bags to $5000 Chanel bags. 

Back in the day, the “lower end” designers like Michael Kors and Coach used to have a bigger market. However, somewhere along the way, they started to become too accessible. 

I remember there was a point in the past where I saw everyone donning Coach bags. This hurt the brand and lowered its value in the eyes of consumers. Of course, this is not to say that Coach doesn’t make high quality bags, it’s just that as the supply grew, the demand shrunk. 

On the other hand, look at Chanel. Classic styles like the Lambskin Square Mini Flap Bag have only increased in value and demand over time. 

I remember when I first laid eyes on this particular style, I fell in love with it. It’s classy, timeless, high quality, and well….not everyone has one. I frantically searched the Internet for where I could get my hands on one, only to find that it was not readily available anywhere. 

After extensive research and visits to the actual stores, I realized that my only way to obtain one was by means of joining a waitlist, and I was not about to wait 1-2 years for this… 

In the end, after a lot of contemplating, saving, and frustration, I took the calculated risk of buying a brand new one on eBay — my first ever designer bag purchase. 

I will never forget that rewarding feeling of not only earning something valuable by my own means, but also obtaining something that was so rare

So what’s my point with all of this bag talk? 

In the dating world, we need to make sure we don’t make ourselves too accessible. In the same way that a girl would often go crazy for a Chanel bag over a Coach bag, a potential partner would be much more interested in someone who is perceived to be high-value and not readily available. 

This is not to be confused with playing games and pretending to be hard-to-get. This is about conveying your standards, setting yourself apart from all the other eligible people out there, and giving more time to those who have earned it. 

Go out there and live your best life, pursue your passion projects and side hobbies, spend time reconnecting with old friends or family.

While you spend time on yourself and live that fabulous life you’ve always wanted, you will emanate that value and naturally be harder to get anyway (since you’ll be busy doing all those fabulous things with your time).

Buying Something Under The Influence

Remember the good old days when you walked into a store and bought something that caught your eye?

Maybe you walked in and saw a compelling outfit on a mannequin. Maybe you sifted through the racks until you found something that felt like “you”. The point is, you picked something out because you liked it. 

There was no precedent, no agenda.

In the age of Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, what have you, buying something because you happened to find it and like it is becoming increasingly rare. 

I seldom walk into a store anymore or browse online shopping sites “just because”. I usually have an agenda. I’ll see a pair of loose-fit Agolde jeans circulating Instagram, decide I like the style, and proceed to hunt it down across the different online shops. Somehow, that repeated exposure convinces me that I “need” those same jeans too.

Even more crazy is that I constantly find myself lusting after the exact clothes I see worn by my favorite Instagram or YouTube fashion bloggers. I’ll spend hours, sometimes days, trying to find the exact piece they have like a detective, which in itself has become a hobby for me. 

Oftentimes, the piece I’m looking for is sold out or from last year.

That doesn’t stop me.

I then resort to looking on all the secondhand clothing apps — Poshmark, eBay, Depop, Mercari, and thredUp.

Only then, when I’ve exhausted all those platforms, do I truly stop my search, which truthfully fills me with a great sense of defeat. 

Realizing this pattern of weird behavior, I started to question why we enjoy wearing the same clothes as others. I even started to feel a sense of guilt or shame for wanting to do that instead of picking out items that I see and that I like.

I bounced these troubled thoughts off of my friend, who wisely said back that there’s no need to feel guilty. Back in the day, before the influx of social media, people would still see things on the store mannequins, in magazines, on people on the street and want the same item. The only difference now is those mannequins are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. 

Now, on the rare occasions when I do buy something I haven’t seen on anyone else and purely because I like it (thank you, personalized online ads), it feels like such an accomplishment, which is sad, because it goes to show how often my purchases are “tainted with influence”.

Brand Central Station

We live in a world full of brands. If you live in DC, you especially know what I mean.

Every day, people slap on their LL Bean boots, their J Crew scarves, their J Brand jeans, and walk around looking like models straight out of a winter catalog.

Do you ever stop to think about how many brands you’re wearing though? It’s really quite fascinating actually.

Just standing in line the other day, I took note of all the recognizable brands the girl in front of me was wearing: a North Face coat, Lululemon pants, and Nike shoes.

While a lot of us don’t consciously decide to sport certain brands every day, the unique combination that comes out in the end speaks for itself. In a way, we are all vehicles for brand advertisement, even if on a subliminal level.

Do you ever find yourself lusting after a certain article of clothing or outfit and not knowing where exactly the idea came from? Well, you most likely saw the equivalent on someone a while back and that image subconsciously stuck in your head.

Welcome to subliminal advertising.

When you think of it really, most of our fashion choices stem from some other idea. You know a green jacket would look great with brown boots because you’ve previously seen that on someone else and thought it looked good. So you didn’t exactly come up with that outfit choice yourself. In the age of Instagram especially, it’s hard to build your own style when you’re constantly exposed to and inspired by that of others.

And there’s nothing wrong with building off of others’ styles and making them better. It’s just worth mentioning that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be original with our style.

Behind every brand is a story. How it was made, where it was made, what it stands for, and whom it’s meant for.

Let’s take a look at one of the most powerful, well-known brands in apparel: Nike. Many are familiar with the fact that Nike’s name came from the Greek Goddess of Victory. This etymology, combined with the swoosh symbol, and campaigns like “Just Do It” instantly communicates a certain standard to its audiences, namely athletes. It communicates power, strength, and performance enhancement.  Being sported by the top athletes across many different sports only adds to the brand’s reputation.

Despite this positive image and influence however, Nike wasn’t always the model for ethical labor practices.

A few years back, founders of Education for Justice Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu set out to go behind the scenes of the Nike factories in Indonesia.  To really immerse themselves in the experience, they decided to live there for a few months, under the same wages and living conditions as the factory workers.

Jim and Leslie lived in a tiny cement box as shelter with no air-conditioning and 100% humidity outdoors. Waste from all the shelters’ toilets would accumulate on and often flood the streets after rain. Like the rest of the workers, they “lived” on $1.25 wages per day, which they had to divide between hygienic items, food, and (God forbid) medicine. By the end of this experience, the two had lost a significant amount of weight and barely had enough energy to get through the day.

Fortunately, Jim and Leslie got to go back to their regular lives at the end of that experience. For the Indonesian factory workers, that experience was their regular life, if you can call that living.

That’s capitalism for you.

Brands have the ability to create power, convey quality, and affect change. Yet, we often walk around not realizing what these brands stand for and what goes into creating them.

At the very least, we can all stand to be a little more conscious.