Falling in Love With Clothing Again

Do you remember how you felt as a teenager after you tried on a million prom dresses and finally found one that gave you goosebumps?

If you are anything like us, you probably took it out of its garment bag and tried it on at least two or three more times before prom night because you simply could not wait to wear it until then.

It was a magical feeling that most of us can still remember.IMG_2771People used to have that kind of emotional connection with a lot more pieces in their wardrobes, but many of us have lost that. We buy the same, boring button-down shirt in three different colors because it works for the office, and we don’t want to have to put in the effort to find three amazing, unique tops instead.

This is precisely why we as a society have accepted fast fashion. We’re perfectly content with finding clothes that are kind of cute and that we can wear two or three times before the seams start coming apart and the appliqués start falling off because we honestly don’t care enough about them to want to wear them year after year.

But, it’s time to bring back the emotional connection to clothing because without it, we are losing out on some of the greatest benefits that fashion has to offer us.

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I know there are a lot of people out there who love services like Stitch Fix, where a personal stylist selects clothes for them based on their style preferences. This service is great for those who don’t have time/don’t enjoy shopping, but I personally do not think you can develop that same attachment to something if you do not pick it out yourself.

This is big part of the reason why I develop more of a connection to clothing items that I purchase myself, rather than those I receive as gifts from friends or family members. I truly do appreciate that someone else has put the time and effort into choosing a dress or pair of shoes they think I’ll like, but even when I do like it, I don’t fall in love with it in the same way I would have if I had found it myself.

 

So, use Stitch Fix for everyday wear if you like, but if you have a big event coming up that you are really looking forward to, I urge you to go out, do the old-fashioned thing, and find a dress or an outfit yourself.

The joy of discovery leads to a deeper connection with that piece of clothing, and you’ll be more likely to wear it again and again.

-S

 

There are not a lot of times I can find a print or a pattern that works for me, but when I saw this dress online at Lulu’s, it was love at first sight. This print was minimal, chic, and two of my favorite colors. I was motivated to widen my wardrobe and find more prints that I adore because of the designer, Dom Streater, who was a Project Runway winner.

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What inspires me about Dom is that she creates her textile designs based on her own paintings, and you can see her constant love affair with prints come through in her clothing pieces. Dom took a lot of risks during her season by using prints in every challenge (even the million dollar runway challenge!), but because she continually made clothes that she personally loved and never compromised her design or aesthetic, she prevailed and won her season.

Even though I’m not quite as much of a prints person, I want to try to be more like Dom by not being afraid to take a risk and always wearing pieces that I’m emotionally attached to instead of ones that I merely ‘like’.

-H

 

You are probably tired of hearing this by now, but we’ll say it again anyways because it’s important: Clothing is how we show the world who we are inside.

How are we supposed to do that if we do not care about what we buy or what we put on our bodies?

Treating clothes as if they’re disposable not only harms the environment and contributes to unethical labor practices in developing countries, but it also dilutes this crucial form of personal expression.

There is a famous quote that reads,

“Life is too short to wear boring clothes,”

but we’d like to amend that to say,

“Life is too short to wear clothes you don’t love.”IMG_2896Sabrina’s Outfit Details

Dress: Target
Button Down Shirt: Goodwill
Ankle Boots: Lulu’s
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx
Earrings: Jeweller in India
Purse: Aldo
Hannah’s Outfit Details
Dress: Lulu’s
Bralette: Aerie
Ankle Boots: Lulu’s
Choker: Rue21
Earrings: Amazon
Hat: Target
Sunglasses: Eyeglass Direct

In Defense of Social Media

Social media gets blamed for a lot of things nowadays.

Low-self esteem. Violence. Addiction.

Even social media-savvy celebrities like Selena Gomez and Kendall Jenner have popularized the “Instagram Detox” as a way to escape the pressure and potentially harmful side effects that these apps can trigger. It’s true that too much of Instagram or Facebook can definitely have a negative impact on people’s lives, but we’ve forgotten that despite these shortcomings, social media does have the power to do good if it is used in moderation.

A few years ago, I studied abroad in Europe and spent about a month backpacking across the continent. I took a lot of photos, but besides posting them on Instagram, I didn’t do much else with them.

I’m so thankful I used Instagram back then because now when I scroll back through my feed, that section of it is like a travel journal filled with my adventures. I’ve always wanted to put together a scrapbook of my time in Europe, but in the almost four years since I’ve been back (has it seriously been that long?!), I still haven’t done it. (Shocker.)

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If I hadn’t posted those photos on social media, they would have simply gotten lost in my iPhoto library, (almost) never to be looked at again.

Social media gives us a way to not only share our experiences with other people, but it also gives us a way to look back on them and reminisce ourselves. I honestly do not care if two hundred or ten people like my posts because I post them mostly for my future self anyways.

-S

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Social media has given me an incredible opportunity as an artist to share everything I am currently working on, from our daily posts on Ensemble of Elan to art I create in my classes or recent thrift shop transformations. I love that I can immediately share them with my community at the touch of a button. Not only is it great for sharing daily events,it has also given me ample opportunities for jobs and collaborations.

I started H + L Creations to brand myself so it would be easier for future employers to familiarize themselves with my skills and talents. And I’ve already reaped the benefits with not one, but two jobs as Marketing and Social Media Assistant for RaftUp and Social Media Manager for Waterhouse Market.

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I run five social media accounts daily, and to be honest, I can get tired of it too.

There are some days when it is really hard to keep up with everything and it’s mentally exhausting.

So, as much as I love the opportunities these social paths create, I do have to agree that sometimes it’s nice to take some time for yourself and put the phone down.

-H

Social media has brought us closer together and has allowed us to accomplish some pretty amazing things, from creating supportive networks for those living with mental illnesses or pre-existing conditions through the use of hashtags, to raising awareness and sometimes even millions of dollars for social causes around the globe.

Without social media, those feats would have never been possible.

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For better or for worse, social media is here to stay.

It’s ultimately up to you if you want to use it, and we completely understand if it isn’t for you. But before you take to bashing social media (on social media, probably), remember the reason it was created in the first place.

To connect with new friends and family.

To reconnect with old ones.

To share and celebrate your life experiences with the world,

And to voice your opinion on a platform where you will be heard.

How often do you really think you would talk to those who don’t live near you if it wasn’t for Facebook? How many “Happy Birthdays” do you think you would get? How many scrapbooks would you have made of your travels if it wasn’t for Instagram?

Social media has made our world a whole lot smaller, and we’re definitely experiencing some growing pains because of it. But, it’s also made us closer to one another and more aware of the events going on around us.

Connections and knowledge are power, and we can’t imagine our world without them.

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“Social media are a catalyst for the advancement of everyone’s rights. It’s where we’re reminded that we’re all human and all equal.
It’s where people can find and fight for a cause, global or local, popular or specialized,
even when there are hundreds of miles between them.”
-Queen Raina of Jordan
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Hannah’s Outfit Details
Dress: HipSway (Refashioned by Awaken Atelier)
Ankle Boots: Lulu’s
Clutch: TJ Maxx
Sunglasses: Rue21
Sabrina’s Outfit Details
Button-Down Shirt: Goodwill (Refashioned by Awaken Atelier)
Shorts: Impressions Boutique
Fishnet Socks: Amazon
Heels: Kohl’s
Purse: BCBG
Earrings: H&M