You’re walking in Soho and happen into a Prince street boutique where you are prompted to respond to a pair of sky blue Mary Janes with four skinny orange straps across the front. You love them. Or, think you love them. You absolutely need to have them. They will go so perfectly with your Instagram account.
Wait a second.
You stop short in your thinking. Will you ever actually wear them beyond the social media account?
When I started getting invited to attend fashion shows, this weird thing would happen two weeks before the bi-annual event wherein I’d render everything in my closet unfit to wear and quickly attempt to scramble together a brand new wardrobe for the festival of clothes. I’ve come out on multiple occasions about this embarrassing condition to otherwise members of the industry who have empathized with my plight, often citing specific garments or accessories on their persons as “fashion week impulse buys.” Subconsciously, I think, we all knew that with the escalating popularity of photographers outside shows, the likelihood of our being confronted with our vanity after the fact was higher than it had ever been. By creating new wardrobes, we accommodated the vanity. Even stroked it.
But all that is changing because it’s not cool to dress for photographers anymore. Quite the contrary — it indicates, in some way, that you’re unseasoned. Like you haven’t perfected the out-of-car-into-venue-no-pictures-please traipse inferred by a veteran of the ceremonious event. Frankly speaking, the photographers are just trying to do their jobs. They probably, nay, definitely don’t even care what we’re wearing.
But none of that matters.
A recent condition being unilaterally identified as Blinded by Social Media is far more detrimental to a woman’s personal style than the race to get it together for Fashion Week has ever been because social media has allowed all of us to be our own street style photographers.
We’ve touched upon a topic similar with the notion of blinded by the label — fooling yourself into thinking you like a piece by mere virtue of the fact that it was crafted by X designer. Take the tag out of the garment and do you even care about the thing in question? Take Instagram out of the equation, and similarly ask yourself if you still care.
I have found myself and a fair number of the items in my closet as victims to social media blindness on multiple occasions.
But the first step toward recovery is recognition of the psychological ailment, so I feel good about that. The thing I’m stuck on is where you draw the line. It’s okay to want social media things — they’re fun! Often bright and really poppy and they make us feel good, if only temporarily. (Sometimes rented happiness works.) But when the entirety of your wardrobe is dictated by a crop of shit you regret having purchased the minute the picture’s been published, don’t you lose your sense of personal style?
When you look back on old photos and stylistically regret what you see, you know you’ve evolved past a certain cue. I’ve personally had it with culottes — but it took me nearly two years to say that. When you’re feeling that remorse just two, three weeks — or worse, days — following the picture and you already want to cringe, that’s not evolution. That’s poor judgement. So where do we draw the line?