I would rather die than wear logo clothing. The handbags are the worst examples of status mongering. Louis Vuitton was ok; it was the first of its kind back over a century, but everyone else has joined in, blaring their name to the world. Brands want the publicity at your expense, although you don’t see it that way if you buy their lines. You are a walking unpaid ad, but you could also be labeled a follower with sheep-like devotion.
Not me. I avoid obvious brands like the plague. I have been known to wear Lee jeans, but not Calvin Klein or J Brand. You will not see me in Prada or Gucci, even with hidden labels. It’s about price, sure, but it’s also about mindless submission to the trends. When vintage became acceptable and even popular, I was completely in accord. Recycle old stuff, reuse castoffs, and promote retro style. When you made a personal selection among racks and piles of decades-old designer wear, you exercised your individuality and taste. This is not true about buying the last offerings on the rack.
Designers are often quite innovative, don’t get me wrong. They set trends for a reason. But there is also a lot of fluff going on and shock value for its own sake. Real quality in the realm of couture is rare. And then there is so much imitation. Why are so many doing the exact same look at the exact same time? If they gang together and create a trend that is identifiable, it will sell better and faster. I would prefer to see anarchy than fads.
So…I would rather make my own clothes than succumb to brand dominance. I might sneak in a Gap tee or a pair of Aldo shoes, but for the rest, I am on my own. So how do you do this? First of all, you go to vintage stores as I mentioned and find a few basic pieces. You can alter them and change their shape and add new twists. Since few of us knit, grab a few cardigans and pullovers. Then you go to the fabric store and scour the discount bargain bin. You will find some large pieces, enough for a top or pencil skirt. I follow various fashion bloggers on Pinterest and Instagram, as well as this blog to get ideas. For jackets and coats you are going to have to buy regular-priced fabric as you will need at least a few extra yards. But you only need one of each!
Make your clothing simple and classic so when you add a scarf or jewelry, it will morph into something new each time. Don’t be afraid of some kind of signature color or pattern that identifies you as an individual. If you like plaid, wear it every day if you want, but with a blouse one time and a sweater another. Who will remember? Change the usual shoes to boots in winter and sandals in the summer. It is not mindless to dress for the climate. You will stretch the wearability of each item if you plan carefully and go mostly for year-round pieces. Good luck.