Monday, January 19, 2009
The Fall of Fashion, The Rise of Slippers
In my previous corporate jobs (reporting; PR-ing; recruiting, etc.), one of my biggest pleasures was deciding what to wear. Sounds shallow? Well, that's a good indication of why I didn't last too long in the corporate world. If that was the most enjoyment I got out of going to work, it was a pretty clear sign that the workplace wasn't for me.
I live a five-minute walk from one of the best shopping areas in London: High Street Kensington. Zara, TopShop, FCUK, Urban Outfitters all beckon, and each weekend it became a regular occurrence to go out and buy something new. Retail therapy -- literally. The excitement of donning my new shiny shoes or funky new dress gave me a reason to go to the boring, beige office world. I loved to join the well-heeled commuters at Notting Hill Gate Tube as we began the challenge of another day... at 6:40 a.m. No matter, I had on a new scarf! How invigorating!
When I left the corporate world, I was only too happy to pack up all my suits, dresses and high heels. After a year of living in slippers, old ripped jeans salvaged from God-knows-where, and tattered tops from my high school days (yes, it WAS a long time ago), a curious thing happened: I lost my will to shop.
When I had my part-time job, I still had a reason to buy clothes. We didn't have a uniform -- we only had to wear black. As the job justified my buying, I quickly had a few black items too many. But recently, I don't have any reason to buy clothes. I don't even want to buy clothes. Even the January sales can't tempt me.
I'd much rather have grubby slippers and be happy than wear trendy high-heels and feel empty. Too bad it's taken until now to realise it!