Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Forever 21 the fashion equivalent to ghonorrhea

Let’s discuss this thing currently going on in New York called Fashion Week. For months, the fashion world has been preparing for seven days of unbridled chaos. Diehard fans leave their comfy shoes and moral standards at home as they attempt to beg their way into the Bryant Park tents. (“Really! I left my fashion show ticket at home! I swear I’m on the list! YES, this is Valentino!”)

Because of some unfortunate logistic issues, I wasn’t able to spend the weekend in New York. Not that I’d be able to do a whole lot once I got there since, you know, I don’t work at Vogue, but I wanted to witness the overall spectacle firsthand.

Instead, I celebrated Fashion Week from the comforts of my own home. I wish I could say I drank copious amounts of champagne and marched around town in towering heels. The reality was far less glamorous. I clicked my way through the Spring 2010 shows online — blissfully blister-free.

Viewing all the runway glamour has triggered an overwhelming desire to completely overhaul my wardrobe. Suddenly, everything in my closet seems so ... last season.

This is a common problem for me. I have a tendency to get sick of things very quickly. Before a song’s play count hits 10, I can’t hear it anymore. I wear an outfit twice, and I’m over it. This has caused some to assume I’m a tad pretentious. These presumptuous folk are actually quite wrong — I just get bored easily.

The unfortunate downside of this affliction is that I’m broke. I’m a junkie with no means to get her fix. I have a hard time accepting the fact I most likely will never afford the beautiful, luxurious clothes I crave. It’s depressing. Really — go on and watch some of the shows. I’d recommend Karen Walker, Boy by Band of Outsiders, Helmut Lang and Jenni Kayne.

You’ll have a much easier time sympathizing with my situation after you’ve seen them. It’s probably for the best I wasn’t present at any of the shows. I would’ve started shrieking and been asked to leave, which would’ve been, to say the least, rather embarrassing.

I’ve decided to write a few letters, punctuated with desperation, to various designers. I’m volunteering the arduous task of cleaning up their post-Fashion Week messes by taking some of their extra clothes off their hands.

Since responses are about as likely as me getting an “A” in math this semester, I’m forced to find reasonably priced additions to my wardrobe elsewhere. Here’s where I need to employ some impulse control: fast-fashion chains.

Slews of stores make mega bucks from replicating designer duds. The garments are usually of disastrous quality, but since they’re dirt cheap, you convince yourself to buy things you neither need nor look good in — bad news all around.

Now bear with me for just a moment as we flash back to the SATs and look at an analogy: Fast-fashion chains are to style schizophrenia what promiscuity is to venereal diseases.

When you’re exposed to too much low quality crap, you end up making bad decisions. So this is my PSA: Save yourself for the pieces that are really worth it. You’ll end up with a killer closet and no regrets in the morning. A cohesive wardrobe makes getting ready on the fly — even for an 8 a.m. recitation — a total cinch.

Stores like Forever 21 encourage you to buy things that aren’t your style. They’re aware of it — that’s why their return policy sucks. Sure, that awkwardly cut frilly top in the back of your drawer only cost $12.99, but those little impulse buys add up. With the $100 you spent on a few pieces that have unraveled in the wash you could’ve gotten a pair of decently made shoes that go with everything.

Before approaching sale racks or cheap chains, think about what you really need. Commence your shopping sprees with a critical eye. I suggest flipping through magazines right before shopping so you can pick out items that appeal to you and stick with them. Don’t let a smooth-talking bargain sway you.

Now, I’m certainly no saintly Forever 21 virgin, and I’m not going to launch into a sermon about cost-per-wear. Sometimes fashion mistakes happen.

Clean out your closet, learn from the stuff you’re throwing away and move on. So go forth my nimble little born-again shoppers. Be smart and always use protection, because Forever 21’orrhea is a horrible thing.

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