Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fashion (or the lack of it), and the Fashion District.

When we were kids, mom, dad and grandma would shop for clothes and shoes for us, and we'd just stay home and be fine with their choices. When they dress us up like dorks, or in really frilly dresses, we were fine with it because we simply didn't know any better.  Besides, we really didn't like to shop for hours in the department store. If we when shopping at all with our parents, we'd just play hide and seek among the racks of clothes.  My sister would look for lost pennies and buttons on the floor to collect while my mom shopped.

The result: Outfits that we wouldn't be caught dead in now. Here are a few examples:

We and our cousins all wearing snowman wear!
Courtesy of grandma!

Visiting DC in oversized jacket and poncho.

This year, we transferred to a private school. All of a sudden, fashion is becoming increasingly difficult for us to ignore because we like to fit in and don't want to be made fun of. We don't want to make the faux pas of wearing the wrong thing for school, or for wearing the same clothes two days in a row.  We realized that it's best not to look like we just rolled out of bed when we go to school.
Luckily during the school day, my classmates dress pretty much like students everywhere: shorts, jeans, hoodies, sneakers, flats, so I don't have to adjust my style too much.

But, this was also a year where I was invited to a few sweet sixteen parties, and sis was invited to fancy bat mitzvahs.  Boy, this is where things have changed from years past. It used to be that the only occasion I'd have to wear a nice dress to was my 8th grade graduation or some other school event, in a pair of flat shoes or sandals.

Going to sweet sixteen parties was definitely the first time I've had to dress formally for a party with my friends, and I didn't really know what to wear.  Semi-formal dresses and heels was the recommended attire--and I didn't even own heels!  In fact, I was (and still am) a little bit afraid of tripping in heels or stabbing other people with them, so I went with wedges instead.  While I didn't look like a bum, it seems I misunderstood the meaning of 'semi-formal', because most girls were dressed like they were going to clubs!  I mean, with dresses that barely covered their butts and 6 inch heels, it's mind-boggling that they could possibly complain about how much their feet hurt and how guys were constantly staring at them. 

Internet cartoon

The boys, on the other hand, were only expected to wear button-down shirts and jeans.  Talk about unfair!

None of this is to say that fashion always comes with a high price tag; it doesn't!  Today, for example, I went with my sister, cousins, aunt, and mom to check out the Fashion District in LA.  My aunt and cousins are from Boston, so they've never been to the Fashion District and were determined to get some back to school shopping done. We checked out the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) Scholarship Store, where they sell brand name bikinis for about $2 a set. That is, if you can find a matching set, of course.  We had to do some digging, but in the end we came out victorious . . . Not that you you'd consider bikinis back to school attire.

Visiting Santee Alley Fashion District, Los Angeles

Later on, we headed to Santee Alley, a pretty dingy alley with hundreds of shops featuring the latest fashions for inexpensive prices, knock-offs of name brands, haggling, and bacon-wrapped hotdogs! It's mildly disgusting, but if you have the stamina to dig through there, you will find some good things for a bargain. We saw some beautiful hand blown glass objects, only to be told that they were for smoking weed!

Whether you like to shop second hand stores, fashion district, outlet stores, department stores or boutiques, don't be a slave to fashion though. You might end up looking like these ladies below and still be made fun of:

China Fashion Week 2007
Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Campaign


  1. Clothing affects children's self-esteem, so approach the subject delicately and offer style suggestions rather than negative feedback. Parents play a key role in helping to develop a child's positive self-image. Try and understand children's point of view while helping guide them to fashions that make them feel confident and comfortable, and are appropriate for the classroom.

    1. Actually, the last thing we want to do is make kids feel uncomfortable about the way they dress. We are not parents - we're kids ourselves, and the purpose of our blog is to discuss topics that are personal to us. We're sorry for the misunderstanding.