20 September 2019

OG Fashion Blogging: Performance of Self

At the risk of sounding a little jaded, I miss the old days of fashion blogging. I miss the sense of community and I miss reading what everyone thought about different collections. I miss people sharing what they were wearing just to share it, and writing about what they had chosen to wear that day. Before the days of stylized Instagram outfit posts...we had stylized blogging outfit posts. But before that we had mirror photographs and janky self-timer shoots (for both blogs and fashion forums). So I thought I would take it right the way back and indulge in the side of blogging that I really have missed these past few years. What follows is a series of everyday outfits that I have worn recently, with a little commentary on each. I did not dress up specially for these, I did not try to style weird and wonderful fashion looks, I just captured what I happened to be wearing each day. I thought it would be nice to document things as they currently stand and just catch up on sharing my daily style here on the blog. You getting to know me while I am getting to know my self I suppose. I chose my bedroom mirror rather than a self-timer because I like the idea of fashion blogs as a virtual bedroom. A safe public-private space where the blogger gets to explore and share the performance of self, manifest through the materiality of their clothing. The mirror feels like a gateway into this world, paralleled by the black mirror of the computer or phone screen through which the reader engages with the blog. Plus this was a lot easier and quicker than setting up my tripod.

Sleeves rolled up. Ankle socks. Must be Summer weather in London. Has anybody else noticed how Summer seems to get later and later each year? I remember being pretty much fully wrapped up and covered come the back-to-school season as a kid. But nowadays, the sun is out and it is pleasantly warm until well into October time. I lost quite a lot of weight over the Summer, so have been feeling a little insecure about my arms, hence the long sleeves. Although to be fair, it has been a number of years since I left the house in short sleeves, but I am working on that...well, not right now given that the colder weather is coming, but watch this space. And yes, I do wear white from time to time, although I usually only wear it layered underneath black, so this was a pretty bold look in my books (which probably goes to show how much black has become "safety" black for me).

The trousers are from this past Spring/Summer Uniqlo U drop - they are made from a medium weight shirting cotton, and have a really nice flow to them. I tapered the ankle roll a little, because otherwise they look a touch too wide for my slender ankles. I did however size up on them to get the baggier fit that I wanted. I wish they were longer in the leg, but the Uniqlo U trousers all seem to be cropped, so bear that in mind when the new season stuff drops next week. The shoes are classic German army trainers, which I managed to get fresh from Germany (thankfully before whatever Mad Max/Hunger Games situation descends on Britain once Brexit gets rolling). I might write a post on them in the near future, because it has been a number of years since I last owned a pair, so it was a nostalgia-fueled experience for me ordering them once again.

Untucked shirt looks a little sloppy here, but it is what it is. The shirt is an oxford cloth button down from Supreme, because apparently I am an undercover hypebeast. I like the way this shirt fits, but unfortunately they seem to change the cut ever so slightly from season to season. Couple this with the fact that you can only ever buy one size and one colour per season, and it does make it rather a frustrating experience. I wish Ann Demeulemeester did some heavier weight oxford cloth shirts year round, because the fit of their shirts is still my gold standard. I wish I could say Yohji or Comme, but being tall and slender means that the sleeves never fit as I would like, and so either I get a shirt that fits well in the body but looks like it has three quarter length sleeves, or I end up with something majorly baggy and oversized (which can be cool, but given the small size of my wardrobe, I prefer a more versatile fit).

The sweater is a merino silk blend from Muji, which, as you would imagine, has a slightly silkier and smooth feel than your bog standard merino, making it comfortable to move around in. I believe I bought it around six years ago, which is a testament to Muji quality considering the great condition that it is still in. The trousers are from Folk, and are sold as a "relaxed" fit, although I would beg to differ. They are a really soft cotton that feels nice against your legs. Given how often my weight seems to fluctuate, elasticated trousers are something of cheat code - I always feel secure in them. The Dr Martens are in fact waiting to be donated, because I do not wear them anymore, but it was raining and they kept my feet dry...but not my ankles, so those Missoni socks ended up wet. Oh, and the stone in my ring and the stones of my bracelet do indeed match, which is not something I would usually go for, but I wear them for protection (as weird as I am sure that sounds).

Fresh out of hospital and feeling tender? Feels like hoodie szn to me homie. I love this hoodie so much that I bought two of them. If you are expecting something rare or expensive, look elsewhere - it is an IND4000 heavyweight hoodie from Independent Trading Company. I bought it from one of those online commercial printing companies as a blank "sample". I suppose I could always get it printed or embroidered if I wanted at some point, but I think a giant photograph of my cat...ok, I was about to type "is not the best idea ever", but midway though typing that sentence I came to a different conclusion. I could wear it in the house and follow Yohji around with a banner reading "Best cat ever", and cheer every time he did something cute. Not the most practical garment though, so I am probably better off with the plain ones I already own. I know a lot of people seem to prefer the Champion reverse weaves these days, but I find those quite coarse and stiff. This has a nice fleecy interior that holds up well to repeated washing, and I really enjoy the shape of the hood. I went true to size, and it is like wearing a hug. I have only started wearing hoodies again within the last few years, because for the longest while I felt uncomfortable in them, which is weird because now I absolutely love how secure they make me feel. I have not figured out why I was previously so uncomfortable wearing them, but it is something that I do think about. Oh, and my socks have metallic gold thread in them so they shimmer quite a bit, which makes me smile.

More shimmery socks! This time gold chevrons. I might wear black most of the time, but I enjoy colourful accessories - hence my sock collection and the fact that I always carry a different Liberty print handkerchief in my pocket each day. The t-shirt is a waffle cotton top from Sunspel that I picked up on sale last year. The waffle knit makes this stretchier than your normal t-shirt and the cotton is super soft, so it feels great on skin. As might already be obvious by this point in the post, I really like soft fabrics and things that feel comfortable against the skin, especially when moving around. I enjoy sensory stimulation when dressing, because even though dressing is obviously also a visual process, for me the foundation is always the way it makes me feel. I previously spent an entire year getting dressed without using a mirror just to focus in on how the clothes made me feel.

Keeping the cosy theme going, I wore an ultra light down vest from Uniqlo, which is a cheap and cheerful mid-layer to go underneath my rain jacket. I feel a little bro-ish, for want of a better term, when wearing a gilet, but it is practical. The shoes here are the Fear Of God x Nike Skylon II, which I absolutely love, but do not seem to be all that popular with most sneakerheads for some reason. I actually wanted to buy these when they released, but was on the fence for too long about the price and missed out. Fast forward six months and they were reselling for under retail, so I finally pulled the trigger and I am glad that I did. The exterior materials are faithful to the original Skylon II, meaning felt and mesh, so I can understand why people might be a bit underwhelmed when there is Fear Of God branding to go with. What does however seem to get overlooked is that the interior of the shoe is lined with buttery soft leather and the tongue is made from an equally buttery leather, so your foot is encased in a luxury that is not readily apparent to the outside world - I love hidden details that are just for the wearer.

Polka dot socks because at this point my sock game is clearly more interesting than the rest of my outfits. The button down shirt here is a black poplin cotton from Arket. I like the sound poplin makes, because it is a very crisp cotton, and that gentle rustling sounds very "fresh" to my mind. Yes, it wrinkles almost as bad as linen, but I am not too bothered by wrinkles that appear from wear - I like seeing those traces of the body upon the fabric. On top of the shirt I am wearing a lambswool cardigan, because the Autumn weather is creeping in ever so slowly, and that means cardigan weather. This cardigan has pockets, and I love pockets, so I will take as many as I can. Whether it is keeping a handkerchief in the breast pocket of my shirt, or some chewing gum in my cardigan pocket, I like having storage options without having to necessarily lug a bag around. The trousers are a ripstop cotton from Folk and have a nice loose seat coupled with a decent taper, which works well for my figure (I have a somewhat larger bum coupled with stick legs). Again I enjoy the sound the fabric of these trousers makes when moving. It is quieter than the poplin, but there is still a soft susurration...similar to the alliteration right there.

Bro vest once again on account of the cooler temperature (I realise I might be the only one to get bro vibes off it, but it is difficult for me to describe exactly why). Here I am wearing a wool sweatshirt from Matthew Miller's Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. I got it on clearance at a crazy reduced price, which makes it all the nicer for me because it is a piece of luxury on an everyday budget. The feel of this sweatshirt is gorgeous, it is like a compacted candy floss. It feels soft and warm against the skin, is enjoyable to stroke, and has a dense enough weave that it does not seem to stretch out at all, even around the elbows. I will try to take a detailed close up of it at some point, because it has a finely wrinkled texture, with random broken vertical lines, that I find really interesting. The trousers are the elasticated waist Folk trousers again, because as you can tell, this was a cosy fit. I would have worn the Pleats Please trousers for some added cosy boy action, but my legs get cold in them, and I did not want to pull out the leggings just yet. Although saying that, I have just stocked up on leggings and vests (of the undershirt variety) for the upcoming colder months, and so am feeling ready for whatever Winter has to bring this year.

Turquoise, black and purple Basket Lunch (no idea who named them) socks by Ayame. These fit well, which I am not used to with Japanese socks given how large my feet are, and are nicely made. At this point I might as well do a blog post on all my socks, but I will save that thrilling adventure for a different day. Anyhow, I now own two printed pieces of clothing, obviously not including socks, and both happen to be shirts. In this instance I am wearing a Tana Lawn cotton shirt from Liberty with a palm print on it. I go for the more colourful Liberty prints where my handkerchiefs are concerned, but not for my clothes, because I feel more comfortable in a darker look. I like the muted colour palette here because it allows me to indulge my love of botanical prints without it being too loud or obvious from a distance. I enjoy looks where the real details are there to be seen when up close. I also really like lawn cotton, because it wears well and feels light without being unsubstantial. I find it wrinkles a ton when washing, but once ironed out, it wears without wrinkling much in wear. I am actually on the lookout for some printed black trousers of some kind, but have yet to find anything that I like. Who knows, by next year I could be rocking full on print head to toe.



  1. I'm here for it! There's a certain amount of dedication that creating and following blogging has that is lost in the era of app-based "blogging" *cough* instagram *cough*

    1. Amen to that! I don't want to dump on people primarily using Instagram though, because I think there is a lot of hard work and talent there. But I do miss the dialogue and being able to deep dive into people'e thoughts and opinions, because it really did make me think and open my eyes to new ways of looking at certain collections or ideas. These days it seems like the most interaction we have is a quick hit of the "like" button.

  2. Here for this content. The way you describe materials makes me sigh for the golden days of blogging (even though I let mine languish then get swallowed up by unpaid hosting on a long-lost PayPal account). I remember your experiments of getting dressed based on *the feel* of a look rather than the visual composition; that's stayed with me whenever I get a twinge of outfit anxiety. Maybe that's what I miss on Insta, the fond poetry of materiality in words and images, more than nailing the lewk.

    1. I really have been thinking about how we can revive that type of content, because I think it is sorely missing in the online fashion discourse today. I suppose that focus on nailing the lewk has always been around, but blogs really did open it up to people having discussions. I see some of it on Reddit, but I miss forums and blogs where people did deep dives. I hope it comes back, I just have no idea what format it will take.

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