Is Socioeconomic Status Still Limiting Style?

Just a few days ago my Fashion Club at school held a “Diversity in Fashion” discussion with people from different cultural organizations on campus. We focused on a few questions that were important to this group of people; one of them being “does your socioeconomic status affect the way you dress?”.

It was unanimously agreed upon within the group that the answer was an absolute yes. However, while this was especially the case 10 or 20 years ago, is the answer to this question beginning to change?

spring floral jumpsuit

Ever since I was young my mom would give me a budget of a few hundred dollars each school year to spend on my seasonal wardrobe. I had to choose carefully which pieces I spent my money on. Did I want to splurge on a pair of jeans I would wear over and over again? Or did I want to head to the fast fashion stores for a few trendy items?

spring fashion blogger

It really was a fun little game to me. Fun until I had spent my entire budget and later found a pair of shoes I loved but were no longer in the budget, that is. It is definitely hard to create a diverse wardrobe with endless outfit opportunities when you can’t afford to shell out the money for every item you love. However, new fashion trends and brands are making this easier and easier.

spring 2018 trends

Macklemore made thrift shopping cool in 2012 and it has been a trendy thing to do ever since. I guess this is one positive thing we can thank modern-day rappers for. Thrift shopping gives us all an opportunity to find trendy, vintage pieces at an affordable price point. It even gives us a chance to find brands we wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy. Before 2012, thrift shopping was viewed as an activity for those who couldn’t afford new clothing. However, current trends in the industry have shaped it into an acceptable and fun way to shop.

fashion blogger look for less

Fast fashion stores are also trendier than ever. Stores have completely re-branded themselves to fit the latest styles showcased on the runways and by celebrities. Target is the perfect example of this. It is a store available to everyone all over the country, whether you are in the city or suburbs. Target has recently launched new brands that focus on trends prominent in the industry today. They have even launched a plus size fashion line with these same fashion-forward pieces.

spring affordable fashion

I was able to find this jumpsuit for $18 on the sale rack at Target. Not only are the prices at these stores more affordable, but they also offer a vast selection of stylish pieces in the sale section. If you are smart about the way you shop, it is absolutely possible to be fashion-forward on a budget. Not to mention my shoes are also from Target! I have been on the hunt for a pair of white mules for awhile now and was able to find the perfect pair for less than $50.

However, anything becoming more affordable always come at some sort of price. In the case of fashion, that cost is ethics. As clothing becomes cheaper, unethical practices in the fashion industry become more prominent. Big corporations are stealing smaller artists’ designs, toxins are being released into the environment, and children are working long hours in factories in Third World countries. The issues are endless. Our struggles in America are causing greater struggles in countries halfway around the world.

target fashion rebrand

So while we may be happier here that we can finally afford to be fashionable, others around the world are suffering because of it. There really is no way to win unless we can find a way to make fashion affordable and ethical.

Do you agree that it is becoming easier to be stylish on a budget? How do you feel about the hidden costs behind this? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

Architecture as Fashion

In the fashion industry designers are inspired by all different mediums in their surroundings, whether it is a painting, a song, an individual’s street style, or a building. Architecture is a prominent inspiration for different types of art because it is an art in itself. I have always had an eye for beautiful buildings, analyzing just how that artist envisioned that structure on paper or the entire process of engineering that went into creating it. It is both a science and an art form.

IMG_6049.JPG

When I was exploring Riviera Maya, Mexico I was instantly drawn to the color and style of this church. It may have been because yellow is my favorite color and instantly pulls me back to the walls of my childhood bedroom, but there is something about it that is so visually pleasing, instantly soothing and inspiring the soul. Before I visited Mexico this was exactly what I pictured a traditional building to look like.

IMG_6062

The vibes I got when I was around this building were the same vibes I imagine avid festival-goers feeling at Coachella. They are in the middle of the desert, surrounded by their favorite music and people with the same care-free, fun spirits as themselves. I was in a brand new country, taking in the difference of culture, surrounded by others who were also vacationing to escape the busy reality of their everyday lives.

Arcitecture 2.jpg

For this reason, I am obsessed with anything relating to music festivals. Festivals connect people in the same way vacations and culture do. I stalked every hashtag on all social media sites referencing anything Coachella-related last spring in the hopes that it would feel like I was enjoying the experience with the festival-goers. My favorite singer, Lana Del Rey, performed, so naturally I was inclined to this serious stalk session. It is hard to put my love for Lana Del Rey into words; if you are my friend, you know how much I admire and adore her and her music.

After her performance I began actively searching for the outfit she wore during her set, a 70s-inspired, tropical floral mini dress, similar to the dress she wore in her Shades of Cool music video. I was so desperate to find a dress similar to this that I made my own. I went to my local Goodwill and searched to find the perfect bright, vintage floral print. Of course the dress made out of this fabric was four sizes too big with a long boxy cut and shoulder pads. I created my own dress pattern and used the cut-up scraps of this dress to create my Lana-inspired mini dress.

FOUNTAIN

Of course, fast forward a few months later, I find this dress at the Forever 21 in Soho. It is the exact same cut as the dress I fell in love with and spent so much time sewing myself. And for a small price tag of $27…The moment I bought it I knew I had to wear it to Mexico.

Arcitecture

I paired the dress with my favorite chunky, wooden heels from Nastygal to make it seem as if I was a model stepping out of a vintage photograph. To make the look more modern, since we obviously are no longer in the 70s, I added this gold, beaded body chain. Pairing this under any shirt or dress that shows skin is instant sex appeal (1970s Fifty Shades of Grey?). There’s nothing sexier than a chain draping over an exposed slice of skin.

IMG_6117

Let the colors of Mexico and vintage floral print inspire your next festival outfits. With whatever you wear, as long as it expresses who you are as a person and inspires you just as the music does, you can’t go wrong. I will hopefully be attending Governor’s Ball this summer in New York City, showing you more indie, bohemian fashion.