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Monday, July 16, 2012

Preppy

My new Rock & Republic loafers from Kohl's inspired my look today. And to be honest, I could dress in a tee, blazer, jeans, and loafers every day and feel the most comfortable. I love a preppy look. Hello! I grew up on John Hughes' films. Who didn't want to be the preppy rich kid? Trends were different back then. Clothing was based on designers (Polo, Outback Red, Jordashe, etc.). If you were part of the 'haves,' you were a cool kid and people liked and talked to you. I gravitated toward the preppy kids from wealthy parents who lived in affluent neighborhoods.

I grew up in a modest house, my basic needs were covered, I had clothes to wear and sometimes Santa would bring me those coveted, dark rinse Jordashe jeans that would make me giddy with excitement. But I always envied and wanted what my preppy friends had. They had straight blonde hair, perfect skin, nice (expensive) hand-me-down cars from their parents, etc. I learned at an early age what having money could get you. I worked through high school and college. To me, college was a mean to an end. It was a necessity to gain employment and earn a decent living so that I could buy nice things, dress in fine clothing, drive nice cars, etc. I didn't engage in the typical social experiences of college. I just wanted my degree. I just wanted to start earning money.

Unfortunately, my cost of living and my champagne tastes don't work well together. Credit cards were a downfall in my 20s that I'm still paying for in my 40s. It was and still is an instant means to gaining what I wanted and unfortunately a downfall to a lot of Gen X'ers We're bright, educated, and have a mountain of debt. We're a generation of instant gratification, rather than working and saving for what we want. The Internet, bloggers, magazines, trendsetter,s and keeping up with the Jones' hasn't helped the situation. I talked last week about how I cannot possibly afford to feature a $300 dress a couple times a week as some big fashion bloggers do. While I love looking at (and owning) fine clothing, the fact is that we are still in a economic downturn. And I'm afraid young, impressionable women are going to look at the big bloggers and make the common mistake of instant gratification for which they cannot afford.

Whew. Got a little deep on this post. Can you tell the e-book I'm reading is really making me question and think about our shopping habits? Okay, let's lighten this post up with an outfit, shall we?



{Jacket: Forever 21 | Tee: Lucky Brand (bought at Sam's) | Jeans: Ink & Faded. Buy them here. | Shoes: Rock & Republic. Buy them here. | Hair tie: Anthropologie. Buy them here. | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl. Buy it here.}

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18 comments:

  1. Great outfit, but more importantly excellent post!

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  2. Those shoes are awesome! Love the preppiness of them.

    Your hair band looks like it has an erection. ;-)

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  3. Hi Niki, Thank you for a well written and very honest commentary.
    Personally, I think in high school things don't seem to change from generation to generation i.e. what you felt and described but it has been tougher starting with Gen X.
    My beloved and I were recently talking about proms etc. and I must say I think that is one area at least in the town where we live that it is a better situation than when we were kids. They have a promenade for all prior to the prom and the kids can go without a date etc. It just seems much more democratic and appears to be not as painful as when John & I were in H.S. Appears is the operative word but we also know a few families here with H.S. age kids & get to hear about their experiences, feelings, perspective. Plus the town paper does a great job covering the youth here too. Hope that all makes sense.
    The first thing I thought of when I read your post was when I was in high school and "Ava" got a brand new Mustang convertible and it had her initials on it! Oh my. My situation was quite similar to yours growing up. I especially appreciate you reiterating about the press and the effects of fashion bloggers on young & impressionable women.
    Your outfit rocks today. The loafers add just the right touch. Love your ponytail. It is a cute & fashionable outfit. You wear it well.
    All the best,
    Carol

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    1. I often think my infatuation with having a BMW stemmed from being around the 'richies' in high school. kind of sad, really. but we are a society of materialistic wants/gains.
      The loafers are actually very comfy and I love the little ponytail holders.
      Niki

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  4. LOVE jeans, tee and blazers! Always have, always will :)

    Ditto on the preppy look and John Hughes' films :) Sometimes they'll be on and hubby will ask me to guess which movie it is w/o looking and I never miss!

    I had the same downfall w/credit cards and appreciate you NOT wearing the really expensive stuff out there (though they are very beautiful and covet-able (is that word? lol). IMHO, it helps more readers connect w/you...

    --stephanie--

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    1. Oh but what I wouldn't give for a Preen or Prabal Gurung dress. That puppy would hang in my closet forevery (it would have to with prices soaring into the high hundreds). And I can't even pronounce half the designers out there. LOL!

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  5. Your monologue was appreciated, believe me. I was just doing a financial literature review and chose a few books that covered this very issue. Being carefree with credit and not using any financial management principles while in your 20s can certainly hurt down the line. Being debt free is equivalent to freedom in my book. Alas, I too have been hit by the ugly bug of consumerism, lol. I do not shop in Kohls very much (the locations are far away), but I will certainly stop by to see what they have next time I am in the area.

    *** glamBLOUSE ***
    http://glamblouse.blogspot.com/

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    1. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to lay off the credit card crack!
      Niki

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  6. Hi, Niki, I really like the more thoughtful turn you've taken lately. It's in line with what I've been thinking about the last few months. (Also I'm really loving your hair lately, though that's kind of off-topic).

    I'm writing a blog post about where ordinary women with ordinary responsibilities can find good, useful information about fashion that fits their lifestyles and their budgets and I wanted to include your blog, and one of the pictures from this post, as an example of a good resource. Would that be all right with you?

    Thanks so much!!

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    1. Cindy
      I would be so flattered to have you include my blog. Thank you so much! That made my day!! I can't guarantee I'll have deep, meaningful thoughts every day, but I sure have seen an increase in commenting when I get down and dirty with my thoughts. ;-)
      As for my hair, I actually talk about a tip on toners tomorrow. :-)

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    2. Thanks for your permission -- I hope you are pleased with the content! And thanks again for your great content, I really do enjoy your blog.

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    3. You're very welcome. Send me a link to your article when you're done, okay? Thanks again!
      Niki

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  7. I waited a long time to respond today. I guess I had the opposite reaction to the 'haves' in HS; I pretty much hated them!! As it turns out, my friends and I ended up the 'haves' while quite a few of those we expected to be successful ended up living with Mom and Dad and floundering.

    I had some credit card debt in my 20s, mostly out of necessity (car repairs or medical emergencies) and paid if off early in my 30s. I also went through a long period of buying cheap clothes; partly because I didn't make very much, partly because you can have lots of things that way. I've since given up on cheap clothes, unless they truly fill a gap in my wardrobe and I think they defy their price. I've stopped going into H&M, Forever21, rarely hit Old Navy, and try my best to avoid stuff at Target. I've found that having a few good pieces (and by that I don't mean $300 skirts...) that I can wear over and over with carefully selected fast fashion stuff I actually spend less money. Shoes were first; I started buying better shoes and having them repaired about 10 years ago. My favorite black pumps with a super high heel are 7 years old. I paid $80 for them. I've had them resoled twice. Same with my brown knee high boots ($250, resoled three times in 10 years).

    I guess my point is that while you can't and shouldn't show impractical $300 skirts, showing quality classics that you style differently depending on trends/seasons can be valuable too.

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    1. Very well put, Kim, and I agree 100% with you. We do live in a world of trends though, which is one of the main goals of fashion blogging - showing how you can style trends that you see on runway and in print. However the classics never go out of style and can always be incorporated with trendier pieces. I may just have to take this blog in another direction and focus on better quality clothing over latest trends. But here's the thing - for 3-4 years, I was too large to wear trends. So over the last year, i embraced every trend I could fit into. Now I'm pulling back from cheaper fabrics and just spending on a little better quality (j crew, zara, etc.). Old navy, gap, h&m have their place but I won't be visiting as often as I did. Thanks for your honest comment.
      Niki

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  8. I appreciate your blog because you are "real" and dont make it look like you have a perfect life perfect family and perfect body. I also think you are brave to put yourself out there when there are a lot of haters who will say negative things simply because you are not "perfect".
    And i think those jeans look good on you. Better than the gap pink pants! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate your comment. Yep, I am a real person with a normal life, job, and family. I live in the burbs, I work 9-6, I write for a living, I love food and shopping, and I love to sleep late on the weekends and stay in my PJs for most of the day while eating pancakes on Saturdays. :-) I'm just a normal woman putting it out there for other normal women to see that you can still dress nice, don't have to spend a fortune, have a tummy bulge and big thighs but still look stylish. So far, no haters. But I'll deal with it if it happens.
      Niki

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