Growing up, I was obsessed with fashion. My mother, a talented seamstress, was mildly annoyed by my mass manufactured taste. Our humble household budget, supporting a family of seven, was not built for the shopping sprees I craved. Although we enjoyed trips to the fabric store for home sewing materials, we also took occasional trips to the mall to satisfy my yearning for labels. Junior fashion stores like Express, The Limited, Gap, and J. Crew were on the top of my list. Overpriced and mass produced sweatshirts with embellished logos were must-haves for the high school wardrobe. In retrospect, my mom's custom-made dresses were much more beautiful than the store bought items, but my well trained magazine lover's eye couldn't see that concept. What made it even more expensive than just the labels was that everything needed to match and coordinate. As I've grown up and am now happily well into adulthood, my priorities have changed, and the world has changed a great deal too in large part thanks to the World Wide Web.
The internet is to me like a Robin Hood of sorts, leveling the marketplace in supply and demand, ultimately delivering the riches to the poor. With such a wealth of goods available online, fashion is no longer so difficult to afford. Whereas before, it was necessary to make a special trip to go to a local shopping mall, it is now possible to purchase less expensive items from nearly every corner of the world. It is no longer only the rich who can afford clothes; with stores like Topshop, Forever 21, and even Target hiring talented fashion designers for their affordably priced collections. There are artisans all over the world who are happy to meet the demand for beautifully made clothes. Matched with modern businesses prioritizing customer service and technology, we have brilliant successes such as the behemoth of shopping ... Amazon.
In addition to the purely economic benefits the www has brought, it has also brought a revolutionary change in personal style. There is such a massive exchange of ideas via our communication methods that our cultures are intertwining in a beautiful way. Matchy-matchy is out the window. Anything goes, and the strict rules of fashion are no more. Brown can now be worn with black, blue with black, even navy blue! White can be worn after Labor Day, and prints are juxtaposed seamlessly.
So, as I'm perusing the online eye-candy sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, I marvel at our current reality. How fortunate we are to have the world at our fingertips, and to actually be able to afford a little bit of it too.