pocket smock dress by christina pires
Yesterday, I wrote a mini manifesto on living a creative life. I’m glad it resonated with many of you. But I wanted to address a couple of comments that left me a little sideways.
A couple people related that they felt uncomfortable in their affluent communities while living a simple, creative life. Their handmade clothes and thrifted duds didn’t meet the label requirement for their neighborhood. I get that, I really do. When everyone thinks that “well off” is one thing and creative is another, it’s hard to be that “other.”
I have an opinion on this. Would you like me to share? Oh good, cause I’m gonna.
It’s cooler to look creative.
Seriously. Have you looked at Anthropologie? Lucky? Even Glamor lately? People pay a lot of money to look more like the handmade, thrifted, fun-to-wear, vintage-inspired goodness that you feel less-than in.
Now this could be because I’m a snob – and really, I kind of am, although I figure being self aware makes it a little better – but I feel pretty good when I walk out of the house wearing something that no one else in my county has in their closet. No amount of Louis Vuittons or Chanel suits or t-shirts plastered with chain store logos make up for the sameness that the rest of the world lives in.
Brand names & labels are only the commercialization of designers. Designers are craftspeople. They make things by hand (see Project Runway for examples!), they try new things, they innovate. Designers are trendsetters. They’re makers, crafters, artists – just like you. As a creative person, you’re tapped into this spirit.
There’s no need to think of your frugal living, creative lifestyle, or out-of-the-norm sense of style as an indicator of having less money. It’s an indicator of being cool – something to strive for – something others wish they had. You look cool, you are cool, people want to be more like you and less like everyone else.
See. I told you I was snobby.
Why not choose to feel good about the creativity that goes into your wardrobe whether it’s hand-me-downs or handmade? While you’re at it, when someone asks you about your awesome sweater or your killer bracelet, tell them where it came from. Don’t make excuses or hem & haw. Say it proudly: it’s vintage, I re-purposed it, I bought it from the designer. Ya know what else? Why not let them know that there isn’t another like it? It’s rare. It’s one-of-a-kind. It’s valuable. Cause it is – and so are you.
If you feel uncomfortable in your community, maybe it’s because you’re ahead of the curve.