Recently on the main community, someone asked if there was a point when one should be content with her wardrobe. She has the dresses, the skirts, the blouses, all of the accessories, and she doesn't feel the need to buy things anymore; she seemed confused as to whether this was normal. It reminded me of a comment my roommate made a few weeks ago; also a lolita, she was listing some things she had recently bought, and said something along the lines of, “I know it sounds like a lot, but I think I want a few more _______ and then I'll be done. My wardrobe will be complete.”
It surprised me; mentioning it to another lolita friend, she said “But... your closet is never done.” On the whole, I agree. As people, as fashion enthusiasts, I think that our style is never really “done.” Especially bloggers or readers of blogs; we're exposing ourselves to so much, so many different things, that it would be odd if we didn't absorb some of these things into ourselves and change our styles appropriately. Even just as people in our society; we're constantly being bombarded by advertisements, magazines, celebrity news, and it would be impossible for us not to absorb some of that and translate it into our ideals and mindsets. Some of this is on purpose; I recently subscribed to a beauty e-newsletter from a popular mainstream magazine so that I could stay in the know about make-up and other beauty news in the mainstream, because, as lolitas, we're often so pigeon-holed by our own media that we forget there's other stuff out there. Even if that other stuff isn't really catering to all of our interests, to expose ourselves to these things makes us more well-rounded people and, effectively, more well-rounded dressers.
At the same time, it's possible to develop and evolve your style without buying an entirely new wardrobe every few months. I still have the first brand dress I ever bought, years and years ago, and I think that, even though my style has changed a lot, it still has its place in my closet and hopefully always will. Therefore, I can draw the conclusion that most of the things I buy have the possibility of staying with me for many years while still feeling fresh and current to my style. So is it bad to stop shopping, to call it quits on checking the sales community?
In my opinion, I would say that the healthiest plan is a healthy mix; new lolitas will buy &buy &buy until they have their basics, but then it's time to put on the brakes. This is the “content” phase. Once you have everything you consider to be a basic (which I'm sure depends on the person; for some, a black blouse and a white one with a black skirt are the stepping stones, but for someone else it could be a cream blouse, a brown skirt, and a blue jumperskirt; I'm sure someone else would consider basics incomplete without at least one big-name brand – there seems to be another entry in this, tho!), you should be able to sit back and smile at your closet as-is. From there, I think the next step is casually browsing brand websites or the sales comm every so often, and buy a few things as “fluff”- this is where your accessories or new color combos come in. Then, once you've fleshed out your wardrobe so that you have a mix of colors and styles that appeal to you, it's time to stop; put it in park, if you will. You're not saying you'll never buy brand again, but maybe only hit the selling websites for a birthday present to yourself, or if you need a dress for a special occasion, or maybe if you want some retail therapy (caution – slippery slope!!).
It's also to note that even these three stages are still cyclical. For example, I'm currently around the second step, because when I was at the third stage about two years ago, I had some money problems, sold a lot of stuff, and didn't let myself buy anything for almost a year. Now that I'm back to the area I like to be, money-wise, I've started to casually buy again to get back the wardrobe-fluff I had to sell. Soon I'll probably go back to Wardrobe Enlightenment where I no longer have the earthly desire for more clothes, but for now I'm happy casually spending. :)
(image c/o tumblr.com)