Despite what most people think of fashion bloggers are: young, pretty, rich and with designer items all over their body. Me, in fact, is just a poor recent graduate student with good taste and very low resistance to pretty clothes. Me and my boyfriend had this intense conversation about being rich and being fashionable, it started like this:
Stupid BF:” If I was rich, I would be more fashionable then you!”
Me (red face) :” NO?!!!! Do you see this HM coat I am wearing? A Zara sales person thought it’s a thousands of dollars coat like max mara or something! I am not rich, but the way I styled it made it look expensive!”
Then we started arguing if being rich actually means they can be more fashionable.
Stupid BF:” But look at all the trendy stuff right now, Gucci, Supreme, none of them is cheap. They set the trend for the whole fashion industry, and if you can buy them, you are on top of the trend.”
Me (a slow thinker):” true…”
Me:” Okay, but look at some of the rich Chinese in Saks’ or Riccardi’s, from head to toe, all designer items, but do they look fashionable? No! Because they only cared if these items are recognizable to others or if that’s what every other rich Chinese kids are wearing, instead of what actually fits them.” (Me and my friend came up with this name “Mucho Chinos” to describe them, no offense to all the Chinese, I am a Chinese myself)
Then we continued arguing for 10 more minutes until I called our friend Ernest whose closet worths much more than his rent to ask his opinion, then we finally ended it by him taking my side✌🏻
Despite my strong stand that being rich doesn’t necessarily mean you can be more fashionable, that’s doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate designer brands. When I was growing from a fashion terrorist to a fashionista during college years, it was Ernest who guided my way and opened my eyes about these original and high-quality designer goods, I finally found all the “inspirations” for the fast fashion brands. Gradually, the magazine I read went from Nylon to Elle or Vogue; the stores I go to went from Forever 21 to Zara or Madewell; the big names I could recognize went from just Chanel to JW Anderson or Stella McCartney. Unfortunately, the only thing that didn’t level up was my bank account.
The first expensive designer item that I impulsively bought was this black Aquzzura suede lace-up flat:
It was in 2015, the time when lace up shoes and the brand Aquazzura started to become very popular, and this shoe was similar to what my all-time style icon Alexa Chung was wearing a lot at the time
pics from WhoWhatWear
When I saw them at Barney’s with Ernest, the recognition excitement made me pick them up. As soon as I touched them, that perfect suede feeling encouraged me to feel them on my feet. While I was still very self-conscious with the sales person in fancy suit at Barneys around me, I was too nervous to try them on. Ernest saw the sparks in my small eyes and said these magic words: “it never hurts to just try them on.” In his fancy gucci scarf, he waved to the sales person: ” Excuse me, can we try this on with a size 7?” She smiled and nodded and went into to the back. Me sitting on the soft couch waiting for this babe like waiting for my new born child.
She came out with this bright blue box and unwrapped it carefully, I slowly put my feet in them and stood up, without going to the mirror, I already knew they look goooooood!
Ernest:” Omg, they look so sexy!”
Me, no words just laughed like a shy girl on her first date: “Yeah, it’s very comfortable.” I walked around in very small steps, me in my mind: Ummmm, they don’t look as good as when Alexa was wearing hers, but it’s may because of that perfect long legs, oh well. But sexy?! That’s a word I never heard before! and it’s Aquazzura!! and I am wearing them, just like those cool people in street photos!!!
Ernest:” Omg, you should totally get them!”
I took these shoes off and flipped it to see the price:
SIX HUNRED FUCKING DOLLARS?! I tried to hide my shock while both the sales lady and Ernest telling me to get them. Me in my head trying to figure out how to get out of this hot mess and run away from the store. There he went again, Ernest said those evil and magic words:” It’s gonna be your 20th birthday soon, you should get it as a gift to yourself!”
YEAH! 20th birthday is a big one, since my parents in China can’t come here and bring me their gifts, I can just use their money and buy myself one!
I stood up and smiled to the sales lady with anxiety (which I am still feeling now when writing this article three years later): “I think… I will take them!”
“Alright!” She wrapped the shoes in the box again and took me to the register. After I paid, she handed me this silky feeling bag with a big special golden Aquazzura pineapple on it:”hope you enjoy them!” I thanked her with very low confidence and left with Ernest who was very proud.
On the train back to school, I was nervous and excited at the same time carrying this special pineapple bag in the crowd, hoping someone would recognize them and asking me if it’s Aquazzura, I would proudly nod and telling her/him of course it is! That didn’t happen and after I went back into my dorm room, I put them on again, thank god the dorm was carpeted so I didn’t make the shoe dirty. As I was looking at them, the classic two inner people fight started:
Omg, they look so good.
Ummm, it’s good but not really your style.
Yeah! but it’s a designer shoes!
Yeah, but it’s 600 dollars! What’s the most expensive thing you bought so far? That $100 bike you got at Target but still think it could have been way cheaper?!
Think about your family back in China, would they be so selfish and buy themselves such expensive things? NO! (turned out later they actually did though…)
The guilt and conscious finally brought me back to reality, I calmed myself down and tried to think of outfits that could go with these shoes. NONE! I never had a black pair of shoes or anything that’s sexy or elegant! The chance of me returning it had raised up to 50%. I decided to wait a few days and see how it would go.
Not a surprise, I didn’t wear them for a week. Finally, the excitement had faded and I went back to Barney’s and returned them. It was the same sale lady! She kindly took over the shoes from me and asked me if there was anything wrong with it. I answered sincerely
“Nothing, I just couldn’t find anything to go with it.”
She didn’t say a thing.