I like to think of myself as a clothing enthusiast: a collector of clothes, someone who preserves them, appreciates them, and of course, wears them. I love picking up pieces from random stores, anywhere from a small consignment shop to TJ Maxx. Although I’ve tried to curb my shopping habits, I pretty much cannot help myself when I see something I have to have.
For me lately, these have been box purses and square scarves — my current shopping obsession. Before the break, I had gone shopping at Avalon, and in this corner, hidden away was a wooden purse that caught my eye. It’s a basic rectangular shape with a bamboo handle, and on the back, it says “made in the Dominican Republic”. However, on the front it has this cool, “vintagey” picture plastered on it that says “alone at last” with some red sequins also glued on. The inside is a pink, furry mess of fabric, hot glued in random places, with a small mirror attached. Clearly, this purse had been transformed, if not by one owner, by many. Then over break, I went to a little consignment store, one with Hermes scarves and Chanel jackets. But, again I saw a small wooden bag perched on a shelf and I knew I had to have it. This one had fabric wrapping the exterior with embroidered and beaded faces on the front. Again, the mark of someone who had made this bag completely their own. I love the unique identity that these purses hold, not only in the fact that they are wooden, but that they are a blank canvas for which anyone can personalize.
Now, on to another love of mine: the square scarf. The square scarf is incredibly basic (and not particularly revolutionary) in that it is essentially just a big piece of fabric. But, this offers endless possibilities. I love to pick up vintage ones because they tend to have the most intricate patterns and high-quality fabrics. These simple, square, pieces of fabric add a sort of delicate beauty to any look, especially when they have stunning prints that pop in technicolor. The first one I got at a market that housed many different local boutiques and vintage stores. The scarf itself had this gorgeous map of St. Louis in the 60s with a bunch of different places marked on it. After that one, I was hooked. I love styling them in a million different ways, from a headband to a belt, to a necktie, to even a sarong. Its basic shape makes it a fashion essential.