My mom wore Birks when I was a kid. My aunts did too. It was the only shoe I probably could name and I saw them on many people (think, early 90s) and my mom had them too.
As I grew up I realized this would only happen when something was fantastically made and comfortable, reasonably priced (keeping quality in mind) AND trendy. For my mom to purchase and wear them and me to recognize them. So it was a rare occurance.
Who would have thought I’d grow up to care about clothes and style and fashion? Or, how could I not? Maybe it’s because I notice everything. I take in all available information and I chronicle it and refer to it later for further information or–often–analyzing. Style and appearance say so much.
(Two other things I’d like to say right here are: style also hides so much; the line between inferring and judging is awful hard to discern.)
My personal style is fluid, always. But I’ve come to know a few things about myself (or, “become able to know” because style is heavily influenced by other personal factors: age, income, culture, religion, body shape/size/function, etc.) and that includes a love for: cognac shoes, comfort and quality, items that work multiple seasons and occasions, and some kind of perpetual formal/casual combo. Also, bright nails and color coordination. And fit and flattery. And I’m working really hard to figure out this “invest in classics and signature items (buy back-ups!), but go to Fovever 21 for trends and to test ride”.
I may have just summed up my personal style for the first time since I would have considered myself to have one–and it would entail an answer beyond: “Zumiez” or “Charlotte Russe”.
So anyway, Birkenstocks came back like a year or so ago and I was immediately intrigued. I’ve always noticed people who continued to wear Birks and watched with some semblance of sadness as the women in my life slowly drifted in a different fashion direction. There’s something nostalgic in me about them. Obviously. And they are pretty much totally my personal style. Talked about it even brings out my inner valley girl.
There’s one thing about growing up and into yourself and that’s knowing that you can’t wear everything anymore (actually, very few of us ever could). And that “making it work” with something you love but don’t feel great in just isn’t worth it over the long term. And then there’s the financial investment/misstep piece of it.
Plus, seasons. Seasons and weather are a big part of fashion and often heavily influence style. So when I began thinking Birks late last summer and didn’t really need them and the price was something to consider, I held off.
But the days are growing longer now. And my toes are freshly self-painted as of yesterday. I’m looking ahead at a road trip to Cali next week and happened to be out at Target this morning, my first brush with society since I went home sick from work Thursday. These definitely cute knock-offs were on sale for $20 and I snatched them right up. For all the reasons mentioned thus far.
Also, I’m thirty now and that means sometimes I try a trend on for size (or comfort or appropriateness or frequency of use) and then upgrade to the “real”/better/nicer/etc. thing.
This blog post is dedicated to my dear husband who will likely never understand the multifaceted role clothes and accessories and style and appearance play for me, but also never mentions my credit card bill. He only mildly roles his eyes when I get multiple packages delivered and return the majority of it and was the first person to tell me I might like Stitch Fix.