Fast fashion is seductive. It’s trendy, affordable, and can be the perfect distraction when you need it. A few seasons ago, I came to the revelation that this kind of consumption leads to a constant desire for shiny and new things, thus always feeling like I have nothing to wear.
I recently reflected on how empty my closet was after cleaning it out. I realized that I didn’t have a clear understanding of my personal style or what makes me look and feel good. I’ve written about it here, if you’re interested in reading about my style journey. Side note: that post was written exactly three months ago! So of course I thought I had it all figured out. Until I got sucked back in because I wanted something on-trend but affordable.
I tried to avoid the basket bag trend all over Instagram. It just wasn’t practical unless my job was to pick flowers from a garden all day. But a few weeks ago, I saw a straw basket at my in-law’s house and decided to give in to the trend and use it as a prop for this outfit post.
There was no comfortable way of carrying this basket. But if there was one place where it made sense, it was where I was that day-in the middle of suburbia with no place to go and no errands to run. Nevertheless, it looked great in my photos (in my opinion) and that sparked the thought of getting one that I could continue to use as a style prop and for everyday life.
Two days ago, I spotted this bucket version of the bag with shoulder straps and fabric lining on Zara’s website.
I thought I hit the jackpot. Practical, on-trend, and costs less ($60) than most…I’ll take it! Two days later (aka today), my package arrived, just in time for me to take pictures with it over the weekend. So I open the unnecessarily obnoxious package to find that the bag is frayed and full of potential splinters. Disappointment kicked in and relief washed over me as I realized I can return this.
Though I will be getting my money back, I am left with so many questions about fast fashion and what matters most. Has social media created an environment where something simply has to look good for the photo? Or do people integrate these impractical and poorly made pieces into their life anyway? Does it matter if money is well-spent? Or is this a matter of opinion?
I don’t have the answers. But I know that for every terrible straw basket bag, there’s also a beautifully crafted, expensive one. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal but I am unwilling to compromise on practicality, quality, and utility.
When I started my blog, I made the conscious decision to share things that enhanced my life in some way. And almost four months later, this has not changed. I believe that hard earned money should be worth something. Something more than supporting industries and businesses that encourage us to settle for less value.
Of course I understand that what is considered affordable is relative to someone’s economic situation. Which is exactly why I believe value and quality matter. When I was working my minimum wage job at 17, I spent my money on cheap and trendy things that didn’t serve me for longer than a single compliment from a friend or a stranger. As I am entering the latter half of my 20’s, I am continuously reminded that I need more of what serves me and less of what doesn’t.
There are fast fashion anomalies though. Like these printed Zara pants I bought 4 summers ago. They continue to be reliable, comfortable, and timeless.
So I am in no way saying that I will only be splurging from now on or that everyone should stop shopping at Zara. That’s not realistic. This is just a reminder to myself, if anything, that practicality, quality, and utility will always matter to me. And I will continue to share things that possess those three qualities with you.
This was quite lengthy, but I finally put to words what I’ve been feeling for a while now. I am still working to compile a list of my favorite sites and brands. Once I have a solid list, I would love to share it with you in a future post. I would also love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Disclaimer: My honest opinion about my experience with fast fashion.