The following should aid one (me, on stupid-nights) with an eccentric palette in remembering how to go about purchasing bodily environments, on somewhat of a budget.

Hope it’s useful for you!

  • Quality over Quantity
    Look through your “wishlist” before making an impulse buy, to check whether you’re putting off “needs” or if there’s something you should save up for instead of getting this thing — a quality item will last longer and leave you happier in the long run.

    • Remember Shibui:A balance of simplicity and complexity ensures one does not tire of a shibui object but constantly finds new meanings and enriched beauty that cause its aesthetic value to grow over the years.”

    • How to find quality garments.

  • Is it Interesting?
    That is, interesting in an enduring way.

    A sweater can be chartreuse with mango polka-dots, but that’s just loud. In the end, you’re only wearing another polka-dotted sweater. There are so many different things out there — how is this one special, and not just another random sock in the mountain of random socks? In other words, how do you not just look like another hipster?

    If it’s made in a unique way (silhouette!), the quality’s good, and you’ll never see a thing like this again, it’s probably worth it.

    • trendy =/= interesting

  • If it’s not so interesting, is it at least a good basic?
    The “never find it when I need it” kind of basic is worth getting. Especially, again, for quality.

    Or, something sort of “classic” that you can coordinate with a lot, feel wonderful in, etc. Can you make it interesting?
  • Are you going to want to wear this, realistically?
    It’s one thing for something to look great in a photo, but quite another to actually be in it. Let me make this absolutely clear: I’m not differentiating between “avant-garde” “runway” styles and “practical” clothes. I highly encourage the former.

    I’m talking about personal balance.

    For example, I love mori kei. But I’m not a photograph. I have to move through the world in a lacy skirt or beige bloomers, and feel much better doing so in blacks, charcoals, and structured harem pants.

    I also love minimalism, but it can feel boring at the end of the day.

    Bright colors often seem like a good idea (Hello, Elf Sack!) but again, I rarely want to be in them when it comes to it.

    Also, think about those shitty mornings when you haven’t had enough sleep and can’t deal with the world and its garbage. The nicest thing is to be in a “home” all day, like an armor. Not laziness, not “t-shirt and jeans” comfort (I don’t even own jeans) but the sort of thing that allows for an introspective fantasy. Yes, a little escapism.

    Clothing is the one thing you certainly carry with you all day — it’s your environment, so make it good (unless you’re a nudist, but I’d call that a kind of “environment choice” anyway).

  • When it comes to a decision between that expensive, quality thing and the 5 cheap things that approximate it, choose the expensive thing.
    You’ll just have wasted time and $$ buying those cheap things, and they will disappoint you (will break, tear, pill, scuff, and not be nice to you in general). Whereas the expensive thing will probably become your favorite, and you’ll never have to go through this process again.
    I speak from experience — especially with shoes.

  • Sleep on it.
    A good thing to do during any decision-making process. Better yet, if you can, wait a week+. A month, even. If you still think about that thing, get it. It may become your best friend. If you forget about it, then, that should tell you something.

  • I’m not Asian. Often, (Japanese / Asian) styles that lean towards the Mori / Dolly Kei / nomad / “natural” category just make me look like a hippie (or gypsy).
    I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be racist or call anyone “exotic” or bad-mouth hippies or gypsies. I’m just saying, I don’t like looking like a hippie, despite that I’m about to sound like one: It doesn’t resonate with my personal balance. But this is hard to realize when shopping online and all the product photos are of Asians. Empathy confuses me.

  • When buying from any Asian site (Romwe, YesStyle, there’s one other popular one now that SO fits this bill but I forgot the name!) ALWAYS check eBay and AliExpress first!
    Especially eBay — more reliable probably.
    You’re very likely being sold a thing for $40 that actually costs $20, because they all come from China. It’s not gonna get to you any sooner through Romwe — might as well get it cheaper.

  • Google Reverse Image Search.
    Find shit.

  • Re-sale value.
    I’m no brand whore, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t easier to sell a Hermes scarf on eBay than it is that scarf you bought on YesStyle. If you’re unsure of your purchase, consider this as well.

  • I’ll borrow one from this similar post by ojouchan, because she wrote it so well:

    • Understand the range available in a trend before you participate in it.
      So you love pink hot pants, and they’re blowing up everywhere. You LOVE ALL THE PINK HOT PANTS. Don’t spend a dime until you’ve seen and compared every single major clothing producer’s pink hot pants and found the variant that is just right and/or combines multiple trends. Chances are, the BEST PINK HOT PANTS will be the ones in the middle or towards the end of the trend, and not in the initial lineup. It’s hard because once you recognize a trend, you want to hop on it right away, but patience will be rewarded by a long-lasting item, allowing you to wear your goddamn pink hot pants way beyond when everyone else has gotten over them.

    I’ve long followed this rule for harem pants. I don’t give a shit what fickle “fashion” people think about droopy crotches at any given moment — they’re comfortable as hell and I love them. I also love that the drop-crotch silhouette makes me look like a cartoon / illustration with those long, skinny peg-legs and squared-off crotch. But, not all harem pants are created equal. It can take a damned long time to find good ones.

  • I’m happy to be on earth, in the form of a human, at this time.
    Why try to be “feminine” or “classic” or “stylish” or any of those arbitrary human-historical decisions? Why not explore and celebrate! Seriously, wear a plank on your face. Fuck ‘em.

    Granted, none of us are exempt from our circumstances and the game, so playing it well can be helpful. But the joke’s on anybody who takes it too seriously.
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Canvas  by  andbamnan