This afternoon it dawned on me that jealousy and the fashion blogosphere go hand in hand, whether this is the writers' and readers' intention or not. When I began this blog, I had 3 reasons for doing so: a) to improve my writing, as I'd been out of school for 2 years and had noticed my grammar quickly deteriorating; b) to showcase indie designers and provide some free 'press' for them, as I would love the same attention if I were to finally get off my keister and do some designing; and c) to curb my spending, with the thought that having a permanent place to collect pictures of all the pretty things I loved would provide a cheaper outlet for me to look at these things whenever I wanted, rather than having to purchase them to see them first hand. I think I'm at least on the way to attaining the first goal already, as practice makes perfect. And the second goal I've proved to be quite good at, as I know I've at least indirectly steered a couple of sales towards my favorite designers. The third goal is a lost cause though, as keeping up a blog requires finding new things, and finding new things inevitably leads to buying new things.
However, keeping up a blog also leads to reading other blogs. In the beginning, I think I was only reading one blog regularly (Style Bubble). Now, however, I can easily spend a solid couple of hours perusing my blog roll and bookmarks every day. This in turn has led to me comparing my blog and style to others. Also, every once in a while, I compare my wardrobe to that of others'...and I get jealous.
Now, I know how product placement works, and it only makes sense if we must live in a capitalist society. And I wholly agree with matching, say, a free Maria Severyna wrap coat with Jennine of The Coveted, or a free Patricia Ayres artisanal coat with Queen Michelle. Both of these instances made me frantically type and click my way to getting myself one of each, at least eventually, meaning those product placements worked their magic. But today's blogosphere stop has me a tad baffled. If you know your way around fashion websites, you've likely heard of Tavi, the 13-year-old fashion blogger. I think it's great that this girl already knows and is comfortable with her sense of style at such a young age. And I think it's great that she gets media attention and what not.
However, having browsed her blog today, I was immediately jealous to find out that she had been given six free Comme des Garcons pieces of her choice. And one of them was that coat that I loved, before I decided to allow myself to blog about Comme des Garçons and the like (pictured to the left). Why on earth should she get that coat? Just because she's 13?!! I made the exact same connection with Lindsay Weir's coat in a previous post...may I have one too please?
But then, after the green hue of my eyesight faded a bit, I thought...First of all, I think it's not very effective product placement to give free high end clothing to a 13-year-old. Sure, you may recognize what label an item of clothing is, but have you ever seen something on a 13-year-old and wanted immediately to go out and buy it? Perhaps if you were the Cruises or Jolie-Pitts, needing to make your child the most fashionable child in recent memory. Which brings me to the next point: what is Tavi going to do with all these beautiful expensive clothes when she hits puberty? Perhaps it doesn't matter to her since she didn't have to pay for them, but I was brought up to not buy expensive pieces until I had stopped growing. Although, I guess Tavi simply has to sell her wardrobe to procure herself a college fund.
So what am I saying? Perhaps that I'm dead tired from my evening shifts after 2 weeks of being sick. But also that I don't like product placement, at least in it's current form. I didn't start my blog to get free stuff, and I don't want to continue it to get free stuff, which is why I don't charge for ads and I don't take pictures of myself wearing so-and-so's label. Not that I won't take a beautiful gift here and there, but I'm quite happy to pay for clothing that is expressly made for me by a not quite so recognizable designer who can't afford to give hundreds or thousands of dollars of clothing away, and which will inspire or brighten other peoples' days just by seeing their photos. Furthermore, there's a certain feeling of accomplishment with being able to buy yourself something expensive. And, I can't help but think that, if something expensive ends up on someone half my age first, I might think twice about wanting it for myself.