Friend Friday: Conspicuous Consumption

Every week Modly Chic sends us bloggers a list of questions based around a certain topic to answer. This week’s topic is conspicuous consumption.

1. Do you think fashion blogs are often just conspicuous consumption? Are some?
Some, not all. I think the basic idea behind a fashion blog (or the ones I like to read) is more of showing how to remix, rework and rewear the same things in different ways. I do think that some fashion blogs are only there to showcase what that person bought, can afford or wants to show off, and I don’t like those.

2. As bloggers do we have the obligation to explain our personal financial status, how we pay for the things we showcase, if we have debt, etc…
I don’t think we have an obligation per se, but I do disclose that I’m on a budget. If you read my interview with Detroit Fashion Pages you saw how much I make. I don’t hide it. Me being transparent about my wealth (or lack thereof) shows my lovely readers that it is possible to dress how you want on a budget. You don’t have to make tons of money to support your fashion habits. It’s not about what you wear, it’s how you wear it. I try to be very open and honest when writing about finances or things I own, mostly because I am right there in the trenches with everyone else. I know what it feels like to want a new pair of boots, but unable to buy them because then you won’t have food for the week. I know what it feels like to crawl back to mom and dad and ask them to borrow money to help cover the rest of your rent (thanks, mom and dad).
I am not trying to hide those thoughts or feelings on this blog. I started this blog because of my sister and along the way I have learned way more about sustainable fashion and “making it work” than I ever thought I would.

3. Critics often say that fashion bloggers should use their money to support more worthwhile causes than clothing themselves in a different outfit daily. What’s your reaction to this?
It makes me want to slap the critics. I work for a non-profit. I make a non-profit worker’s salary (read – very small salary). My support of a charity is my 9-5 job. I also adopted two cats from a shelter. I shop (mostly) at thrift stores. That is how I support charities. I could work for a for-profit and make oodles of money, but I like my job. I could’ve gone to a breeder and bought two purebred cats, but I chose to adopt two that had been “given up on.” Plus, since most of the clothing I own is either secondhand, hand-me-down or really, really cheap, that’s giving back as well. I’m keeping otherwise unwanted clothes out of landfills.
Because I work for a non-profit, I feel very comfortable saying that you don’t need to donate money to be donating to a charity. Donate your time, or donate your unwanted clothing to a charity. A lot of non-profits just want to spread the word about their initiatives, or they need help addressing envelopes or updating donor info.

4. Since you started blogging, do you spend more money on fashion and beauty products?
No. But, I’ve found myself learning more about what I want, where I can get it and how easy it is to purchase. Shopping online makes it really tempting to purchase $100 dress/shoes, but I’ve been pretty good about not giving into temptation. Sure, I make impulse purchases, but so does everyone else, fashion blog or not.
I will admit that I have purchased a few things because I saw them on another blog first, but it wasn’t anything I wouldn’t purchase on my own, or was out of my price range.

5. Life is about more than what money can buy. What are the things that top your list of what life is all about?
Life is all about the experiences, and the people you’re with. My life isn’t about all the stuff I can buy. My life is about me and Joe and what we want to do with it. My fashion blog is something I enjoy doing, something I enjoy writing, but it’s not my whole life.

If you’d like to join the fun, head over to Modly Chic and sign up!

-Suze

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19 thoughts on “Friend Friday: Conspicuous Consumption

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Friend Friday: Conspicuous Consumption | Miss Vinyl Ahoy -- Topsy.com

    • LOL! I know! And when I started this blog and really got into it, I wanted to show other people that you can dress how you want to without needing to spend ALL your money.
      If I were a millionaire, I’m sure I’d have so much more crap, but I don’t know if it would make me happy.
      I like being able to put my interpretation on something (much like Beverly does!) 🙂

      I’m heading over to watch your Vlog now!

  2. I agree with V! Blogs like yours have inspired me to revisit my local thrift stores because seeing what you do gives me a sense a direction as to what I’m looking for! And you’re right, you don’t have to spend a million dollars on clothing. However, I can’t knock the next girl who has the money to do so. We have to take her for what and who she is because at the end of the day, we bloggers are all here to inspire our audience, regardless of how much we want to spend to do that!

    • Oh exactly! Personally, I don’t like to read many blogs that seem very… braggy. There is a HUGE difference when someone like V blogs, because she’s not bragging about what she’s wearing or talking about, or when someone who has a crazy budget blogs about what they bought.
      I think I’m also not a huge fan of “spend-y” blogs, because I’m very much a “you have to earn it” thinker, and my own opinion can’t react appropriately to these bloggers that can (or act like they can) afford to spend $500 on one pair of shoes. That is more than a car payment for me, so I just don’t read them.

      I think blogs need to be inspiration to the reader, no matter what they’re about, just like you said 🙂

  3. I think people think that all fashion blogs are people who go out, buy a new £100 outfit every day, snap themselves in it, then dump the clothes two seconds later. Blogs like yours promote not having to spend so much and put yourself in so much debt to look good: because you can look fabulous on a small budget! Kudos!
    Lovely blog 🙂

    • Thanks! And, yes, I think a lot of people have improper misconceptions of fashion blogs as a whole. I don’t doubt that there are blogs out there as your described, but I certainly am not one of them, LOL!
      I have no desire to have debt- I hate owing people money. It drives me insane!!

  4. Your answers are great. I agree with you especially on the third question. You don’t have to donate money just to prove that you are supporting a charity. Heck there are even some out there who donates money but doesn’t really give with their hearts (ahem, politicians), they just wanted something in return.

    I’m reading your blog because I could learn a lot of fashion tips without me spending too much as well. Some other blogs would advice you to buy this buy that, but in this blog of yours, I could see how you manage to make pieces of clothing work together. And of course, I love your DIY’s too which are super helpful. ^^

  5. Thanks for adopting those cats. It’s a shame how so many people purchase animals from pet stores and breeders when there are perfectly good animals available in shelters who desperately need homes.

  6. Wonderful answers, and I agree with V – your blog is definitely proof that you aren’t a conspicuous consumer.

    On a personal note – I also work for a non-profit, so i know what you mean about living on a non-profit salary!

    • Thanks!
      Doesn’t it sometimes suck that you do SO MUCH WORK but get paid so very little? Ugh. It kinda bugs me sometimes, LOL 🙂

  7. Hi Suze, I really enjoyed going through your blog. It was very interesting and different to read than other fashion blogs. 🙂 I recently started my own focusing on the careers possible through the fashion industry. Thanks for some inspiration 😀

  8. you are definitely my inspiration for shopping my closet! your honesty with the aches n pains of the 30 in 30 were definitely felt by your readers. i don’t think i could have ever done it, but your blog posts did make me want to attempt it, even if i didn’t share any of it on the bloggyland. i sucked at it btw. tis something i’d like to work on. cheers!

  9. I’ve read a few fashion blogs here and there, and you can totally tell when the person is sort of “showing off” or going out of their way to try to get noticed and hopefully get free swag or something. I like that you use the vintage look and show that being thrifty can be super awesome and stylish. I’m broke as a joke since I work for myself so I’m always trying to learn how to be fashion forward without spending a lot about money. It doesn’t help that I know nothing about fashion haha. But I like blogs like yours because it shows some thinking outside the box and some serious personality rather than “oh here’s my latest $400 outfit.” 🙂

  10. Out of all the Friend Fridays I’ve read this week, your answers are my favorite 🙂 And hellloooo your DIYs are helping the rest of us do more with less and still stay fashionable. Your honesty is always refreshing!

    • LOL- thanks!
      I think I just have a unique perspective because I know what it’s like to be broke, and I’m kinda still there! Plus, I don’t want to mislead anyone reading the blog to think that I have more/less money than I truly do.

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