Saturday, December 14, 2013

STYLE WITH SUBSTANCE



I was a few months shy of my 29th birthday when I started WORDS AND WARDROBES in 2010. As I’ve mentioned several times before, it was something to help me maintain my sanity during a (long) stint of unemployment. Because of this, I followed the same formula for my posts as many other bloggers: lots of images coupled with a brief paragraph of text. I’m now a few months past my 32nd birthday and although posts have been seriously lacking (did I mention I finally got a job, y’all?!), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future of WORDS AND WARDROBES. There have been so many times that I’ve felt disenchanted, disappointed, and downright discouraged with blogging and I can honestly say that I didn’t really have plans to continue WORDS AND WARDROBES once I re-entered the workforce but, strangely enough, I got the new gig just as I felt that I was finally starting to hit my stride and create distinctive content that I really enjoyed writing and that was well-received by my readers.

In addition to a new stream of content, I had also began to take baby steps toward change in the form of a brand new, self-created logo and tagline and as I continued to think about the direction in which I wanted to take WORDS AND WARDROBES, my mind kept reverting back to something singer Janelle Monae said during her speech at BLACK GIRLS ROCK! 2012:

“When I started my musical career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor, my step father who raised me like his very own worked at the post office and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them. This is a reminder that I have work to do, I have people to uplift, I have people to inspire.”

This. This times one million.

Over time, I’ve noticed that style bloggers often have the most trivial reasons for buying the clothes they buy and wearing the clothes they wear—their favorite magazine said it was ‘in’, the girl on the next blog over was wearing it, they ‘need’ it, it was on sale—but Janelle Monae’s personal style isn’t dictated by trends or sale prices or magazine advice. There’s a story behind it. We may look at her and see black and white, pants and blazers, pompadours and red lipstick, but for her, these things come together and encompass her heritage, her history, her heroes. And whether she’s starring in a Cover Girl commercial or singing her heart out onstage, she doesn’t deviate from it; it’s the foundation of her wardrobe and it’s how she remains true to herself. How can you not applaud that? She personifies the very mission I have for WORDS AND WARDROBES. In other words, she proves there’s more to fashion than getting dressed.

For months, I pondered my next move as it related to WORDS AND WARDROBES. When I published pieces like IN DEFENSE OF BOMBSHELLS and THE 5 Cs OF PERSONAL STYLE and 100 BROWN GIRLS BLOGGING, I finally felt that not only did this site have a purpose (other than showcasing my wardrobe), but I also had a purpose as a writer. I was in my element. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that in the nearly three-and-a-half years since the inception of WORDS AND WARDROBES and after five months of inactivity, I’ve wondered if I should just let this site fade into oblivion or if the hiatus just served as an opportunity to regroup, rebrand, and come back with a vengeance. (I’m thinking it’s the latter.)

See, this is the thing: I want to do more, give more, be more. I want to be more than just the clothes in my closet. I want to be different. I want to create a site that provides style with substance, not fashion with fluff.

There’s more to fashion than getting dressed.

And I’m going to prove it.

[IMAGE]

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I often think about that Janelle Monae quote myself. Funny thing, my mom and I were just talking about her style and her authenticity last week. I agree that sometimes people buy clothes for silly reasons. This is why I love to thrift and why I am so passionate about it. When I'm thrift shopping, the clothes I pick tell a story and there is a sound reason why I purchase each item. Not to mention, I save a lot of money thrifting too, lol. I say all this to say, I applaud you for sticking with your blog and for wanting to inspire others. Keep it up...can't wait to see what's next.

    ~Whitney
    whitneynicjames.com

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  2. listen. WE didn't come this far to stop now! i'm buckled up...ready for the rest of the ride. and don't forget i'm always here if you need me.

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