Style: An identity

Shopping for clothes can be therapeutic, as many would describe it, but beyond feeding that inevitable consumerist need once in a while, it also lets you externalize the intangible idea that is you.

See, to shop second-hand is to scavenge for scattered parts of yourself. It’s to encounter moments of love at first sight. It’s adding pieces here and there to your collection. It’s literally building your own clothing line from scratch through personal style and perfect timing.

There are different reasons to enter the vast world of thrift shopping. It’s a conscious, eco-friendly way to buy that reduces your carbon footprint and it could -at many times- be more economically convenient! Coincidentally, it also serves as the healthiest ego-boost, seeing as whatever you find is forever only existent in your closet. If you, like me, feed off of the adrenaline rush that is to successfully buy second-hand, join the hunt.

I remember a very dull time in my life where I had zero regards for belts. I carried myself through the world only thinking of belts as crime-fighting tools against gravity. But alas, I was wrong.

 

I was tapping through Instagram stories one night after a long shift at work when I saw one of my most frequented thrift shops post item updates on theirs. I was already tucked in and ready to sleep, my left eye begging me to let it succumb to my obvious tired state, when I saw it, the only belt I ever needed. An intense black cloth belt wrapped in dark red 90’s flames, finished with polished silver, the bulky buckle of my dreams. To think of all the outfits this would pull together. A classic white tee and jeans turned dramatic with a fiery touch. A long, black halter dress, once baggy, could now accentuate my waist in retro-chic perfection. And the biggest game-changer, I could finally pull off an all-white outfit with an eccentric pop. The possibilities were endless, and even then, I knew my chances were slim. You must know, this store is about three blocks away from my work, and I had an early shift the next morning. I wondered, as my chest squeezed in heart-crushing angst, would it still be there when I clocked out at 4 pm? I obviously slid into the store’s DM’s and asked for its size. “It’s adjustable!”, my heart shrieked in glee. “Perfect, thanks!”, I answered nonchalantly (always remain cool). I bookmarked and screenshotted it and went to work the next day.

I kept staring at the hour, obsessively zooming in and out the screenshotted object of desire, until it was time. I walked under the scorching sun for what seemed like the most wasteful 7 minutes. 7 minutes I could not afford to lose. I arrived, went directly to the belts section where broken buckles, unattended leather, and x-small “one sizes” go to die. And there it was, hanging, unsolicited, overlooked by busy buyers. I didn’t bother to shop for anything else, it seemed disrespectful to my new acquisition. As the cashier checked out my item I wondered, was she the one who answered my DM? Did she know it was I, who wrote a store at 1 am? Was she rooting for me since last night? Does she know I’ll put it on the second I leave the store? Probably.

I paid and made my way home knowing, for a fact, that I now owned an authentically unique accessory that would finally help me embody the blazing confidence I needed when wearing tight, white jeans. See, every acquired piece, whether obsessed over since the night before or miraculously found amidst ragged piles of Sale items, gets me closer to how I view myself from the inside. It’s a physical representation of my moods, the colors that I feel and the people and experiences I want to attract. We don’t need clothes to feel seen or accurately represented, yet it helps us communicate who we already see ourselves as. It’s a constant conversation between fabrics and their wearers, between us as people and how our clothing choice of expression helps us create unique, one of a kind identities.

At Genzier, we aim to simplify the on-going search that is one’s style through equally unique pieces, while also introducing you to the best vintage wear, thrift shops, and the people behind all that is sustainable fashion.

Written by Paula Blanco