Yeah. Me too. I started reading fashion magazines pretty regularly when I was 12- or 13-years-old. I had read American Girl since I was little and I briefly had a subscription to Girl's Life when I was maybe 7 or 8, until my mom realized that the magazine was actually geared more towards tweens. But anyway. One day in middle school I made my way to CVS, where I bought three things: a horribly shiny and poor quality magenta lip paint, ELLE, and Teen Vogue. Over the next few months and eventually years, I devoured fashion magazines and became obsessed with all things fashion. The magazines I read were so aspirational that it physically pained me to look at the crazy price tags on the designer duds that I coveted. I wanted, so badly, to be a part of this beautiful, untouchable world. And so when, in seventh grade, I was brought to the eye doctor for my yearly check-up, I lost my breath at the a sign in my optometrist's window advertising Miu Miu eye glasses.
I needed them. And thanks to my perpetually worsening eyesight, I was due for new glasses anyway. So I got them and cherished them: my little piece of the fashion world.
Years passed and I had a brief falling out with fashion. I had wanted so desperately to be a fancy fashion blogger in high school, but of course, did not have hundreds, much less thousands, of dollars at my disposal to buy the Versace pumps that every blogger had. I couldn't dream of ever getting that Celine tote. It was all too much a fantasy, but one that I then realized was an elitist dream all along. I started reading lifestyle blogs instead of fashion blogs and started looking up to bloggers for their personal style instead of their pricey worldly belongings.
Eventually I came to appreciate fashion again, after having to distance myself from it for a bit. My time at NYLON made me view fashion in a different light—in a way that made me look at clothes as an art form, not just a status symbol. I started studying designers again and fell back in love.
And then I discovered The Real Real: an online consignment shop that had lightly used designer goods at more moderate prices. And there they were: the Miu Miu pumps I had fallen in love with years ago. At a decent price. In my size. They fit like a glove. I felt like Cinderella, except I was also my own fairy godmother and prince at the same time. And there were no sticky palace steps.
The reason why I got so emotional about these shoes is because they showed me that at least some part of my dreams were possible. This crazy fantasy world actually became a little bit of a reality. And that, at the very least, is reassuring. It may seem vain or silly to get so excited about shoes, but to me, they're more of a symbol. I think everyone has their own version of my Miu Miu pumps, whether it's a material object, a moment, or an event. Little indicators that your dreams are possible do a lot to help you keep going. And whether that indicator for you is a pair of shoes, an invitation to a special event, an acceptance letter, a plane ticket, or a Kitchenaid mixer, so be it. You do you. I hope you find your metaphorical Miu Mius soon.
p.s. You can get $25 off your first purchase at The Real Real with this link.