How making an anti-haul list is surprisingly cathartic
The “anti-haul” has weaved its way into most beauty, fashion, and lifestyle media platforms. Within the last week, at least four posts on my Bloglovin’ feed were centered around the aforementioned topic. I have to admit, I love all things haul, and my enamor does not exclude the emerging “anti” trend.
Let's get one thing out of the way: for those of you who do not know, “haul,” is a category of video and blog posts where people present and comment on their new products and clothing. Often, people will test out new makeup, try on a dress, talk about new styling options, and the like. The most important aspect of “haul,” is that the commentary centers around items the user likes.
Anti-haul is just the opposite. It is a list of items/trends you do not love or simply do not want.
Though I love watching haul videos (my favorite are Rian Phin’s) I was never comfortable creating a post centered around purchasing stuff. It felt odd for me to personally flaunt all the things I bought in a month, especially because I just shared a budgeting post with you and because I do not buy a ton of interesting things. I doubt you care to read about my monthly restock of cleaning products and toiletries.
That being said, I choose to appreciate “haul” content from a distance. Now “anti,” on the other hand, is some content I can create (because who doesn’t love complaining?).
If you are not in to haul stuff—the good or the bad—skip this post now. You will find it mind-numbing. If you are as obsessed as I am, read on!
You still with me? Cool. So instead of berating you with an inconceivably long list of trends I dislike, I am going to keep this post simple. Here are a few products I avoid like a protagonist eludes a serial killer in a horror flick:
I do not understand how women can rock chokers. I look like
a) a pre-pubescent girl (remember when tattoo chokers were cool in the 90s? aka when I was a pre-pubescent girl)
b) a sex kitten (kind of gross to hear right after pre-pubescent, right? Yeah, that’s intentional, ‘cuz it is gross)
c) I have no idea what I am doing (which is true because I have no clue how to style these things. Refer to points a through b)
I am leaving these accessories to all the babes out there who know how to make it work. Case in point, Luana of Le Happy has been rocking chokers since before they were cool. Like how does she still look like a Greek goddess with a thick bar around her neck? Or classy af and holiday party ready in a tattoo choker? Baffles me.
I have two pairs of rip-off Birkenstocks that are utter trash (see above). They fell apart within months of my purchase and they hurt like mad. I insist on keeping said cardboard-with-straps until I can finally afford a pair of nice Birks. Up until that point, I will be rocking my garbage-pail sandals with a comfy pair of socks to ease my aching the heels. (And yes, I am that disgusting person who wears socks and sandals in public and I absolutely love it.)
I have learned my lesson with these sandals, as well as a few Target brand heels, and I now realize the extra money is worth it. Quality over saving-a-few-bucks-and-then-having-your-shoes-rip-in-half-as-you-run-across-the-street-to-beat-traffic-and-almost-face-plant-in-the-asphault…not that that has ever happened to me of course.
Bell sleeve tops and bell bottom pants
Bell sleeves annoy the daylights out of me. I hate how they always get in my way when typing, writing, drawing, etc. Add to that how careful I must be when eating—ensuring the cloth does not touch my plate—and by the end of the day I am determined to burn the damn outfit. It’s not worth the beauty.
And then there’s bell bottom pants.
How does anyone make these look good? I look like a woman hiding her elephant feet (or are they called “hooves?) in the folds of baggy denim. It is not flattering.
I have no idea how to style these pants and, to be honest, I do not want to learn. The 70s had some questionable styling, and as I am no Vanessa Hudgens, I cannot make the bell sleeve/bell bottom combo work.
I have a kind-of-lame secret to share with you: making this list was surprisingly cathartic. I think we all beat ourselves up when we buy in to silly trends. We view it as a waste of money, an attempt to fit in, an effort to stay "in-trend." But hey, it's nice to take a moment and acknowledge what you do not feel the need to buy in to. It can even serve as a reminder. Yesterday I was looking at a bell sleeve top and almost put it in my online shopping cart when I remembered: Grace, you absolutely hate loose sleeves--you just wrote a blog post on it. You only want this because you see fashion bloggers rock this style. Be honest, you will never wear this.
And you know what? I was right.
And you know what else? Groaning about fashion trends that do not work for you feels good.
So do it. Make an anti-haul list. Be proud of yourself for not buying unnecessary things you will never use.
Are there any trends you are currently avoiding (averting like a shark does scuba tanks and police chiefs named Brody?)? Let me know!
- G R A C E