Stylish or Tacky? Trending or copying? Cost-conscious or cheap looking? It can be hard to see the distinction between chic and bleak, or it might just be the knock-off designer sunglasses you’re wearing.
With trends coming and going as fast as the tap feature on your credit card, buying into the latest looks is an all too easy way to mimic the hottest trends on the catwalk and strutting them down the sidewalk. Retailers are making runway looks achievable and available at affordable prices. Elegant yet affordable, sophisticated yet practical, original yet stylish – or so we’d like to think.
Sifting through the racks trying to decide what’s hot and what’s not has become an internal battle. We all love that exhilarating moment when you find that fashion killing gem especially when it’s at a price that doesn’t break your wallet. Yet, we all want to minimalize those moments of regret when the next closet clean out comes around. You know, like when we find that old (but really it’s still brand new with tags) garment at the back of the closet. Realizing, maybe it was in the sales section for a reason, questioning our own tastes.
Time Moves Forward
“Vintage” and “pre-owned, gently used” garments are major trends that are also contributing to the great havoc. When mom jeans made their surprising comeback, I felt like I didn’t want to be on the sidelines watching the game, I needed to play. I bought myself four pairs, not just one, four pairs of mom jeans, prepping myself for the extermination of skinny jeans. I wore a pair once, and never again. A year later, seeming as if those pants were on house arrest that had never left the property, thankfully for Kind Exchange, a clothing retailer that buys, sells, and trades clothing, bought them all off of me. I’m glad there are still people who can sport the mom jean like it’s nobody’s business, and it definitely isn’t any of mine. I mean, I’m sure there are some neat finds to be discovered too.
A Good and a Bad Thing
It’s great that designer looks can be achieved without our pockets hurting, but at the same time it can be hard to find original and unique pieces at affordable prices. When retailers are hopping on the bandwagon to replicate popular looks from fashion shows, everyone will be carrying more or less the same thing with perhaps a small detail differentiating from the guys next door.
Stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are letting us have our knock-off, look-a-like cake, and eat it too. The stimulating environments these stores have are set up to awaken the inner fashionista in all of us, to reach depths that we never even knew we had before. It allows the cautious to be daring, to take chances, because it’s affordable – but also dangerous.