Must have?

Last time i was moaning about how much I want to wear my other clothes. I replaced that desire with thinking about makes me want to desire it so much.
I really like fashion, or I should rather say I like clothes. I don’t follow every single fashion trend, but every now and then I feel like I need to update my wardrobe with something new. Mostly, because I saw a look on the Internet or in a magazine that I like, and i don’t have anything in my wardrobe to create a similar look.

I don’t think that it’s particularly unreasonable, but let’s think about frequency. How often do we see a new outfit that we like? The fashion industry is pretty good at showing us new looks every fortnight. High street brands like Zara or H&M (and pretty much all of the high street brands) bring new collections to the shops every two weeks. Fashion magazines publish lists of “must have” items equally often, and all of the sudden we find ourselves replacing our actual needs with artificially created wants.

Of course, there are occasions when we need to look in a certain way, but I would risk saying that the only people who actually have to be very fashionable at all times are fashion journalists. Would anyone trust a fashion journalist in a last season outfit? But wouldn’t it be enough for everyone else to wear trans-seasonal outfits? That most certainly would me more sustainable and simply cheaper. I guess so, but I might represent the opinion of the minority.

Soaring sales figures of the cheapest fashion brands suggest that customers got so used to newness, that in the credit crunch era they would rather compromise the quality for the quantity. As much as I like Gok Wan for his efforts to make women feel confident with their bodies, it scares me how much of a fan of really cheap fashion he is, or at least makes himself sound like one. It seems like we have moved from ‘you can be fashionable no matter what size you are’ to ‘you can be fashionable no matter what budget you have’. And there’s nothing good about cheap fashion apart from the fact that it’s cheap (for the person that’s wearing it). It’s cheap because someone wasn’t payed right to make it. It’s cheap because the quality is poor, and barely worn it will end up in landfill. It’s cheap because it isn’t real fashion, it’s just a fad.

I got a little off track, but so far my conclusion is that we want new clothes, because it’s easy and we can have them for cheap. Fashion media applaud new purchases and even encourage us to ‘revitalise our wardrobes’ with a short list of 10 most fashionable items. So it seems that we’re buying so much just because we can and we have the perfect setting to do that.

But is it as simple as that?

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