27 February 2010

tragedy of the commons

So for the past week, in lieu of school being out of session,. I decided to take a trip south of the Canadian border and head back to my hometown for some downtime. And then I got back there, my small suburb 40 minutes north of Boston, and realized that I am absolutely appalled by the lack of fashion sense. I mean, obviously I can't expect avant garde dressing and fashion forward styling in a little town, but I was still grossed out at the complete lack of regard for what people wear.

And this is by no means supposed to be an attack on my hometown. I actually, deep down, somewhere in my little black heart, care about my town. There is an epidemic of style in our culture these days that goes beyond my town.

Why don't people care how they look anymore? When did bargain-bin, polyblend, poorly fitting, sweatshop made clothes become ok? What you wear says a lot about who you are. And I am not saying that you have to wear Balenciaga to the grocery store and Chanel to the library (although I am a huge supporter of doing so, for about 7635237 reasons we won't get in to). I'm just saying that whether you realize it or not, your slouchy sweatshirt and relaxed fit jeans say to me that you don't really take yourself that seriously. And don't give me that crap about you have to have a certain bodytype to dress fashionably. Or that dressing fashionably isn't comfortable.

I am also really over the entire argument that it is even too expensive to dress fashionably. Just think. A nice Prada sweater is going to be significantly more expensive than any polyblend disaster you find at your local chainstore, but it is
A. not made in a sweatshop, so you aren't supporting the oppression of working class women and children the world over
B. designed by artisans out of finer materials; you are supporting a cultural industry instead of non-environmentally-friendly-big-business-corporate-bullcrap
C. going to last you a lot, lot, lot longer than cheap clothing. well made designer clothing made out of high quality materials will ultimately be more long lasting than throwaway fashions. ladies: how many h&m tops have you picked up in, say, the last three years or so? add up the math and you would probably be shocked. cheap, throwaway, fast fashions simply don't last as long as higher end clothing. sweaters pill up, seams rip, etc. just think: no one ever says "wow! i found this great vintage H&M dress from the 1940's... it's in such great shape!" (I KNOW h&m wasn't around back then, but just roll with it). you only ever hear "i found this great vintage CHANEL sweater from the 1940s... it's so well made and so durable and in such good shape!"

WELL it seems like this post started out as one thing and ended up as more of an economic rant. Virginia Woolf would have loved my free indirect discourse. And you better love it too.

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