I Hate Fashion

Is that statement broad enough?

As I’ve gotten older, and spent more and more of my life in elevators and under florescent lights, I’ve become increasingly utilitarian with my purchases.

Is that money really well spent?  Or could it be used to break me out of corporate jail sooner rather than later?   Is that just a Chewing Gum Purchase, only meant for a burst of flavor and quick disposal?

One of the first things to get jettisoned from my list of things worth buying was clothing. That’s right folks, I’m a nudist.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Simmer down.

What I mean to say is that I can’t stand spending money on clothes.  I find fashion to be one of the highest forms of waste on the planet.  Embarrassing Confession landing in 3…2…1…I really like the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. Here’s just one of many gems from the chief antagonist:

Miranda Priestly: This… ‘stuff’? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic “casual corner” where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of “stuff.”

Except she gets it wrong from the beginning.  Who cares what Oscar or Yves did?!  Why does anyone care about what recycled crap they had some underpaid seamstress put together?!  Because of their names?!

Why yes, that’s exactly why.  It’s all perceived value which is exactly what drives me so crazy about the entire fashion complex.  Because Oscar or Yves did something, it’s the peak of fashion, you guys!  Everyone will be wearing cerulean this year!  But not next year.  They’ll have decided something else is better.  Cerulean is so last year!

Fashion is constantly stealing from itself, because there’s nothing left to explore.  Hmm, sounds like financial blogging. So those hooked into the culture of fashion are just participating in a never ending cycle of lather, rinse, and repeat.  It’s the definition of insanity!

I know I’m targeting a sliver of the clothing industry as most of us don’t even dream of dropping the kind of coin it takes to buy an Oscar or Yves … Outfit?  Ensemble?  Velour Jumpsuit?  But the implications trickle all the way down.  Major retail chains ink deals with celebrities, and pseudo-celebrities, to have their name attached to a line of clothing.

Look!  My favorite Actor/Singer/Dancer/Entrepreneur/GlobalPovertyExpert loves those jeans!  Gimme Gimme Gimme! Yum, I’ll take seconds of that perceived value please!

And don’t even try to tell me that fashion is art.  Art is timeless.  Fashion by its very nature is not timeless.  If it were, there wouldn’t constantly be a new something to buy every ‘season’.

I’ve got no desire to participate in that charade and I’d like to think there’s an army of frugalistas out there that feel the same way.  I’ve talked to Mrs. No Waste about this many times before and while she doesn’t feel as strongly as I do, and let’s be honest, few could, she did concede the following:

Although I do not share my husband’s severe distaste for fashion, I agree that high fashion is useless and wasteful. I find just as much fun in going to a store “window shopping,” trying on things that I like, and putting them back on the rack. I feel like I get to wear something I like, without having to spend the money on something that I’ll probably only wear a couple times. Plus, let’s be honest, for most women, shopping is a form of entertainment. You don’t have to actually buy the outfit to get the same joy in wearing it. In my life, mostly I wear yoga pants, and when I wear something other than jeans and a simple shirt out, I feel over dressed. You don’t have to be a frump or be super-fashionable. There’s a nice middle ground… and also clearance racks!

I love what Mrs. No Waste wears, whatever it happens to be.  And anyone else with a stay-at-home Mom in the family knows that entails a wide range of options from day to day. :) But it doesn’t matter.  I don’t keep showing up after work to see what she’s wearing.  The clothing my friends and family wear has zero impact on how I feel about them.  This isn’t The Plastics.

Oh boy, I just realized that’s the second time I’ve dropped a Mean Girls referenceTranquility Base here, Embarrassing Confession Two has landed.

But far be it from me to rant about a problem without proposing a solution.  The answer?

Star Trek jumpsuits for everyone. Just gimme a couple months to drop some weight before they roll ‘em out for everyone, cool?

You guys drive safe, see you soon!

TL;DR: It’s not about what’s being worn, it’s about who’s wearing it.

 Sign

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17 thoughts on “I Hate Fashion

  1. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

    Haha…very entertaining. I’m no slave to fashion either…trends repeat every 10 years or so…just buy wear whatever and eventually at some point you will be trendy. What I dislike the most is clothing that has the brand name emblazoned on the shirt…what am I? A walking billboard advertising for the company?
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Are you Lured in by Sales?My Profile

    1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

      Well, Andrew, how ELSE will everyone know you are a man of wealth and taste?

      They must know how much that shirt cost!

  2. Mrs PoP

    And such a waste of time! I hate shopping. It’s boring and exhausting. I’m not all about being a nudist, but I am about buying decent quality clothes with a classic look so I can keep them as long as possible and not have to repeat the torture of shopping on a regular basis.
    Mrs PoP recently posted…Reframing ReceiptsMy Profile

  3. Mr. 1500

    “Star Trek jumpsuits for everyone.”

    Hilarious and totally right on!

    I liked the Steve Jobs philosophy. Same thing every day. I’ve tweaked it a bit for myself though. In the summer, I wear pretty much white t-shirts. Nothing fancy; just the $20 six packs at Costco. When the cold weather rolls in, it’s black, long sleeves. I picked up 10 of them at Old Navy a couple years back on clearance.
    Mr. 1500 recently posted…Net Worth of 160,000,000 and Working in Food Service ReduxMy Profile

      1. Mr. 1500

        I believe that the more someone focuses on the outside, the less time they spend focusing on the inside.

        Damn, right on.

        Fashion is such bullshit.

        I’ve given it more thought since my initial reading of this post and it pretty much epitomizes everything I can’t stand. Superficial people. Spending lots of money on needless crap. Trying to look good for people who you shouldn’t give 2 craps about.

        In some ways, luxury cars are an extension of fashion. At my last corporate job, the parking garage was littered with BMW 3 Series with clever license plates and automatic transmissions. None of these people were buying this car for it’s handling.
        Mr. 1500 recently posted…Thursday Rant Rained OutMy Profile

        1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

          It’s all a facade. What kills me about that M3 driving fashion slave is that they could be retired way earlier than they ever thought possible if they would just take a look at themselves.

          Do people like working?

  4. Pretired Nick

    “Fashion is out of fashion.” — I forget who said that, but I always think of this quote whenever people are falling all over themselves to keep up with “trends”.
    I also live by this creed from the ’80s: Decide your style early-on and stick to it throughout your life.
    Unfortunately for me, I began following this advice in the midst of my “goth” era so most of my clothes are still black. At least I ditched the eyeliner, though!
    Pretired Nick recently posted…Pretirement story: Planning a move to SpainMy Profile

  5. Thomas | Your Daily Finance

    I just buy what I like and not because its in style or fashion. If I see a shirt for 2$ and I like it im getting it. However if I already have 2 black shirts there is not need for me spending more money on it. I must confess I did have a problem with sneakers. Sadly I just would buy what I like and they always seemed to be $160+ now I don’t even bother. I can just get away with some jeans and a tee and I am good to go.
    Thomas | Your Daily Finance recently posted…Your Personal Finances – Its All About Your AttitudeMy Profile

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