I’m often bothered by the age-old question: is fashion frivolous? In many ways, it totally is. Your clothes are just that and will never reflect who you are in the same way that your thoughts and behaviour towards others will. There is a longrunning stereotype that putting a disproportionate amount of effort and energy into how you look is vain and, in many ways, it is not entirely off-base.
At the same time, there is something satisfying about putting together an outfit that makes you feel great. There’s something fun about searching through different stores and websites to find that one bag you’ve been coveting at a discount price. There is certainly something exciting about stepping into a long dress for a special occasion. And, of course, comparing fashions from other time periods with what is popular now provides its own kind of thrill. This makes one feel good and should not be so readily dismissed.
We all have to get dressed in the morning, but just how we choose to do that tells others a small piece of information about who we are. For some people, clothes add confidence and give the push necessary to take control in other areas of life. For others, fashion is a visual form of expression or a way of escapism. For still others (myself included), certain items of clothing also evoke memories in the same way that smell or music does. Just like some will remember the music that was playing during the important moments in their life or be taken back in time with a song, I will usually remember what I and others were wearing.
There is also a difference between mindless consumerism and putting together outfits, just as there is a difference between loving to travel to new places and checking cities off of your to-see list. A love of style does not (and probably should not) mean buying a lot, but it does mean putting some thought into the items that you choose to get and constantly working and reworking what you have. There are a lot of problems with the industry, but I still hope that, at the base of it all, it’s possible to love getting dressed in the morning without turning it into something that controls all you do.
But even if we accept that fashion is frivolous, I think that we are all allowed to have one or two frivolous hobbies in our lives. Here, I’ve included some of my most adored clothing items. What are yours?