Ah, Fashion! One of my weaknesses – yet luckily I have never been or will never be tagged as a fashion victim despite the loads of clothes in my closet! Or, is there such a thing?
First, let’s dissect what fashion victim means as invented by fashion gurus and as defined in the web. Encarta World English Dictionary describes “fashion victim” as a person who is overenthusiastic, overzealous or uncritical follower of fashion trends, making the said person vulnerable to the so called “materialism” and “faddishness”. Oscar de la Renta who apparently first coined the term stated that a person may be a victim of fashion if he is unable to identify commonly recognized boundaries of style. On the other hand, Versace said that a person becomes a fashion victim if he excessively changes her looks and style from season to season.
For purposes of discussion, fashion would refer not only to garments and clothes, but also its related accessories such as bags, jewelries and footwear – in effect the entire caboodle of the fashion industry.
Second, let’s examine what makes or what influences someone to be a fashion victim. There are various factors. One is wrong values, but the most visible and prominent is the massive tri media campaign on latest fads and trends specifically aimed at the young, hip and cool teens and tweens (until late 20’s), also known as the mini fashionistas.
These are the people who may easily be lured by the advertising strategies and techniques used by multinational corporations in the business shown everyday on tv, billboards, posters, fashion magazines, dailies and the like. These are the people willing to spend much money just to satiate their wants, following and trying to catch up with the latest trends even if they don’t need it, even if they cant afford it, and forgetting the more important basic needs (e.g. food, education, health, family, spirituality, among others) in their respective lives.
Using the above explanation as the premise, let me give you two classic examples I have encountered before wherein greed and vanity made certain people fashion victims. They were my two pretty dorm mates, one was a college junior student who was considered la crème de la crème among her batchmates and another was a young budding urban professional with a promising career in the business world.
The said college student in her late teens can be considered as a certified fashionista. She was always the person who was not only “in” as far as fashion is concerned from head to toe but was also a deans lister vying for an honor in her years. In fact, most of the students envied her style of clothing and wished they could also seize the same opportunity.Little did they know that this student was hooked to a different kind of addiction – a fashion addict. Since she was simply a student who completely relied from parents for tuition fees and school related expenses, she had no choice but to go for the local brands marketed in high end malls. There was no weekend that she would visit branded stores and wouldn’t return to the dorm without a shopping bag full of stuffs making her closet full of new and never been worn belongings which had become dated because of the rapid change in fashion craze. To her, it was happiness when she was able to get something similar to what she saw in latest fashion mags or in tv from showbiz personalities, but in the long run it turned out to be a vicious cycle. In view of her excessive fashion spending, she could no longer pay her tuition and rent mainly because she used the money elsewhere intended for said expenses. As a result of this, her studies were affected and she wasn’t able to graduate and without honors the next school year because she had to stop, leaving her parents frustrated —only because of her becoming a fashion victim!
On the other hand, the second case in point involved a young urban professional in her late 20s who was obsessed at and used to buying famous designer label dresses, bags and shoes so as “to keep up with the joneses ”. Some of her officemates of her stature were wondering how on earth could she afford to buy said stuffs and showoff the same during departmental meetings. It was found out later from a friend that this young lady would have to go out of her way befriending older “loaded” men and would entice them to buy said stuffs for personal gain and satisfaction. In short, the young lady’s story turned out to be poignant, because she was fired from her office for certain valid reasons. Her budding career went awry in view of her materialistic views and her being a fashion victim!
Oh yes, I can now say that indeed fashion victims in this world do exist. Not only it has negative impact on peoples lives but it is also harmful to self development and professional growth. It may be acceptable to us consumers to be pampered by fashion retailers with the rapidly changing fashion styles, but we also have the option on whether or not to oblige with the said spoiling fashion trends.
While I still believe on the significance of fashion particularly in economic development (e.g. employment generation, tax revenues, etc) and for aesthetic purposes , what is more important however is that we should learn how to balance between quality of life and whims and caprices . Fashion should be regarded as something that would make you feel beautiful, confident and great in what you’re wearing and can have a huge impact on your performance whether in school or in the workplace. There’s no need for you to be an overly devoted fashion buff, strive to be a trendsetter instead. In so doing, you could be a true blue blooded fashionista!
On the other hand, there are some people who are affluent enough to acquire the latest couture, high avant garde fashioned clothes but they just don’t have the “it” and simply don’t know how to carry themselves, in that sense they could be considered fashion victims as well!
1.Don’t be a compulsive buyer. Think twice before wasting money on certain things which are not so necessary in your daily life. You can buy the essentials and the basics needed in your fashion wear, just like this one.
2.Don’t spend beyond your means. You’ve learned what happened to the two young ladies as illustrated above. There are also instances where some groups would be tempted to shop using credit cards and ending up with bills not getting paid. If worse comes to worst, some people would even go the extent of engaging in shoplifting just to get the latest fad they’re craving for. This is absolutely a no-no. One important trait to nurture in yourself is to be frugal in spending habits.
3.Don’t be disorderly in your personal things. Scan, clean and organize your wardrobe closet so it would be easy to look for things needed on a daily basis. Mixing and matching your outfits will make your wardrobe selection wider. Allot some time and make yourself available to arrange your clothes and personal necessities according to color, design, type, importance or brands. You may donate your old clothes to charitable institutions and set aside some which you think are worth keeping and can be used 10 or 20 years later! Believe me, this is a lesson learned from my own experience!
4. Don’t dress to impress – Never go for couture, designer labeled clothes, avant garde, high street-rip off clothings if you don’t have the means; if it doesn’t suit you or match your age and personality, even if you’re comfortable wearing it, as the same may only make a bad impression on you.
5.Do browse the helpful tips shown in my previous blog about power dressing (under “Fashion” category). The said blog likewise mentioned about several tips which may be useful on how to prevent from being a fashion victim. Feel free to read the article and I am sure said tips will be of use to you too!
Having said all of the foregoing, let us learn how to tame our attitude towards fashion and most importantly let’s avoid being a fashion victim. However, let us not also forget the importance of fashion which is also a means of expressing ourselves.