Saturday, May 30, 2009

Compact Challenge and Boring Clothes

This is officially my 4th week of participating in the compact challenge, and to my surprise, I can’t wait for it to end. As I had mentioned in the very beginning of Valverde’s class, I have not bought new clothes for almost 2 years. This abstinence from purchasing new clothes was not hard in my opinion, because for the most part, I had this notion that college kids have the right to look boring yet practical (jeans and a T-shirt will never die).

What is hard for me now to handle is the fact that I am forcing this idea of being greener and refraining from buying while simultaneously being inspired by a class to be more fashionable. Maybe not necessarily inspired as much as frightened because it seems that those who do not keep up with evolving fashion trends become outcasts in society or slaves to a hierarchal class system. This has led me to believe that to be successful in this world, fashion is an important socioeconomic lubricant to consider. Therefore, I always believed that I would eventually get into fashion when my time and resources were not so heavily consumed by school and work. However, I also believe that even though I may be sporting clothing indicative of pre-millennia fashion, these clothes are not boring because I am not boring and I once heard from someone (maybe in this class) that you wear the clothes, clothes don’t wear you. Essentially, by wearing my more-than-a-year-old clothes with confidence and swagger, whether they are boring or not is irrelevant.

In this week’s reading of Fashion-ology, Kawamura inserts a line by Laver: “People who always do the same things and wear the same clothes, are themselves bored and make them boring for others” (Kawamura, 44). I disagree with this wholeheartedly. I may wear the same clothes, but even among the clothes and accessories I own, there are an infinite number of ways to mix and match items to create a different look, if I cared about variety that is. If the clothing I wear is out of date and out of fashion magazines or other legitimizing authorities of fashion, I don’t seem to notice, or at least no one has pointed this out to me. I seem to fit in fine wherever I go, and if I don’t for any reason, I enjoy the concept of standing out and being different or unique. However many people don’t share this idea. The following video shows some wacky tips on living large for cheap:

When I graduate, I will become more aware of fashion trends and popular attire because I will likely desire inclusion into certain social and economic groups that require some conformity to fashion. And maybe, when I become more enlightened in my own personal tastes, I will venture off into my own styles becoming a fashion setter rather than a fashion follower. All these choices will have ultimately been influenced by this class!

Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Dress, Body, Culture). New York: Berg, 2005.

Jesse Kailahi Blog #5

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