Have you ever been described as ‘depressing, judgmental and ignorant’ and then been accused of being a dummy?
Well, actually, you might have. If you saw one of the glossy magazines that came with a particular Sunday newspaper yesterday, you could have looked at the so-called fashion spread where a coat costing nearly £3,000 was featured with matching £1,000 trousers (mentioned but invisible as they’d been cropped out of the photo), and asked: ‘Who spends that kind of money on clothes?’
But I’ve been shot down – me and my prim and practical ways. Ms Fashion X, shall we call her, editor-in-chief of the glossy mag, takes ‘umbrage at the negativity surrounding the price tag of designer goods’.
She writes that she often hears the phrase: ‘Who spends this kind of money on clothes?’ and finds it ‘depressing, judgmental and frankly ignorant’.
Go on then, who spends this kind of money? Ms Fashion X answers: ‘Lots of women, otherwise the multi-billion-pound luxury fashion industry would not exist…’
And before I can say, more fool them, and would the world mind that much if the multi-billion-pound fashion industry took a look at itself now and then, Ms Fashion X calls me (and, presumably, thousands of her readers) ‘dummies’.
Nice. And she wants us to continue buying the newspaper she works for?
She goes on to ask why women who invest in costly clothes should be made to feel bad about it. A woman ‘should be able to spend her own money in the way she wants without judgment’.
I agree, but having an opinion about what we consider to be sensible levels of spending is not an accusation of wasteful, lustful spending on the part of those women who can afford to do it. It’s sheer amazement that there are people who’ve got the sort of ready cash to spend on high price, high fashion, which, as many know, is in today, out tomorrow, such is the fickle nature of skirt lengths, trouser styles and sparkly bustiers.
I’d go on and ask who the hell wears some of the clothes featured in the magazine. A sequined corset at £1,999; jeans made from … er … recycled jeans at nearly £300; and a bright yellow jumper, tied across the wearer’s arms in such a way as to restrict all movement except perhaps to swing in very small movements one of those ridiculously small bags that are not even big enough to hold a fashion darling’s Chihuahua.
In the interest of fairness, I must add that there are other clothes featured in the magazine that are hugely wearable and at high street prices.
But I can’t be alone in thinking fashion is often for the foolish. Ludicrous looks at high prices, designed by women who produce shirts with over-hanging flapping sleeves and too-long trousers that render using a keyboard, making a cup of tea or walking upstairs impossible; and modelled by cross-looking, pouty girls.
Ms Fashion X wishes more women would enjoy investing in pieces that make them feel good, not guilty – and I agree with her. I know lots of women who’d love to invest in pieces that make them feel great. The problem is, they often can’t afford to so they can’t buy without guilt, because they literally can’t buy.
I can see her argument that it’s worth investing in good quality pieces that will last and she’s also right that we shouldn’t save anything for ‘best’, but wear it NOW!
But has she ever really examined some of the looks (and the cost) of the stuff that passes for fashion in not just her magazine, but many of the other glossies?
It’s time to shift away from the high-end spenders, the so-called style writers and the fashion bloggers (I could be wrong, but I imagine a few of these receive free or heavily discounted clothes to wear) and consider women on the high street – and what they want.
Yes, we want fashion pieces, but we want sensible prices that we can afford – and we want clothes that makes us look and feel good. Because, after all, we live, love, move and breathe.
We are definitely not dummies.