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Articles > Rant July, 16, 2012

I despise fashion

Ian Close
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For centuries a social phenomenon has existed whereby all humans within a set culture must wear similar, usually uncomfortable, clothing. Now, with globalisation sprawling across the Earth like an unforgiving tumour, the “within the set culture” clause is pretty much obsolete. It’s got to the stage that pretty much everyone in the world, with only the exception of those who choose to cut themselves off from the global society, follows a similar style of clothing to each other.

I despise this.

I despise fashion

photo by Till Krech

Firstly, people normally cite clothes as a form of self-representation: a way to express individuality, but the very idea of ‘fashion’ goes against that. At this very moment individuality is claimed to be the main driving force for fashion, but it just makes it all a bit boring and same-y.

I’ll admit, I attempt to buy clothes that others would class as reasonably stylish, but only so I can leave the house without people decrying me as a hideous monster before they’ve even got a chance to meet me.

But my attempts are always thwarted by the ever-changing nature of what is acceptable to wear. When chinos first came back into fashion I thought to myself “thank god, something that’s actually comfortable”. Now, while I know they are still regarded as ‘stylish’ there are also many people who will judge those who wear them simply because they are regarded as ‘stylish’.

And for god’s sake, why are fashionable clothes normally incredibly uncomfortable? Like pointy shoes, they don’t even look normal. They make it look as if you are a gnome. A hideously oversized gnome.

Of course, it’s not just clothes. Hairstyles often present me with a big problem (mostly because of my slightly oddly shaped head and the bristly texture of my hair). Whoever thought of the concept of restyling hair every so often must have been a madman. A sadistic madman. It takes time, effort and money and most of the gunk sold to the public as “hair beautifying cream” feels disgusting and attracts insects.

Then of course there’s the fact that I’m male and therefore am not allowed to care about how I look. Well I’m sorry, but I do. I don’t want to look like a hairy, grunting freak, and I’m sure the majority of people don’t want a whole 49% of the population looking like that either.

Mind you, they probably would if vogue said so.

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  1. Wayne

    “There’s no human propensity. That’s mythology. In fact huge efforts are going into what’s called the fabrication of consumers. It’s the first time that industry must fabricate consumers. Now we have huge industries. The public relations industry is a huge industry. Actually about a sixth of the gross domestic product goes into marketing. Its purpose is to fabricate consumers. To create ‘wants,’ as they put it, and to direct people’s attention to these superficial things of life, like fashionable consumption, and it has an effect on people – buy, buy, buy. Teenage girls, like my granddaughter, her age, if they have a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do, then they go walk around shopping malls. It’s sick.” noam chomsky

  2. “Why I despise fashion”, “Why I despise television”, “Why I despise hipsters – cleverly disguised under the use of another heading”. Anything else you hate, Ian? Books? Music? Breathing?

    There is a saying – “humans very rarely do what they believe in. They do what is most convenient, and repent.” This article is pretty much the embodiment of that. Yeah, I hate that everybody’s in skinny jeans – so I’ll wear ’em so I don’t stand out, and complain about it to anyone who’ll listen.

    Instead of performing the same behaviours you dislike, get yourself some guts and practice what you preach – – go out, buy clothes you like, and wear them. Simple as. Sunglasses inside? Go for it. Flip flops and socks? Why the hell not. If someone feels the need to “fashion faux pas” you – something I’ve never come across by the way, despite living in baggy men’s jumpers and mismatching socks – show ’em a middle finger and go about your business.

    I’ll put a tenner on it that you’ll be able to count the number of people who make a comment on your left hand by the end of the year.

  3. Shanel Coles

    Really it can only be judged by the individual, is fashion detremental to society or is it a foundation on which it is built. Fashion isn’t about being individual, its become about whats affordable. No one can truely look different buying bulk produced cloths. Fashion is just another small way to make people feel better or worse about themselves in a world with a somewhat depressive outlook. Fashion is no more a bad thing than it is good. Chinos are also an older idea in fashion that was judged unpopular as fashion changed and has been recently reborn as todays new trend, fashion is usually regressive, it goes back to older trends to re-style them because there is little that can be added or considered new today.

  4. alyssia goulding

    personally i think fashion is great and helps people express themselves in life, it encourages individulism as it teaches people to be themselves. I love being unique and being able to wear what i want, when i want without a care in the world. Fashion also keeps the world going round as it provides new trends for people to spiral off or follow. Ive been to clothes show live in Birmingham many of times now and its absolutely amazing! the clothes, models, and shops are all so fascinating and is a great experience which i recommend to anyone with a passion for fashion, shopping or even just to see the show. However, fashion can be frowned upon due to it negatively encouraging young girls to strive towards being a size ‘0’ model therefore will do anything to achieve this. Even going as far as starving themselves only to look like a bag of bones and many people think that they HAVE to look like that. Celebrities are partly to blame for this occurance as nearly all are skinny little characters who people look up to as role models. I believe there should be larger models to show anyone who is bigger than a size 0 its ok to look this way and this would provide a more varied type of what is ‘beautiful’ no matter what size they are.

  5. Jack Roper

    Sorry to say that this article disappointed me.

    You appeal to individuality in a bid to appraise the way people dress similarly. However, you next remark about a ‘hairy, grunting freak’. Do you not understand how image works? Animals, like the peacock for example, use plumage to attract and impress. We are no different, and it makes no sense to style ourselves in a way that separates us from the desirable convention. The fact that you consider individuality is simply a comment on what people like to see. And fashion revolves around what people like to see- nothing wrong with that.

  6. Beth Barnard

    Fashion is horrible! Coming from a teenage girl with no income i cannot afford to buy new clothes to stay in fashion and people do judge a book buy their cover and i get judged because of what i wear because its ‘last season’.

  7. Sammi Wong

    Completely agree with this!! Fashion has changed so quickly to me so I’ve literally given up chasing up with the latest…..I’m very happy in my ‘old’ clothes thank you very much!