If you search on the internet for “2012 must-have items”, you get more than three hundred MILLION hits. Even if you assume that most of these won’t, in fact, tell you to buy something, that’s still a tremendous number of people bossing you around about how to spend your hard-earned money!
And these lists are full of logical flaws:
- If these are truly must-have items, why don’t all of the lists agree? Or at least have a significant degree of overlap? After looking at the first handful of “top-ten for spring” lists, I saw at least 50 different items I absolutely have to buy if I’m going to be able to show my face in public.
- Why do all of these lists assume that you can’t look around a store and make your own choices? Or worse yet, that you MUST be wearing the same items as every other woman around the world? Maybe you don’t want to wear orange pants this spring…
- Why are we never presented with the fate that will befall us if we ignore these lists? (I know, we’ll be consigned to fashion purgatory, and our photograph will NEVER appear on one of those street photographer blogs)
- Why does nobody ever counsel us about how to continue to wear the stuff we bought from last year’s “must-have” list? Are we seriously just supposed to throw all of those things away? (why yes, I believe we are…)
But the most insidious thing about these lists is a mentality that I observe in myself, which goes something like “well, I’m certainly not going to buy number 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10, but I suppose I might get myself numbers five and six, so I’ll at least be participating a little bit in the fashion world…”
It’s not like I really ADORE numbers five and six; I’m just giving in to the pressure of the magazines (and their advertisers) to conform. These are the purchases that just hang in the closet, week after week, because I was never committed to the purchase to begin with, and because I’ve grown tired of seeing every third person I pass on the street wearing a similar item.
And let’s not underestimate the role that advertisers play in these lists – you’re not going to see a list composed of garments and accessories that come from obscure little companies that don’t have full-page ads in the magazine in question…
If you love a trend, buy it and wear it to death. (like twice a week, minimum)
But don’t let other people tell you how you should spend your money, and present yourself to the world. Slavish following of fashion is not elegant.