$hopping the streets of NYC can be a dangerous method for those of us with little self control for designer sales. Fashion is everywhere, and the must-haves are our must-haves. We often convince ourselves that we need one extra pair of shoes to go with that perfect new dress we just bought. We even try to justify it to our significant other by explaining how the sales clerk looked like she needed commission – how it was unlikely she made any other sale that day and her job is depending on us. We feel the need to keep up with fashion by vigorously checking our twitter updates from our A-listers for the social views and trends of the day as they reveal what people are wearing.
We rely heavily on the internet, television, magazines, and other reporting services to tell us what to buy and when to buy it. When we are given the cue to head out and buy that brand-new dress for a party, we immediately think about where to go. Will the retail store have it in your size? If so, where is it? What if you are traveling, but you know it’s only available in your hometown? Does that store have online shopping? Today, thanks to the internet we are lucky enough to be able to have basically universal access to our favorite designers 24 hours a day. If one store is sold out, an online store will have it.
Fashion experts are asking Is this a good thing? Do you really want to go out and spend $700 on a dress to have some other chick down the street from you be able to go out and buy the same thing? Designer labels like Marc by Marc Jacobs, for example, are over-producing. The line offers too much of the same thing. What’s the point of brand name buying when one month later you need to buy more, since everyone at the office bought the same new Marc bag (including the woman three times your age)? Uh-oh, time to splurge again.
We are over-indulging in the money making machine of fashion and forgetting to actually think before we buy. How do you make your purchases? Are you recognizing that you need that new Fall jacket, or do you just think you do because your girlfriend bought it? What is limiting you? Do you actually have time today to go shopping, spend money, and be late for work just because you saw that dress in the window on your way downtown? Have you actually looked at the label, and do you know what the dress is made of? Is it expensive because it is a high-quality fabric, or is it man-made “rip-off” fiber? When you are about to make your purchase, do you feel a pit in your stomach when you think about using your credit card? Do you absent-mindedly switch to your almost maxed-out credit card thinking it’s better to deal with payments on just the one card rather then two? When you know you are in need of a new outfit do you actually think about how much you are willing, and able to spend or do you keep an open mind? Or does this even come to mind?
These are all part of the dangers of shopping. In these current times we need to know when to shop and when to save. As students this tends to be a struggle at times. Sometimes you don’t need the new Aritzia dress just because your favorite blogger has it. As a wardrobe stylist I want to remind you that it is good to think fashion, but it is also good to think logically when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Take a look in your closet first, just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you need it. Just don’t tell Marc Jacobs I said so.
Jessica Clark is a Canadian fashion stylist and avid blogger. You can read more of her writings at www.jessicaclark.me.