Why Fashion Isn't Frivolous
Often it feels like anyone who cares about fashion is considered a frivolous person.
When I tell people Tara and I blog about fashion, often their eyes glaze over and they give me a fake “oh cool” in response. But to me fashion is more than just buying clothes. To me fashion is an incredible industry that combines culture, engineering and art all together. Collecting art and browsing at a gallery isn’t viewed as frivolous so why should fashion be?
Elisa Kreisinger Executive Producer at Refinery29 says, “From a young age, women are told their worth comes from what they look like. Then, we're told that we're narcissistic for caring about how we look. It exemplifies a culture that consistently pulls the rug out from under women and other minorities and changes the rules of the game.”
Caring about what you wear doesn’t make you dumb. It doesn’t mean your thoughts mean any less than that other person who chooses not to care about fashion. As Anna Wintour once said, “There is unfortunately a world that still exists that dismisses fashion as being a little bit frivolous and [assumes that] the people who work in it are not so smart. There is still unfortunately a shrinking [group], and usually men, frankly, and old-fashioned men, that think that way and see us that way and you know, you can’t let it worry you. It’s annoying but it doesn’t stop any of us.”
During the 2016 US election, I followed the news not by reading the NZ Herald or The New York Times, but Cosmopolitan and Vogue. Despite the stereotype they have as frivolous woman’s magazines, they shared insightful and interesting updates that kept me informed. They weren’t afraid to ask the hard questions and in one interview with Ivanka Trump, a Cosmopolitain journalist asked how her father's childcare policy compared to his past remarks on maternity leave. She immediately shut down the interview and refused to answer claiming there was “a lot of negativity in these questions”. Also in that year President Obama did an exclusive piece for Glamour magazine. Yes they do great fashion pieces, but they also wanted to hear from the current president his views on feminism as a man and as a father.
In the end no matter what people say, you can be an intelligent and politically engaged person while also caring about fashion.
....BUT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS FRIVOLOUS SHOPPING
If you have packages arriving at your doorstep daily or the burning desire to buy something at the mall every weekend, this probably isn’t healthy. Filling your closet with impulse purchases and things you don’t really need is not only a bad habit but it’s also bad for the environment. Cheap fast fashion will never been sustainable and there is a huge amount of waste that comes with it’s production. As much as brands like H&M, Glassons and Cotton On try to spin it, the people making their clothes are getting paid and treated terribly.
Sure not everyone can afford to fill their entire wardrobe with ethical clothes, myself included, but when you're shopping in chainstores you can make sure you’re buying good quality clothes that will last for more than just one season. This Zara top I'm wearing is the perfect example of that. I bought it last April and still wear it at least once every week. Don’t feel the need to buy an entire new wardrobe every time the weather changes, perhaps this year make some conscious changes and just buy one new thing to update your winter closet.
Ellen wears Top - Zara // Skirt - Thrifted // Bag - Bali
Tara Wears Dress - made by her // Top - Monki // Bag - Rebekah Minkoff