I enjoy fashion like the next fashionista. I believe, if anything, fashion is art.
Recently, I decided to subscribe to Vogue magazine. I enjoying looking at all the fashions and, of course, the items I really like are uber-expensive. I could not, in conscience, purchase this cute green clutch in the recent edition of Vogue.
Marie Claire and Essence have a similar “Splurge vs. Steal” concept where the fashion editors compare expensive to less expensive clothing options. In some photos, you cannot tell the difference between the items being showcased. Obviously, when you can see and touch, the perceived comparison will diminish. The Frugal Fashionista and The Budget Fashionista do extraordinary work in creating inexpensive looks from celebrity looks and alerting readers of sales and discounts.
The question I pose to you is, “how are people paying for these luxury brands?” As we all saw in “Sex and the City,” it was not just the rich buying the luxe brands. Carrie Bradshaw, a writer, living in a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan always conjured up away to get her Chanel and Manolo Blahnik pumps and other luxury designer wares. And I know you all remember the time when Carrie was trying to purchase her apartment from her ex-boyfriend. Miranda asked her where did her money go and Carrie acknowledged that her money went on her back or feet.
I have been reading articles about young girls, 8-10 years old, that want Prada and Gucci. Now, when I was 10 years old, I was not even thinking about getting clothes from the GAP. According to one report, that having luxury items, albeit accessories are apart of being a child today. Even though I studied fashion magazines at the age, I still wanted ESPRIT. (Sidebar: Mama Maven would take me to a local boutique and purchase items for school and church. Of course, she would watch the sales vigilantly.) The troubling thing is that the parents are purchasing these luxe clothing brand for their children and they really cannot afford to do so and live in the blue ribbon district. So what are the parents trying to prove and why can’t they tell the children, “NO!!” Maybe because they cannot tell themselves “NO” either.
We need to refocus and realize that clothes (luxury/haute couture) do not make the person. (This does not mean you have a right to walk around frumpy dumpy.. NOT ON MY WATCH!!) We must be begin to challenge the societal notion of keeping up with the Joneses, who have no money either. We must also teach our children that there is a time and place for everything. When they are making that $200,000 (adjust for inflation) maybe then they can have a closet full of luxury designer wares. (and not if they live in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West Coast and some parts of the Midwest.) Learn to say “NO” to the children and especially to ourselves.