Monday, October 6, 2008

Fashion, Philosophy, and Reality

Dictionary Definitions

Fashiona prevailing custom or style of dress

Philosophya system of principles for guidance in practical affairs

Reality (philosophy definition): something that exists independently of ideas concerning it

Personal Application

FashionI love pretty things, but I don’t want to look like everyone else. 

Philosophy Clothing affects how others perceive you and may even affect how you perceive yourself.

Reality: I have a tiny non-essential budget ($50 a month).

What Does Affordable Fashion Mean?

Is it possible to build a fashion conscious wardrobe with that budget?  According to the fashion magazines I read it is not possible.  I disagree.  This blog is all about looking great in the real world.  

Affordable Fashion is turning into quite the popular phrase.  A lot of fashion magazines focus on the fantastical (a $82,000 brooch)[1] and the merely expensive (watches ranging from $425-$9,950).[2]  As fun as these items may be to look at they are impossible to fit into a sensible, working person’s budget.

Fashion editors and talk show hosts have decided they might increase their readership and viewership if they provided more options applicable to women who operate on a budget, unfortunately, their idea of a budget does not translate into my real world.  A two hundred dollar outfits does not equal “affordable fashion” even if Tyra Banks says it does.  If I had her salary perhaps I could consider that affordable. 

How about Oprah’s “Fall Fashion Steals?”  All items are under $100, which is pocket change to Oprah, but for me a $58 dollar scarf is only a fashion steal if I literally stole it.  The $25 dollar ballet flats from Old Navy I can consider, however, I know they’ll probably be on sale soon (which they currently are for $9.99). 

One of the blogs on the Lucky Magazine online site is Elise Loehnen’s.  She writes about “style steals.”  She wants a pricey leather jacket but isn’t sure she’ll get enough use out of it.  Her solution is to buy the cheap ($128!) version first.  Thrifty – I don’t think so.  In the same vein the “Under $150 Bag Guide” or the “Fall Classics Under $100” from the September 2008 issue do not make my heart leap for joy.

So what is a “I-have-$50-dollars-and-want-to update-my-wardrobe-girl-to-do? Stay tuned!

[1] Allure October 2008 page 314

[2] Allure October 2008 page 134

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