Presence for the Holidays: Materialism in Fashion

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Materialism is the white elephant.

The holiday season is always looked upon as a joyous time for giving, yet I have always felt otherwise because the spirit of the holidays has been replaced by materialism. Retailers and advertisements spawn the need for obligatory gift-giving and relationships falter when gifts fall short of expectations.

Did you receive a gift card to Gap? Would you rather have received a Louis bag or a Tiffany ring?

Neither should matter — what matters is you, what works for you, and what you like.

Regardless of what you celebrate, I present this post as a gift to the Sweetest readers. Let’s take a moment to reflect upon materialism and its influence on indie fashion.

Indie fashion and materialism.

What good do we do the world by consistently playing the role of a consumer? Materialism has the world in an endless cycle of wanting more and more. Since I write the Sweetest Drip indie fashion features, I’d like to make it known that I choose fashion that represents my personal tastes. It is not my intention for readers to want to buy into these brands, but rather see what they represent and think of how it can apply to one’s individuality.

When analyzed at face-value, the fashion industry is known to be a pusher of materialism. From what I’ve learned, fashion has the power to express much more than simply buying into the latest trends. Fashion stands for self-expression and individuality, not materialistic greed that ultimately creates the elitist mindset.

Consider the effect department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s have on those who have yet to realize what true individuality means to themselves. These stores are a one-stop-shop for fashion ideas that are pre-packaged and only differentiated by a “prestigious” price tag. Instead of working hard and saving money for clothing that is truly self-expressive, materialism kicks in and people end up buying whatever has more brand name power.

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Evisu denim (credit: Peter Hellberg via Flickr)

Advertising to those who give into materialism is a simple matter of shouting louder than the next guy and adding more flashy paint à la Evisu rather than quality like Iron Heart.

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Iron Heart denim (credit: section215 via Flickr)

You. The alternative to materialism.

I will be honest — if you look into all the companies I have covered thus far are not affordable to the everyday person. However, my reasoning for choosing these designers is not their status, but rather a mindset or message that they represent. My personal meaning for the term indie fashion is a type of fashion that is truly individual to the eyes of the beholder.

I do not care what you get into at the end of the day; what I care about is your stance on why you choose a particular brand or style. What statement are you trying to make? At the end of the day, it is important to know what it is you are trying to express. Fashion is not about following trends or one-upsmanship. It is about knowing who you are and what you stand for, represented by what you choose to wear on a daily basis.

My goal is to share a piece of myself by revealing new and innovative free-thinkers who love clothing as their avenue of expression. If ever I seem to be hating on something you like, that is simply because I know who I am, what I’m wearing, and I have my own swag.

By highlighting upon the fashion industry’s failure to differentiate self-expression from materialism, I hope that through my voice you find a solution that gives meaning to whatever it is you express about yourself to the world.

There’s nothing more original than the individual — don’t give into materialism.

materialism in fashion featured photo credit: Fidelio via Flickr.

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