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BY: FIRDAUSH YASMIN

There’s a saying in the fashion world which says that it’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it. If that’s true though, it’s important to ask ourselves why so many women long for a pair of designer shoes, bag or clothes in their closets? 

Being a brand, you want to be easily recognizable. Hence all designer tags (more or less) always feature their products in the same design, but a different format. That makes sense. But if fashion is meant to be used to express and get noticed, what makes you stand out from the crowd in these designer tags? The answer? Nothing.

Most women may not think of them as doing so, but Prada, Coco Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana or any other designer tags for that matter, blend you more into the crowd than they set you apart. They may be big exclusive brands, but other than the price tag, there’s nothing exclusive about them. Their design, their style, their product speaks more to the brand, than to who you are.

They, like non-designer clothes, clothe you but no one will stop you mid-track and ask “Where did you get that?!” or “That’s totally you!” The idea is similar to a capitalist government, taking water, sticking it in a bottle, and marking it with a price. Suddenly there are tap water people and bottled water people. No one is any better than the other. You’re both hydrated. One just spends more for their hydration. Likewise, designer tags are great if you’re looking to make a statement about your income, but other than that, they speak no higher language. “Oh? You have money…okay, have a nice day!” Designer tags do nothing more than reinforce the boundaries placed between people of different social classes.

Fashion and style isn’t labels and tags. Fashion and style is personality. Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. Like that ever got anyone anywhere. Once you’re on that vicious cycle, there’s no going back.

If you’re looking to make a statement this winter, try taking a step back from your usual shopping rituals and examine what’s in your closet. If you’re bold, daring, and energetic, and all you have are warm pastels, lace and cardigans, you’ve been cruising in the fashion blind zone. In car language, the blind zone is the area where your car goes unnoticed, and unacknowledged by other drivers. If you’re driving, you don’t want to be anything but noticed. Fashion works the same way. Cruising along the blind zone here means:

A) You have no idea who you are,

B) You have no idea what you’re doing,

and our personal favorite,

C) Because A and B hold true, you buy outrageously expensive products to try and fake it till you make it.

We’ve all been there, and it’s definitely no walk in the park. Spending large sums of money using a credit card to buy a brand name clothing (simply because everyone else  around you is doing it)  may feel good in the moment, but it  is very much like being drunk. You’ll feel the buzz immediately but you’ll also feel the regretful hangover the next day. My advice? If you’re going to wing it, you might as well do it wearing something that speaks to you and comes at a more affordable price. It might seem dangerous, but don’t forget that most success is usually made through risk.

The next time you’re out shopping, try and keep an open mind. Just because something is on sale or priced lower that what would expect, doesn’t make it tacky or ugly. Most clothes never are. They all just need “the one” to come find them, and turn them into something of an artwork. In fashion, the word “cheap” is irrelevant. Most times it’s just a trick to make the clueless look the other way. Remember this, and you’ll save yourselves a whole lot of trouble when credit card bills get mailed in.

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Again, what you wear isn’t as important as how you wear it. An overpriced dress will easily draw attention to the product, but a pair of jeans and a top pulled off properly (even if they’re from a thrift store) will draw attention to the owner. Sometimes small things go a long way. Sometimes what you call a “NADA” is your PRADA.  

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