Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I spent twelve dollars on a pair of used skinny jeans yesterday. Yes--skinny jeans. I swore--SWORE--that I would never do such a thing. I mean--they are all fine and well on fashionable teeny boppers, but I’m a grown woman. A grown woman who did, in fact, spend several years of her life rolling up the ankles of her jeans, and then has spent the remaining years trying to atone for such a grave fashion error.
And yet I bought some. I’m wearing them even now. Even though I still think they sorta make me look like a muffin, which as you all know is not the most flattering shape on a woman. And why am I doing this to myself? Because I am a tragic and yet willing victim of perceived obsolescence.
I talked earlier this season about planned obsolescence--which is when manufacturers intentionally make products with short life spans so that we have to replace them. Like my faulty hair dryers, for instance.
Well, perceived obsolescence is similar, except that there is nothing faulty about the merchandise. We are persuaded to replace it not because it has fallen apart or quit working, but because we perceive it to be obsolete (aka outdated). Such is the case with my skinny jeans. They are, frankly, the “in” shape right now, especially with those knee-high rider boots that I’m coveting. I know you know what I’m talking about. No longer do I want to wear my knee-high heeled boots under my bootcut jeans. Oh no. I want to wear New boots Over New jeans. Is there anything wrong with my bootcut jeans (other than the new hole I just discovered in the knee) or my heeled suede boots? No, of course not. And yet still they are getting the boot (ha ha--get it? the boot...ahem...) by trendier (and admittedly less flattering) skinny jeans and flat boots.
It’s a sickness, really.
I don’t share this story with you because I’m proud of it. Frankly I’m a bit ashamed at my weakness for fashion trends. I’m sharing because I know you can relate. And because perceived obsolescence really is a sneaky consumer trick that should at least be acknowledged if not resisted.
Admittedly sometimes the resistance is futile. And someday I’ll look at the photos of me wearing these skinny jeans and think “why? what was I thinking?” Until then, I guess I need more practice at being less trendy.