Is it me or are people increasingly showing so little individuality in their fashion choices that the vast majority of the population simply look exactly the same? When I am out and about I cast my eyes around me and see an endless stream of identically dressed people. The situation smacks of fictional future worlds where all people are under the strict control of government forces and have lives whose directions are pre-determined and managed by force.
The High Street
Of course we are not yet told what to wear by the government but I fear that we are rather being dictated to by the big fashion brands which are increasingly dominating the high street. We appear to have reached the point where all high streets and shopping malls are interchangeable as they all have exactly the same shops and those shops are selling clothes which are largely the same as each other.
Is there really much difference between All Saints and Urban Outfitters, Zara and Mango or River Island and Top Shop? It really is all rather boring! I am sure that the situation has largely been driven by consumer demand which begs the question why? Are we all really that anxious to look the same as everyone else and are people so scared of standing out and grabbing attention that they retreat behind the anonymity of wearing exactly the same as their friends?
The principle of safety in numbers has always been around but has now reached epic proportions! The trend has even spread to children’s clothing which largely looks like mini versions of the adult styles on the market!
T Shirts and Hoodies
Nowhere is the dominance of homogenised fashion more evident than in the current obsession with T shirts and Hoodies. We not only have a situation where everyone is wearing them but they also all appear to be sporting the same ones! It was bad enough a few years ago when people felt the need to constantly dress in uninteresting sports clothing like Nike and Adidas but now a worse spectre looms.
In a stroke of unrivalled marketing genius the likes of Hollister are producing bog standard, boring casual wear and then displaying it in a posh looking shop, dimming the lights, tripling the prices and in the process convincing everyone that it must be special which of course it isn’t! Even worse the Hollisters and Superdrys of this world emblazon their names across the front of all their clothing thereby not only overcharging for it but getting their customers to advertise their brands for them and pay for the privilege.
It seems that a whole generation are desperate to fit it and terrified of having their tastes judged and so take the simple but uninteresting step of purchasing an Abercrombie and Fitch Hoodie which will achieve instant acceptance but lead to total anonymity and probably huge debts. Abercrombie and Fitch Hoodies are astonishing similar to Hollister styles, just even more expensive, which is not surprising as they are in fact Hollister Hoodies with a different logo. Both are, of course, cheap imports from the Far East made in exactly the same factories as the inexpensive and identical versions you can find in any number of stores and wear without paying for the brands advertising campaign!
Come on everyone! What happened to style and individuality? Your clothes are your opportunity to say something about yourself not the shop you bought them from. Despite the homogenised high street there are brands with unique styles and looks, there are garments which are not hoodies and you can take the opportunity to make another kind of personal statement by wearing ethically produced or organic clothing and dressing your children in eco-friendly and child appropriate styles. Do not allow yourself to be told what to wear as we are not yet inhabitants of Brave New World, go on dare to be different, dare to be you!
- License: Creative Commons image source
Sally S is a blogger, wedding business owner and believer in alternative, ethical and organic fashion. You can find out more about Sally Stacey via her Google+ profile.