I was talking with a clothing designer friend yesterday about fashion and found myself rather randomly blurting out how I have to rethink my Instagram feed because basically these two outfits by Spell and the Gypsy Collective are all I see. When Coachella rolled around a million versions of these same outfits were worn and then Instagramed non-stop. Why does this grate my nerves, you ask? Well the outfits featured in the top pictures are two versions of their playsuits and playdresses that sell for $159 and the bottom “dress” is $239. Now why would someone spend that kind of money to not be able to bend over or lift their arms without showing the world their cooch? What a misnomer, there is no playing in these suits or dresses! Even the gal in the photo has to put her hands in her lap just to sit down. The gals at Coachella must have had a blast picking their wedgies, not being able to sit down, not being able to wave their hands in the air to fist pump to the music and certainly there was no bending over going on. Forget about that lipstick you just dropped on the ground, Little Missy, because it’s gone now…that’s just the price of fashion! I must say though, the folks sitting on the lawn as you walked by must of got an enjoyable eye-full. You made some people’s day right there!
The gal on the bottom right is the first and only example out of hundreds that I’ve seen to not give it away for free. Thank you for leaving a little mystery there for us. And although I like these outfits (I really do, when they’re worn with pants) they basically equate to expensive Xanadu-ized versions of ass-showing hospital gowns that you more than likely would look back on with regret for buying and wearing to any event that requires you to move.
I guess what really bothers me about this is how much we pay for so little sometimes. It’s not so much about the gals forgetting to put on their pants in the morning. That’s their choice and I certainly don’t mind voyeuristically benefiting from their decision. But when you pay $239 for literally one yard of fabric, machine embroidered embellishments and fringe (and it’s probably mass-produced in a sweatshop), it just makes me wonder where our minds are at. Now, in Spell’s defence, I really like the look of their clothes and they have a wonderful reputation for quality and service, not to mention that their product line is designed by sisters. I love the idea of keeping it in the family; It warms my heart. However, I couldn’t find anything on their site about where the clothes are actually manufactured and what thought goes into the materials they source. There is one sentence that declares that their products are handmade but that could mean handmade by a sweatshop worker for all I know. Sure, they’re hand-designed by the sisters but what happens after that is anyone’s guess. And this post isn’t really about Spell at all. They deserve great success. They’re just one example of the greater whole and perhaps it’s the demand side of this equation that is even more flawed than the supply side.
Now I strongly believe that when purchasing any garment (especially a trendy dress for $239) that your thought process should go something like this: 1. “Does is look smokin’ hot on me?” 2. “Can I truly afford this without going into debt?” 3. “Do I really need this and will I get my money’s worth?” 4. “Is it well made or will it fall apart after the first wash?” 5. “Where was this garment manufactured and did anyone have to suffer or make unfair wages to produce this?” 5. “Did making this garment contribute to polluting the air, soil and water of some far away country?” These questions should be hard and fast rules but I think people just stop at #1. Instant gratification with out-of-sight-out-of-mind consequences.
The bottom line is that I have talented and underutilized friends–and you probably do too–that could make something similar out of eco-friendly materials, tailor it to your body shape AND add some extra material to the bottom so your cooch doesn’t hang out AND they could probably do it for the same price. Even better, we can all learn to make, or in the very least repair, our own clothes. Our society treats clothes as disposable when the human and environmental impact is actually way too severe for that sort of ignorance. I say, invest in a few, high quality, handmade pieces that suit your style, fill in the gaps with thrifted items and screw the rest. Don’t get stamped out by a cookie cutter.
Ugh, I clearly need to rethink my Instagram.