Practicality is often the most cheap and simplistic means of going about things; the only reason it doesn’t sell to the masses is because it’s not practi-cool.
“Why is your mobile phone broken?” I ask, as yet another person whips out their screen shattered iPhone. Not really, because the answer to that is pretty self-explanatory, so I skip to, “Why didn’t you buy a phone cover for your [ridiculously expensive] phone?” , but I already know the answer; practicality isn’t cool.
It took crack heads on booze cruises who kept losing their passport for fannypacks to become cool. Now you go to Ibiza and all the big boobied stars and their fans off the Only Way Is Essex are wearing them. Yet it seems like just yesterday that we refused to be seen with our dad as he strolled up and down the sea shore in his speedos wearing the infamous bumbag. Now they come in all sizes and colours, (the big boobied Essex stars like the shiny, sparkly ones…. naturally). Now I’m just waiting for Rihanna to start the socks and sandals swag in Barbados.
Fashion is amusing, but also infinitely exasperating. For years children were bullied for their giant spectacles. Now people poke the lenses out and wear in public those 3D glasses you get free from the cinema in a desperate attempt to achieve that ever-lusting, painfully ersatz ‘sexy nerd look’. They genuinely wear them in public!
Impractical fashion is in every way, essentially an embodiment of the risky shift phenomenon. People are not only willing, but going out of their way to buy, wear and use things which independently, they typically wouldn’t. They do this based on the idea that everybody else is buying, wearing and using these things, and this is because ultimately people are looking to fit in. The motivation to not stand out from the norm via means of fashion such as adopting the nerd look is insanely ironic, considering that is exactly why “geeks” and “nerds” are picked on in the first place. So you bully them in a corner, steal their lunch money and even stole their swag! You even have the nerve to steal their identity, as you walk around wearing a tight T-shirt claiming to be a GEEK. At the end of the day people simply prefer to do “what everybody else does” a lot of the time. Being at University means I get the enviable privilege of experiencing this all the time. And I mean ALL the time. As a social secretary for a sports club at uni, my job involves arranging fancy dress nights out. Take for instance the one I planned for January…
After less than a minute’s worth of research, I had discovered a cracking, original idea. Turns out the Romans called January after the God Janus, and he had two faces; one face looked back into the old year, and the other looked forward in to the new. Thus, the theme I decided was TWO FACE THEME. This would entail coming dressed as half one thing, half another. Only one person came dressed that night, and that’s because no one had told her everyone else had decided to boycott the idea. (If you’re interested, she came as half a nerd, half a slag). My brilliant idea had been slagged off and shat on, as the fellow sports members demanded I set a more conventional dress code – one that everyone does. “ARMY THEME” they said, “IT’S EASY”, they said. And because I don’t really give a shit, the sports night approaching will be army themed. Oh man, all the boys are going to look so hard. I might have to fornicate with every single one of them.
So phone cases aren’t in fashion, but swingers are if you’re a hipster! Jeans rolled up to flash those pulled up socks…. That is, if you’re wearing any. Socks weren’t cool at one point.
There’s also the standard fashion impracticalities; we’re talking batty low riders – these are jeans purposefully worn bellow the bottom; sunglasses worn at night (I will never understand); vest tops that go out of their way to NOT cover men’s nipples or chests!
I remember in college and I’m pretty sure around university too, seeing girls carrying their books and stationary in bags of branded retail stores. You may choose to wear that shit ladies, but don’t subject your literature to the infamous darkness that is within Hollister! (Literal cold, smelly darkness).
Or how about this constant need to have the latest fads. Apple may as well advertise their products with the line “having our latest product is guaranteed to get you laid!“. This obsession with buying the latest technology is perfectly encapsulated by the Apple pandemic. They’ve created this ‘must need’ ideology and people are boldly buying in to it.
The irony of it all, is practicality is often the most cheap and simplistic means of going about things; the only reason it doesn’t sell to the masses is because it’s not practi-cool.
Photo Credit: ... Love Maeghan