The Trendiness of Looking Like Everyone Else by Chellyz View
Ummmmm, let’s just state wearing designer labels isn’t a big deal to me. Now, I am not saying I haven’t or won’t purchase name brand items for myself. However, I am known for being frugal. As a child, I stated I would never shop at thrift stores. Hey, things have changed. I am my momma’s child and I get along very well with popping tags at second-hand stores. I have been teased at times for being “cheap.” So, you must think I have quite a bit of coins in my pocket. Not. (That’s a post for another time my dear readers). Anyway, my children probably have more brand names in their closet than I do. At the same time, I have taught them that there needs to be a balance. Everything doesn’t have to be designer. Create your own style. I remember stopping at a red light and everyone at the bus stop looked the same. What do I mean? Same furry boots, same hoodies with a swoosh sign, same kicks, same jackets with the fur, same lashes, same length hair, same, same and same… I believe everyone had different names but looked the same.
I recall my younger years. The styles consisted of Guess, Fubu, Apple Bottom Jeans, Colored Levi’s with the matching denim jacket, Eight Ball Jackets, Nautica, Coogi Sweaters, Herringbone Chains, Big Gold Hoop Earrings, Nikes, Swatch Watches, Adidas, Triple Fat Goose Coats, and Motion Rings. Come on. I know there are some other middle-aged folks out there who can recall the styles. One of my favorite stores was Merry-Go-Round found at the infamous trying to hold on Eastland. I also shopped at Hudson’s located at the forever missed Northland. Fellas I know some of you shopped at 4 Men Only at Tel-Twelve Mall which has been reassembled to house other stores. Oh yeah, if you weren’t feeling the prices of the mall there were boosters (who sold clothes out of their homes) and the flea market (Country Fair on Dequindre). Come on. Y’all know of some other stores. When I think about it, many of us looked the same back then as well. We were all shopping at the same place at the same d@#n time!
Generation after generation. Yes, we’re all trying to fit in where we can get in. Even my Momma and aunt had their own style which consisted of high waisted jeans, platforms, and bell bottoms during the 70’s. Back in the day, I was one of those teenagers spending their whole part-time job check for one pair of pants. I remember when I paid almost $70.00 for a pair of jeans known as Used. Yep, I spent most of my check on a pair of ripped jeans. My granddaddy at the time looked at me, shook his head, and said, “You crazy for buying a pair of jeans that are ripped. We HAD to wear ripped jeans when we were growing up.” Also, I was blessed to have a cousin that wore the same size as myself. She had all the colors of Guess Jeans. We would swap clothes since we attended different high schools. It seemed as if I had various colors to choose from also at home!
Now, there were plenty of times when I couldn’t afford the latest styles. I was teased, because designer clothes weren’t in the budget. It was a privilege when my aunt or momma gifted me with the latest gear. In high school, I worked at Kmart. There were plenty of times I purchased the matching 2 items for $20 jogging suits (included pants and sweatshirt on sale), because I didn’t have it like that. I also worked at DOTS in my 20s and I would look C-U-T-E in my $10 items. I was teased when I had my own children because, PAYLESS with the Buy one Get one ½ off (BOGO sale) was my spot. I would purchase my daughter a pair of light up princess shoes and my son a pair of light up character shoes, and still get me a pair of shoes. What? Three pair of shoes for the price of one!!!!!
Ok! Ok! Ok! You’re probably wondering, where is she going with this story? What is the relevance? Well, keeping up with the Harrisonsssss, Simpsonsssss (oh yeah, I did purchase a pair of overpriced Bart Simpson jeans), or whoever can be costly. Parents spending more than they should on designer labels. I am one of those guilty parents. Literally, I told myself I would never purchase my child a pair of overpriced Jordans but…. Imma plead the fifth. Wearing designer labels can cause us to lose focus of our priorities. Bill money spent so we or our children can look like everybody else. Who wants to be teased. Some children rather not go to school or have dropped out. There’s even an issue with school uniforms, because one child might wear a Ralph Polo school shirt with Carhartt or Dickies pants while the other child is wearing French Toast (which is very affordable). Everywhere we you look, we are looking alike!
Designer items can be dangerous and deadly. Some individuals have robbed and killed our own brothers and sisters. Yes, because we needed to blend in and look like everybody else. Longing for designer labels have costed us our freedom. We will slang substances that harm others to have bands of money to purchase what we want and when we want. Unfortunately, too many of our people are behind bars due to illegal activity because we are trying to keep up with the latest trends. I don’t think I have ever seen any of these designers posting bail for any of our kinfolk. There is a whole generation of our people looking alike with orange jumpsuits behind bars carrying the weight of lost dreams, because they wanted to look like everyone else.
What is the solution? Well, I am not saying don’t wear designer items. I’m always waiting for my daughter to get rid of her old gym shoes and clothes. It’s still in style to me even when she states it is not in style! Do as you please but remember the costs. Don’t blast me when you see me with a trendy item on, but buying those items isn’t my prerogative or priority. Most of the time, I create my own style. I enjoy going to boutiques, and supporting entrepreneurs in my neighborhood, because I don’t want to look like everyone else. Search the internet, find up and coming local designers who are setting their own trends. Recycle dollars in the community. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please share. It’s time we show and express our creativity! You know, you don’t have to look like everybody else!
-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!