What has got me most worried about class so far? Is it the blogs? the personal project? the group project? Nope, it is definitely the compact challenge. Now while I may not have a severe love for shopping I do find it necessary. In fact at the beginning of ever quarter I deal with my budget and set out a certain amount in order to buy clothes and other things that I deem important. And to be utterly honest my need to buy stuff will invariably overcome me. Sure I can restrict myself and cut back on buying things but to utterly stop all purchases besides hygiene and nutrition? Unbelievable! I mean, what about my mental health? I eat well, I smell good, but how can I look good in old clothes?
Ha-ha ok it is actually not that serious to me. Sure I will buy a few things but overall I think I can handle not buying several new pairs of shoes or clothing items. If worst comes to worst I can always do some Thrifting. But while on the topic of having new clothes in order to feel good about myself. I am reminded of the reading Fashioning The Bourgeoisie by Philippe Perrot, in which clothing is not just about covering yourself up from the weather but more so in order to represent yourself in accordance to societal structures inherent in your environment.
Now I believe in Perrot’s viewpoint absolutely. I wear what can be seen as urban brands such as LRG, ORISUE, NIKE, VANS, just to name a few. Why? Because this is what people wear in my home city of Oakland. Like most people, I want to stand out but at the same time fit within my society. Likewise, while I wear brands associated with the “urban hip-hop” scene, I refuse to wear items that have Abercrombie, AE, and etc on them because I find them to be representative of upper-class people. So solid is this belief that I rather go shirtless in the middle of winter than to wear an AE hoody.
But what Perrot got me thinking is that do I like the brands that I like because I truly appreciate their aesthetic or because it is representative of what part of society I want to be a part of. If so, are any of my choices my own? Free from the burdens of societal constraints? Or am I another consumerist cog like everyone else? Well hopefully I will get my answers in the coming weeks. So for now, enjoy this MV.
Perrot, Philippe. Fashioning The Bourgeoisie. Princton: Princeton University Press, 1994. pp.3-25