A Love of Fashion Does Not Equate to Materialism

My favorite and most memorable piece of clothing? That’s hard. It might be my Thirty Seconds to Mars sweater, since I love the band. And Jared Leto. It might be the vintage blush silk top that I got on my first vintage shopping trip.

No. It is my Tiffany’s bracelet. It’s silver with a heart hanging off of it. Why is it my favorite? Because it belonged to my grandmother, who died of ovarian cancer when I was too young to even understand what cancer was. When the doctors informed her that she only had a few weeks left to live, my grandfather went to Tiffany’s and bought her the most beautiful bracelet he saw. It was the most extravagant thing she had ever owned, costing less than $500. After she passed away, my mother gave it to me, and it was one of the few physical reminders that I had of her.ArielleMcManus

Fast-forward many years later to October 29th, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy changed my life. My family had to evacuate the house, and when we came back the next day, we saw that everything we owned had been destroyed. The bracelet had been washed away in the flood. I was devastated.

My boyfriend felt terrible that I lost the bracelet, along with everything else, in the storm. He saved up his money and for this past Christmas, he bought me a new one. That bracelet, which may just seem like a materialistic item to others, means the world to me. It is a reminder of the amazing woman that my grandmother was, and also a reminder of my boyfriend. There is so much love associated with that bracelet.

You may be wondering what the point of that story was. Well, that was my homework assignment for my Fashion Forecasting class. After the class finished telling their stories, my professor told us that the point of the assignment was to get the class to see that fashion is not merely about “things”. There is a story behind fashion. There is a history, as well as many emotions, that accompany pieces of clothing and accessories. Some do not understand this. There are those that say fashion is materialistic, and those that follow fashion are spoiled. That is not true.

Fashion is about you. Fashion is about the way you feel. It is about the things you have experienced. It is about the hardships of your life, and well as the riches of your life. Do not let your love of fashion make you feel as though you are materialistic or spoiled. Fashion is how you express yourself. If you love fashion, embrace it; don’t feel ashamed of it.

So, what’s your most memorable item of clothing?

Arielle

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