Left: Stylist Philip Pelusi and some equally brain-dead models; photo courtesy CNN
One of the most useless links I have clicked on in recent memory - one of those wasted moments where you wish there existed a Department of Time Refunds that could give you back those forever lost minutes - has to be a CNN fashion piece entitled "In a recession, cheap is chic".
In retrospect, I am not sure why I felt a compulsion to click on the link. I intuitively knew that this would be a vapid piece of writing featuring interviews with idiotic fashion experts and marketing twits trying to find a way to keep the cash rolling in for their worthless products, and that it would be geared toward shallow folks for whom their clothing, haircuts, and makeup are the most important aspects of their lives.
Yet I still clicked, and yet I still kick myself for clicking.
For those of you unfamiliar with my sense of fashion, it revolves almost entirely around the nexus of price and quality. I am more interested in questions like "can this same item be purchased cheaper elsewhere" and "will these pants last for five years or more" than I am with one such as "does this make me look hot?"
Now, I try to avoid looking like a complete tool, but my academic employment wardrobe consists of khakis, plain work shirts, and a jacket that at least remotely matches one or the other. Blue jeans and sweaters fit the bill for days when I am working at home or when my already limited attention to fashion wanes.
All of these items, mind you, can be purchased from places like the Salvation Army and local Goodwill stores, and I pride myself when I find a like-new button-down shirt for $3. I suspect that something like half of my attire originated at a resale shop, and while I will never make the cover of GQ, I funnel those unspent clothing dollars into more useful pursuits, like investments or home improvements.
But hey: make sure you Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Hollister slaves keep shelling out your hard-earned cash for this overpriced clothing. Someone has to keep our consumer-driven economy rolling, and besides: when I retire, I'd like there to be lots of credit- and fashion-addicted fools to be forced to work and pay the taxes that afford me to collect what remains of my Social Security contributions.