Fashion is stupid

N a world in which anything can be deemed fashionable, I never seem to make the cut.

Last week I found myself pressured to buy jeans that weren’t “tapered,” “stonewashed,” or “made out of animal hides.” All my life, I’ve chosen clothes based on comfort rather than by the guidelines the fashion industry sets for appropriateness. My friends tell me this widely accepted formula consists of a few general questions to keep in mind when shopping for trendy clothing. For example: Does the piece cost at least 10 times more than you had expected? Does it appear to be pre-aged and worn, and therefore defeat the purpose of buying new attire? Is it unnoticeably awkward and painful to wear? Would Justin Timberlake like it? You are required to buy the piece, apparently, if all the answers to the questions are, “Like, yes!”

Possibly the worst part about accepting fashion into one’s life is that the clothes must be tried on before they are bought. It was especially hard for me to do this before I bought my first pair of stylin’ jeans. You see, I hate changing rooms. I’ve never had a positive experience with them. They are always occupied with lines of people waiting to barge in the second someone opens one of the flimsy doors. What’s more, I always get stuck with a door with a faulty lock. Usually people just open the door when I’m changing, but last week, I managed to lock myself out no less than four times. The unpleasantness of asking an employee for a key was accentuated by the frustrated groans of the fashion connoisseurs waiting in line. I felt like just giving up and buying Wranglers at K-Mart.

Alas, I ended up buying jeans. Call me a hypocrite, but it felt good to finally fit in with the crowd – or so I thought. My friends quickly reminded me that pairing “designer” jeans with Reebok pumps and old football jerseys was a foolish fashion decision. This heartbreaking news got me thinking.

Fashion is stupid.

So what if I dress like I time-traveled here from the early ’90s? People should be judged on the content of their characters, not by whether their clothes are in style. Standing by your wardrobe for a long time is more respectable than having your style constantly manipulated by the prepaid fashion opinions of television and magazines.

Being fashionable is basically being a consumer whore. However, I don’t mind that some people are into that scene. Just count me out.

While you’re wearing your $120 cashmere sweater, I’ll be wearing my thrift-store Body Glove heat-sensitive shirt. It’s awesome.

One day, I’ll be the trendsetter. Just you wait.

Mat Koehler is a columnist. He welcomes comments at [email protected]