I’ve been called many things in my life. I’ve been called a friend — and foe — I’ve been called sassy (which is my middle name); I’ve been called strange — which is probably appropriate — I’ve been called a coffee addict and Taylor Swift’s biggest fan (I’m feelin’ 22, amiright?). These names, or titles as I like to think of them, are true in every sense. I have no shame in my T. Swift fangirl moments or in my seemingly random bursts of crazy. One name, however, that I do find rather offensive is clothing snob.
It is a well-known fact that I like nice clothes. If you are Snapchat friends with me you know I have a not-so-secret love affair with J. Crew. If you have ever been on vacation with me you know that my most recent Google Maps search is always “outlet mall.” If you have ever been to my apartment you know I have a stupid amount of sweaters. And my relationship with Siri is strictly business: “what’s the weather like today and can I wear my favorite scarf?”
It is not a well-known fact, however, as to why I like nice clothes. I view clothing as an investment. Purchasing garments made from better quality materials and that are truly built to last may be expensive, but at least they will do exactly what they are suppose to do: last.
Good quality and well-made clothes are not only an investment in themselves but also an investment in yourself. Whether we admit it or not, a nice piece of clothing boosts self-confidence. And some may say, “Well, then you’re not confident enough in yourself and you put too much value in material things.” But I have to disagree with that position. Clothes are an avenue of self-expression that is unlike any other. They allow your personality to be explicitly stated, right there on your chest, for the world to see and with no explanation necessary. They are a wearable, 100% cotton personality profile.
Instead of throwing a quick judgment at someone because you think you immediately know them, step back and consider all the elements. Take a look at my chunky knit cotton sweater, oxford button-up, flat front grey chinos and flor-de-lis socks. My cotton sweater says I value comfort and ease of care, flat front pants says I don’t want to look like a dad by wearing pleated pants, and my patterned socks say that I like to have a splash of eccentricity in my day. They all give the world a little insight into what I am like as a person. Clothes help build initial bonds and make connections with people that can be cultivated into something more.
So to those who say I am materialistic and insecure, please see the first paragraph where I said I don’t care what you call me. And take a look at the human shaped billboards walking around everywhere all covered in pre-shrunk, iron-friendly, cotton-wool blend and consider what all the wearable personality elements truly say about a person.