Saturday, 26 January 2013

Cyber Fashion

Fashion is easier to access than ever before thanks to Mr Internet guy who invented the whirlwind that is the internet. Now with just one click of a mouse and a few furious slaps of the keyboard we can access high street stores in the comfort of our very homes. For some, this miraculous invention seemingly is the best thing that has happened to the world, but for others it’s more a tragedy than a miracle.  
  Reversing time a few dozen years, fashion was focused and centred in the high street. Take fashion Icon and designer Coco Chanel for example, in 1945 her boutique was a temple for fashionistas. Computers didn’t even exist back then, let alone mobile devices and most certainly not the internet! If people wanted fashion they made the effort to hunt it down! But increasingly fashion has developed into a no-effort zone. If people want fashion all they have to do is sit back and flick through a few pages to find their clothes! The phenomenon of the internet and online buying delivers an ultimate convenience, tempting people and captivating them. Meanwhile some of the high street stores  remain vacant and unloved, losing out to the world of cyber fashion.

I have experience in both areas of fashion, both the cyber world and the real high street shops. I try to balance my purchasing habits - some months I’ll give into the convenience of the internet and snap up some items with just a single click, while at other times I’ll make the effort to venture out to the stores. Both methods of buying have their serious advantages. Let’s start with the internet! Internet buying is the goddess of convenience.  Forget walking around the streets in the rain with heavy bags pulling your arms down to the ground because they’re so heavy. Forget the days where you have to drive all the way back to the shop to swap/return an item that for X, Y or Z reason doesn’t quite satisfy your wants – they have all the boxes listing your excuses! Forget the days where you had to scan the whole street of shops and scramble through their countless rails before you found that ‘blue crop top’ that you’d been wanting. The internet has the search criteria box and filteration system to narrow it down to your size and price range and if that website doesn’t have it why not try the many other available shops? Forget the days of crying yourself to sleep because the new Gucci shoes that you’ve seen in Vogue are waayyy to expensive for you to afford – Net-A-Porter fan anyone? Clearly internet buying has its major advantages and half a paragraph later I’ve managed to briefly summarise the top select few reasons why so many of us jump on the bandwagon and shop this way. But, what about its disadvantages? In my experience cyber fashion is almost a little too easy; Plastic cards disguise the reality of spending, one-click and you can’t go back, and there’s the increased chance of fashion addiction (we’ve all been there at some point right?) - there are no limitations; masses of ads that pop up alerting you of all the discounts you could be missing, not to mention the models who promote every item of clothing and look perfect in everything (they could make a bin bag look like a Oscar De La Renta creation..) .In addition there’s their sneaky returns policy when that to-die-for pair of shoes you ordered don’t fit and you end up losing out paying P&P to send them back!
  What spurred on this endless rant you ask? Simple. The saddened feeling I get when a walk past a shop that has closed down. It remains unloved, like a fashion ghost house, no thanks to the internet! I will confess that without the numerous apps on my phone directly linking me online to my favourite stores a piece of my fashion ‘protein’ would disappear. The internet is my source of news, trends and clothes. I can’t deny the feeling of excitement as I wait for a package to arrive at my doorstep containing my much anticipated clothes – like a small child on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to arrive. But, I don’t want fashion to only exist in a Cyber world, I like the smell of new clothes, feeling their unique textures and caressing the fabric, in comparison to the smell of my cereal as I shop for my clothes huddled in my pyjamas of the sofa. For me, when I shop for clothes it should be so much more than just clicking away at a screen.

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* image credit to Google images 

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