Fashion and identity

We live in a very materialistic world. in which how we dress defines what type of person we are. I say this because people stereotype and get a sense of idea on what type of person you are primarily by the way you dress. Here’s an example you walk down Wall Street what do you see a large number of men wearing suits, your immediate assumption these are all wealthy men, you see another group of men in jeans and hoodies your opinion of them may begin to deter.

Why is it that we spend so much of our income on how we dress. what is the sole purpose of clothing? To regulate the temperature of our bodies(in which why we wear coats in the winter), or is it to protects us from the environment that why we wear shoes on our feet(at least in the industrialized developed world); but yet people become obsessed with fashion to the point that they’ll spend their entire paycheck on one a shopping spree.

so what is the purpose of clothing? As I alluded to in my introductory paragraph human beings use cloths as a form of identity. you recognize a doctor by his white trench coat, as you recognize a police officer by his blue sometimes black uniform.we impose identities onto people based on how they dress. A young man walks down the street sagging paint, wearing a do-rag it might come to mind that he is a hoodlum, another man walks down the street wearing an Armani suit we say to ourselves this person is wealthy and respectable.From my observation cloths are used as a status symbol.

Yet is a pair of air jordans worth its 250$ price tag. Especially when you consider the amount of capital in labor(very little since it’s made by a laborer in china the gets paid a third of a U.S workers would) or the material input which is may not be more than 20$ dollars. I appreciate free market capitalism in which firms seek to make a profit, I get it. But at the same token some common sense has to prevail, as consumers we shouldn’t be so swept into spending our money(many of us work extremely hard for) just to wear the same iteration of sneakers that essentially hasn’t changed in design for 25 years and is purposely kept in low supply by Nike to jack up the price, to feel any type of self worth.

In society many people(many times typically from poor minority background) spend a great deal of their income on clothing, finding self-worth through keeping up with trends, this can be quite destructive, one can look at all the black that have gotten murdered just for a pair of 200$ sneakers. How a person living in public housing and substitutes on government assistance still finds the spare income to allocate towards a pair of jordans, yet some of the rich’s people in the world spend very little in thought or on income on the way they dress. Most famous is Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook whose net worth as of 2016 stands around 46 billion, famously only wears a gray t-shirt, blue jeans, and converse as his typical attire.

There is a serious need for dialogue on priorities when tech billionaire spends less on clothing than your typical inner city young man.