In fashion, the big old debate of choosing style over comfort has been on for a while. As consumerism continues to rise, so those the functionality and style continue to merge in some areas and grow further apart in others.
For example, in the case of hair products, hair accessories for one are a prime example, as they now function with a dual purpose: a practical way to keep your hair tidy and to offset your hairstyle or compliment your outfit. Shoes, belts, handbags; anything deemed an accessory can now be vital to your look, but the inventors of these items certainly weren’t thinking about fashion during their creation. Another example is shoes. Shoes were originally made to protect our feet from harsh extremities and they still do that but they have become one of the most recognized fashion pieces and accessories in terms of style and fashion statements. Entire companies are dedicated to making shoes not for the sake of its function but for the sake of its fashionability. This has resulted in entire stores becoming devoted to selling them.
Without a doubt, stilettos and high heels were not designed for the purpose of protection or comfort–quite the opposite in fact. High heels ranging from 4 inches to 6-inch heels cause both walking difficulties and discomfort to some of those that wear them. Despite how they usually make walking harder, high heeled shoes are sometimes deemed staple for fashionable women and even more so for shorter women. This societal embedded need that’s not integral to our survival instincts as humans have caused women to usually carry an extra pair of flats or flip-flops to wear when they are out of sight of those who would judge their fashion sense. (for example when they are on their way home from a night out or from the office)
Handbags are another product that started initially as items for convenience but have evolved to become fashion items taken very seriously. Handbags are a product that’s commonplace on the fashion scene. Handbags are even showcased on runways, highlighting their importance when designing a model’s outfit. Once merely useful for holding a woman’s powder-room palette, they are now key style pieces for models and everyday women alike. Back in the day, handbags were women’s alternative to men’s pockets, as her dress would rarely ever have them (that, and they had a greater desire for makeup storage). Along with the trend of carrying flat shoes, handbags can practically carry a woman’s life around with her, from medicine to magazines. And for moms bags like the Big Diaper Bag leave no room (pun intended) for the option of carrying a tiny bag which only serves the purpose of being a fashion item. The bags that are designed for aesthetic purposes only tend to trade outsize, usually only big enough to hold a phone and if you’re lucky your car keys too.
Belts are another clothing accessory with an original purpose of functionality that now also serves as a fashion item. Belts are of course quite useful in ensuring your pants don’t end up around your ankles and even though their base design and function can’t really be altered too much, people have found ways to customize them and make them high fashion. You have designers belts like Hermes costing up to one thousand dollars.
This is an obvious no-brainer. We need dresses to cover our nakedness and protect us from harsh weather and environmental conditions. In fashion, dresses are often held close to the wearer’s body, worn to accentuate a woman’s hips or the design of her clothes. And besides their original function dresses are a major way to make a fashion statement and hold so much meaning in the world we live in today. A public figure like a princess or celebrity’s choice of dress can influence an entire generation and decades of fashion movement. They can send a message and communicate intentions in politics and social issues. The beloved Princess Diana used her choice of dresses to communicate and shape her image. Dresses have become works of art kept in museums or auctioned off at expensive rates.
By the 1940s, girls of all ages wore pants outfits at home and for casual public events, but they were still expected-if not required to wear dresses and skirts for school, church, parties, and even for shopping. In some societies, this is still an expectation even in modern societies like the US where the girls are expected to wear a dress to church for Easter Sunday for example. Today, girls can wear pants outfits in nearly every social situation. Many of these pant styles and elaborate outfits are not necessarily as comfortable as commonly used baby clothes like onesies or pyjamas like soft clothes.These days, the way kids dress has gone beyond any old rules or expectations. Kids clothes are now increasingly starting to look like adult clothes and with this similarity comes the sometimes inconvenience.
All in all, though clothing items have a primary function, the role they play in society, in showing our personality, fashion sense, status, class etc is also an important role. Finding a way to balance comfort with fashionability gives you the chance to rip both benefits.