Campus Couture: Wearing designer brands is not the golden ticket to fashion

woman in yellow floral jumpsuit sitting on concrete floor
While wearing solely designer brands does not equate to having a natural sense of style, it’s clear that the model in this photo, albeit donning a Gucci fanny pack, is fashionable. Photo by Godisable Jacob on

For the past week and a half, videos upon videos of the same topic have been flooding my “for you” page on TikTok, all with the same tag: #nonuancenovember. According to the original creator of the tag, you are supposed to unapologetically share your unpopular opinion with the world wide web and leave just as fast as you appeared. As for my #nonuancenovember contribution, I have decided to share my simple and straight to-the-point take via this column: Wearing solely designer brands does not mean you have a natural sense of fashion or style.  

There, I said it. Mic drop.  

Although this may not be as fresh a take as others have made, I could argue that the majority of people generally agree with this statement. I could not count on two hands the amount of times I have come across friends, acquaintances and even people live-tweeting that they are limited in expressing themselves through fashion only because they lack the funds to do so. Look at any teen drama or rom-com when the lead actress in her bedroom throws everything out of her closet, convinced that nothing she owns is worth working with because it just simply isn’t the product-placement Gucci bag her secondary character best friend has.   

Some of you may think this take is coming from a place of jealousy, and that just because one may not have the money for an entire wardrobe of Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga, it must mean that agreeing with this statement is a way of making oneself feel better for wearing the same outfit twice. However, I would argue this is exactly the opposite case.  

“Fashion is a skill; a mindset; a combination of your personality; what you find aesthetically pleasing and what makes you feel great wearing.”

In the 2006 hit-film, “The Devil Wears Prada,” character Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep and inspired by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour) mentions to Andy (Anne Hathaway) that just because she has chosen to throw on a blue sweater does not necessarily award her the badge of having fashion sense, as the sweater was actually the product of numerous higher-ups in the fashion industry who made the decision to popularize that sweater in the first place.  

“That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff,” Priestly said. 

If one were to only dress, from head to toe, in whatever a designer brand has on the floor for that season, by an objective standpoint, they wouldn’t be choosing what to wear based on natural fashion sense. They would instead let that brand choose for them, as previously mentioned by Priestly. Fashion is an art form of expression, using shapes, cuts and colors to create an aesthetic of your own on the canvas that is your body and personality. If a painter were to create an exact copy of an already existing painting, this would not be considered a breakthrough in art. However, if a painter were to take inspiration from different artists and paintings, that would be a different story, as there still are personal creative decisions involved.  

So, the next time you’re scrolling through Instagram and see influencers endorsing designer brands that not everyone can afford on the daily, don’t feel discouraged, as this is not the epitome of fashion. Fashion is a skill; a mindset; a combination of your personality; what you find aesthetically pleasing and what makes you feel great wearing.  

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