community awareness: brand goggles
I joined the hoards at H&M today in an attempt to get my mitts on a piece of Marni x H&M. Unfortunately due to my currently crazy schedule, I didn’t get my lunchbreak until 2pm this afternoon.
By the time I arrived, there were still plenty of women on the prowl but sadly the supplies were depleted. There were only the knitted tops with orange leather fronts left and a few items of menswear.
Here’s what led me to write this post – women, who I could not possibly imagine would ever wear that top, were considering buying it to get their piece of Marni. At the same time, women were eyeing off a rather attractive necklace that could have been a Marni piece but as soon as they realised it was from the regular H&M line, they quickly put it down again. It was the perfect example of brand goggles at play.
brand gog•gles (n): the phenomenon where one views an item of fashion favourably or not, purely as a result of its brand label
1. That orange leather shirt looks terrible on her but she’s wearing her brand goggles so she’s going to buy it regardless.
2. I should’ve bought that gorgeous necklace from H&M but I had my brand goggles on.
Don’t think I’m being all high and mighty, because I’m a big sufferer of brand goggles myself. I know that there are numerous items that have made their way into my closet purely because they were on sale at my favourite store, Anthropologie. If it had been in any other store, I would’ve looked more closely at the quality or the style or the colour (you get the idea) and determined that realistically, that whimsical print that looked so good in its home environment of the store would never work in my real life.
I’m tempted to blame my brand goggles on my private girls’ school experience of trying to fit in by wearing the right clothes but that just doesn’t cut the mustard – it’s a long time now since I was in high school. I should be setting my own style.
To an extent, I do. One of my favourite work jackets is a Chanel-inspired blue tweed from H&M and I always get so many compliments from colleagues who are amazed when I confide where I found it. I would be very interested to see a fashion equivalent to “blind taste tests” to find out what we actually choose when we aren’t faced with brands.
So, dear readers, now that I’ve shared my thoughts, tell me what you think. Do you suffer from brand goggles? If so, what’s your poison? If not, what’s your secret?