Celebrating Fashion (Even When it Doesn’t Make Sense)

In email exchange this afternoon regarding business versus casual attire, and the absurdity of a necktie, I was asked: “Why would anyone make it fashionable to wear a noose around your neck?”

The question is certainly a valid one in modern times. And it is a question that applies to nearly everything in fashion, and certainly everything in jewelry. Why do we hang shiny things around our necks or wrists? Why do I have holes in my ears from which I hang sparkly baubles? Why do women teeter around on pencil-thin heels?

The answer is purely aesthetics. And, according to Wilkipedia, aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent and can become linked to judgments of economic, political, or moral value. It is what a thing symbolizes that is often what we are judging and aesthetic judgments might be based on the senses, emotions, desires, culture, values, training, instinct, or some combination of these.

Sometimes, this aesthetic aspect of jewelry and fashion makes my job as a fashion editor seem somewhat absurd. I can’t explain to my non-industry friends the importance of jewelry. And, often, I can’t explain to those more business-minded colleagues within the industry the importance of fashion. And I often can’t explain to either the importance of what we produce here—beautiful magazines like JCKstyle—which are similarly based on aesthetic judgments. But, regardless, it is a pretty cool thing for me as an editor—as well as anyone in the retail or design sides of the industry—to be involved in a business that helps make people look and feel good about themselves and attractive to others.

So, my answer: neckties make absolutely no logical sense. Neither do bracelets or earrings. But they are aesthetically pleasing. The bottom line: you look great in a suit and tie, if for no other reason than I am culturally conditioned to think so. Similarly, I think I look pretty great in my favorite dangly gold earrings, if only for the same reason. And, frankly, it makes me feel good when I look good. And that, alone, is reason enough to celebrate fashion.


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