Written on : 27 December 2015
Do you love shopping for new things? Do you shop online, non-stop, in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep? If you are like me, you understand the exhilarating and delight of buying a new pair of shoes, opening that box, riffling through the tissue as you reach for that beautiful new object, as your hands sink into the box and pull the beauty out, it smells freshly new, it looks commandingly shiny, and you bask in a sense of acquired taste as it overwhelms you with a strong sense of joy. Over time, you might also know that lack luster feeling when that new shoes lost the buzz, when it’s been broken in, it’s comfort becomes unconscious, and when the feeling of newness and that object’s centered excitement lessen, and your shoes, completely and utterly lost it’s new energy.
I call the feeling of the modern buyer’s intoxication with new things, the New Energy. Everyone wants this feeling, some feeling larger in size if you’re buying a new car, or a new computer versus buying a bag of new high street makeup from the chemist. While it is fleeting, the New Energy is powerful, it temporarily changes one’s sense of identity, making one feel more complete, as the object’s offers a future, a little shinier you then usual and this New Energy adds a spring to one’s step, lightens moods, encourages smiling and generates a sense of wholesome satisfaction.
Just like a relationship, we all have relationships with our things. Be it clothing, furniture, kitchen appliances, and lots of other things we wear. How do we develop continuity in these relationships so that we appreciate, cherish and continue to love our things as soon as it’s New Energy started to dissipate? In the age of consumerism, where you’re constantly bombarded and encouraged to constantly buy things, how do you make sure the things you already own continued to be loved, appreciated and continue to be valuable?
Those people who loves vintage clothing, those who loves ‘thrifting’ and those who use apps and websites to dabble in the world of selling and buying pre-loved items knows how to take care of and value the things that has history, things made by hands, and things that has existed and changed owners for many years. I’ve started thinking about this as I began to accumulate more vintage clothing and shoes. Even those things I realize after a few wears that this was a mistake, all new things has a New Energy that appears in some ways as if I attached a particular visualization to the concept of ownership, and that visualization generates a feeling. For example, if you’re an Instagram follower of fashion bloggers who’s quite trend-focused, you’d be interested in owning a double flap Chanel bag, with a logo, a Celine bag, and destroyed jeans with barely there strappy heels.
My own interest at the time was in owning a pair of white trainers/sneakers, because the advice goes that a white pair of Converse goes with ‘everything’ and a pair of white trainers adds glamour to your look as posited by Virginia Postrel in her book ‘The Power of Glamour’. The two pictures above are white trainers I owned, one is brand new, just out of a box, and the other I’ve owned and worn to death, it has travelled with me all over Europe, and it has seen glaciers and the midnight sun in Iceland. It is worn, dirty and very comfortable. I recall the day I first bought this white Converse, the visualization I recall having was to be trendy without being a fashion victim, to be subdued and elegant in my casual wear, and I visualize being able to subvert all my sequined and formal dresses with this white Converse. It generates a feeling of accomplishment because this white converse allows my version of loud elegance that essentially is a short cut subversion of traditional modernity, a far superior feeling then buying a trendy item in my humble opinion.
The New Energy can be regenerated for my dirty worn white converse, maybe by learning how to clean a white trainers so they continue to look crisp, to wear it once a week consciously over your other sneakers, and to be aware when you ankle to work that this idea of subverting traditional modernity is what you carry with you.
You know when you’re a little bit too precious with your new things when you tell yourself you’ll only wear it on special occasions. In the modern traditions of fashion trends, there is no such thing as a special occasion wears anymore unless it’s a wedding, or a prom. If you’re a follower of the fashion cults of social media, you’ll notice and follow a specific preaching of individuality that also dictate that by being individualistic, you need to fit in a specific vernacular that shows ‘relevance’. Being Relevant is the way you can become a modern follower of fashion.
So herewith following the modern cult of fashion, and in social media how-to-lists style, I give you 5 ways you can make an art out of loving your stuff even when the New Energy has plateaued.
- Meditate on Quality.
- Dare to rid of your Mistakes ASAP.
- Cleaning is showing your stuff some love.
- Celebrate saving for the next Big New Energy.
- Generate bigger feelings of Value.