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The emperor's new jeans

Blog | By Nigel Summerley | Jun 20, 2018


I went to buy some new jeans the other day – I don't subscribe to those rules that suggest that people over a certain age shouldn't wear certain things – and found that every other pair on sale seemed to come ready holed and ripped.

Why would anyone want to buy trousers with holes in them? I'm asking this question belatedly, of course, since most women – and quite a few men – seem to have been following this 'fashion' for months.

It's bad enough that people are mindlessly wearing ridiculous clothing just because everyone else is (and there is nothing particularly new in that), but isn't this fad more than slightly offensive?

These sheep in worn clothing are walking past homeless people sleeping on the street in genuinely ragged clothes – rather than ones that have been designer-dilapidated.

And from Palestine to Brazil, and many points in between, there are people who have no choice but to live in clothes that are falling apart – not to mention the fact that many of the deliberately damaged clothes on sale in our high streets are being made in poorer countries by people struggling to make enough to feed their families. What must they think of the West's latest fashion demand?

But, you may ask, what about the hippies? What about the punks? Didn't they do something similar? The difference with them seems to be that they were originally involved in some sort of home-made cultural movement.

Trousers with holes in being sold for high prices are nothing but the contemporary version of the emperor's new clothes. And perhaps it's time someone stood up and pointed that out...