Caving into a Fast Fashion Trend

It seems like I’ve been buying more clothes recently than I have in years. This is partially because my freelance design business is thriving and I have the money to enjoy shopping once again, and partially due to what’s been coined “fast fashion”. There’s great stuff out there.  It’s well designed and it’s cheap. New, trendy, clothing is more available than ever before, the trick is to find items that will look good for a long time rather than stuff that will be dated by next year.  Sometimes I buy great, classic pieces that I wear for ages, sometimes I cave in and get things I know are just a fad.

There are some trends that walk onto the catwalk and take the fashion world by storm. The best designers are visionaries who tap into the subliminal desires of the public, creating beautiful garments that inspire clothing manufacturers around the globe. Most women cannot afford the couture version, but many will embrace the new looks and add them to their wardrobes when they find a few pieces in their price range.  Studded motorcycle jackets came out of Balmain a couple of years ago and the look has hung around. It’s still being reinterpreted and reinvented and perhaps will be for a while. I didn’t know it would become a long-term fashion trend, but it has.

Some trends start on the streets. I have a feeling that short-shorts and “arm candy” began this way and then worked its way up to high fashion. Super-long maxi dresses seemed to appear by some unspoken consensus. Now all the girls are wearing them. It’s a flattering, elegant look that I think will be around for a while.

But then there are the trends that seem to be there for retail purposes only. Like clockwork they arrive in magazines and mid-level retail stores every few years. I find these looks rather forced. Nautical is ‘in” again this summer. I know because it’s in all the magazines, but I’ve seen it too many times to become excited by the stripes and anchor motifs. Stripes I can embrace, they’re classic, but the tribal print trend that suddenly arrived in stores two years ago is the kind of trend I avoid. I know the knit jersey quasi-african print tops and dresses, cheap plastic beaded purses and other inexpensive trendy items will seem really dated by next year. I was rather proud of myself because I successfully avoided the look for months. Then it happened. I found a piece on sale.

My husband discovered it on a rack shoved between a bunch of other 60% off items. I tried it on. We both agreed it was cute, and it was less than $8. How can I say no to that?

So I caved in and bought it.

The top is flattering, the colors are great, its lightweight, and there’s all this beautiful beading on the neckline. It goes with my new faux tortoise cuff and the unusual khaki chandelier earrings that I’ve had for years. Bizarrely, I have a bright green vinyl purse that matches the top perfectly. Flare leg white jeans and chunky sandals finish the look.

This definitely falls into what I would call fast fashion. Like fast food it’s good for the pocketbook but terrible for your body and probably not great for your soul either. I hate to be a culprit. Do I feel kinda guilty? Am I something of a hypocrite for caving into what I consider a lowly retail trend? Yes, but I’ve worn it to two barbeques already. Mea Culpa.


  • Top – Inc. from Macy’s
  • Earrings – Forever 21
  • Cuff – Bellissima (A very similar one by the same designer can be found here.)
  • Purse – Santee Alley (Read all about my adventures in the land of counterfeit purses here.)
  • Jeans – James Jeans (A similar pair can be found here)
  • Sandals – Roberto Del Carlo (Here they are in black)

What do you think of fast fashion? Have you ever succumbed to it’s siren call?


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31 Responses to Caving into a Fast Fashion Trend

  1. anne aka SpyGirl
    July 9, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Ah, Fast Fashion. Now there’s a book about it, to make you feel even MORE guilty: “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion”


    You look lovely – no, radiant – in your ikat print top (calling it “tribal” is another Bad Thing). You’ve worn it more than once, you’ll give it to charity when you tire of it (me! I’ll take it!), I think the fashion ethics police will only give you a warning, no ticket (or maybe a moving violation).

    I have a top that I bought in the late 80s at either Judy’s or Wet Seal (remember them?) while researching for Barbie — a black crushed velvet ballet neck top. It cost $16. I still fit in it and still wear it. Fast fashion pieces aren’t necessarily shoddy and trendy. They can become classics, for a bargain price.

    It’s a difficult issue. One wants to do “the right thing.” But heck, it was under $8. Many people earned money making it (designer, print designer, textile house, printer, cutter, sewer, etc etc). Hopefully their working conditions were good, hopefully they were adults.
    anne aka SpyGirl recently posted..Preppy Badass – 70s FlashbackMy Profile

    • anne aka SpyGirl
      July 9, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Oh, and your TORTOISE nails!!!!! LOVE!
      Compliment Hugo on the fantastic shots.

      • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

        Thanks Anne. I’m still perfecting the technique and hoping to do a DIY post sometime soon.

    • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

      Oh I know, when you lift up the manufacturing issues too, gosh it goes on and on. I try to think of the sweet saleswoman who got a nice little commission from my various purchases, not all of them fast and cheap on that shopping expedition either!

  2. Mary Ann
    July 9, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    The top looks great, even if it is ‘fast fashion.’ I succumb to that when it’s that cheap, too! I try to also buy a lot of nice, classic pieces at consignment and thrift stores…so I can get quality items at fast prices! 😉

    Thank you so much for taking a moment to stop by and say hello. Also, did you check out my latest giveaway? Everyone who enters wins a $15 virtual gift card to Inpink jewelry!

    • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      I buy a lot at thrift and consignment stores too – they’re a frugal treasure chest!

  3. Alexis Grace July 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Macy’s INC line doesn’t offend me as some fast fashion does (and let’s be honest, you got this top on crazy sale!).
    I have a bigger issue with stores like Forever 21 that rip off other designers in order to keep their shelves full.
    In the case of Macy’s it seems more like a trend is embraced instead of a design ripped off.
    Does this make sense? (I feel like I am not making sense!)

    Either way, I love the green top on you!
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Christian Dior Fall 2012 Couture CollectionMy Profile

    • Donna
      July 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      I don’t like the “tribal” look, which does seem to be a trend almost every year. But in general I love Inc. And I especially love Inc on sale!

      Donna recently posted..Beach blue eyes and red lipsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Oh, I’ve never thought Macy’s copied designers in that sense of fast fashion. My definition of fast fashion is more of buying something that you know you won’t keep for a long time. This will look like a rag sooner rather than later (I can just tell by the fabric) and I know I won’t want to wear it next year. It will look too “Out”. But thanks I’m glad you like it. It is pretty!

  4. Pam
    July 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I love the top and bracelet….I know this is an issue that many of us struggle with…whenever there is an easy answer…maybe we can spread it around the blogosphere!!
    Pam recently posted..Be Visible….TODAY!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      I don’t know if there is an easy answer, but I know I’ve never thought about it this deeply before. It seems like the issue of ethics in fashion becomes more and more problematic every year.

  5. DressCode:HighFashion
    July 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Hey dear,

    cute summer look! I love green this season.

    Hugs, Jen
    DressCode:HighFashion recently posted..Burberry Fall/Winter 2012 Ad Campaign by Mario TestinoMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

      Me too! Well, I’ve been into green for a while, but it does feel fresh this summer.

  6. Donna
    July 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    When I had more money I tried to buy higher quality goods and I looked at where they were made. Right now I have very little money, so I buy a lot from the thrift store and occasionally from Target or Marshall’s.
    I think you should just do the best you can as far as ethics go re: where the product is made. As for cheap trends in themselves, I try to mix trendy with classics.

    Donna recently posted..Beach blue eyes and red lipsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

      I just feel bad when I buy something I KNOW I won’t wear for long. Some trends I’ve bought into but I hope they’ll continue so I can get good wear out of them.

  7. Lia ~ Smart n Snazzy
    July 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Love the look on you! It’s hard to not cave in to fast fashion, but as you said, so long as it’s got “staying power” it’s worth it 🙂 And for less than $8, that top is a bargain! It looks lovely on you, and that first picture of you is absolutely breathtaking!
    Smart n Snazzy
    Lia ~ Smart n Snazzy recently posted..DIY ~ Nautical Shell Anchor NecklaceMy Profile

  8. Patricia
    July 13, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I agree that arm candy and short shorts were probably looked down upon for a while as trashy and inappropriate then some high fashion desginer was inspired by “street” or “urban” fashion and made it high-fashion. I agree on the Maxi dress. This trend came out of know where. There is nothing wrong with getting trendy items, but you are right. Think about the longevity of the item before you buy it. Good sound advice and high quality pictures as usual!
    Patricia recently posted..Fashion Friday Round Up July 9 to 13My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Thanks Patricia I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Stacey - Total City Girl
    July 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    The shirt looks good on you! I like the bag also!!
    Stacey – Total City Girl recently posted..Chip Chat: Deep River NY Spicy Dill Pickle ChipsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca July 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      Thanks Stacey! The bag is a lot of fun.

  10. Crystina July 27, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    Outfits are awesome, Top is pretty with tiny print it is look very nice.
    Apparels for women

    • Heather Fonseca July 27, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Thank you Crystina.

      • TheTrendSeeker September 26, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        Heather I dont think you have anything to feel guilty about, the fact is you are exactly right even looking at AW12 new trends there is no way all these trends will last for more than one season and not everyone can afford the top lables so the market for “fast Fashion” at affordable prices for all is open!. Is fashion only for the elite? no its for everyone and fast fashion creates jobs for people all over the world more than the big designers. Here in Great britain we are using british manufactures creating jobs and fuelling fast fashion check us out at
        TheTrendSeeker recently posted..AW12 Gothic Studded Embellished Spike Metallic Gold Foil Cross Skull Owl Print TMy Profile

        • Heather Fonseca September 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

          Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you like the post.


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