“The Rise of Inconspicuous Consumption & Its Effect On Fashion” is an article I wrote for SheSpark after listening to NPR program “Hidden Brain” hosted by Shankar Vedantam. The show, titled “Never Go To Vegas, and Other Unspoken Rules of Being an A-Lister” was so provocative and in step with what I’m witnessing in fashion’s evolution that it seemed imperative to share.
Before jumping into the ways I’m seeing A-listers practice IC in fashion and beauty, please take a mount to read the first article on SheSpark.com. It defines “A-lister” in this particular context, which isn’t the glamorous tabloid depiction, and the “what and why” of inconspicuous consumption (IC). This information helps you determine if the IC phenomenon is in line with your values and goals. Fashion and beauty trends work best if they match who you are and where you’re going.
How Are A-Listers Getting Fashionably IC?
Here are fashion and beauty IC trends that are rising in affluent (or aspiring) circles. Mind you, I’m totally behind IC as a responsible way of consuming but in *no way* judge those who want to let their Flash Flag fly. It’s all about making choices that are in line with who you are and where you’re going.
“Dirty ingredients” are no longer acceptable. Brands like Eminence (known for Biodynamic® farming practices) and WildBloom Skincare (rated by Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Database) offer alternatives to recognized drugstore and department store options. In fact, brands like these aren’t available in traditional locales. You have to hop online or hit the spa or a specialty store to find it. The “in the know” exclusivity is part of the allure.
Click to shop WildBloom Skincare
We used to call it “pleather” but that’s a dated term for these man-made, inexpensive materials. The technology is such that they even feel genuine. Purists scoff at most PVC vegan leather saying the toxic chemicals are bad for the environment, though cruelty free. Vegan leathers made from kelp or cork are gaining momentem– as are fish and eel skins that typically get thrown out in the fishing industry (Eluxe Magazine). Stella McCartney is one luxury brand at the forefront with non-PVC vegan leather bags (starting at $360 (USD). Brittany Nims provides a list of “13 Vegan Leather Bags That Are Good For Your Conscious & Wallet” on Huffington Post.
Upscale Activewear as Daily Wear
This seems to be the prevailing recipe: Lulumon yoga pants paired with a designer handbag (mostly Louis Vuitton– brand loyalty dies hard), a form-fitting top, Adidas Superstars, and simple diamond studs. It speaks to a life of leisure but not without self-discipline. This IC trend looks best on athletic body types (interpret that as you will) and is popular with A-listers at outdoor adventure destinations like Aspen. For a petite, bottom-heavy body type like mine, switch out the yoga pants for a wicking golf dress. You can stay dry and look like you are headed to the country club at all times.
Non-invasive Cosmetic Procedures
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look as young as you feel. The problem with botox, fillers, and plastic surgery is that they can be conspicuous and come with serious risks. A-listers are turning to non-invasive technologies like bio-brasion, LED light therapy, microcurrent, and antioxidant/vitamin-rich serums. My friend Laurie Falcon outlines these and other procedures on her site Falcon Skin Therapy. Drinking alkaline water out of non-toxic bottles is a daily part of the skincare regimen.
Artisan, Fair Trade, and Repurposed Accessories
Accessories that speak to your values or experiences is a conversation starter that can solidify A-list status. That artisan strappy sandals you bought in the Greek islands. The silk kaftan from a Moroccan market. How about those prayer beads blessed by the buddhist monk on your meditation retreat? A mass-produced necklace from a department store just can’t compete. If you don’t have the cash for exotic travel, fear not. Fair trade stores like Ten Thousand Villages and Raven + Lily carry inexpensive pieces you’ll love and still have their own stories. I’m also a repurposed materials fan. Like my friend Katherine Johnson, designer of KATROX jewelry on Etsy. From door knockers to fishing lures, you’ll see that anything can morph into a stunning work of wearable art.
This is the head-to-toe trend that you’ll see more A-listers adopting. The emphasis is on quality materials and clean lines, often with exaggerated proportions for a touch of drama. Luxury designers like Max Mara or Arjé come to mind. Even H&M joined the arena with its sister brand COS, a minimalist line that starts at $99 (USD), which is quite affordable compared to many minimalist brands. Remember those fair trade and repurposed accessories? One of these statement pieces complements any minimalist outfit. Only ONE statement piece — keep it simple.
There are plenty of other examples that you may know. Leave your suggestions or questions in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you. Again, I encourage you to read the SheSpark article “The Rise of Inconspicuous Consumption & Its Effect On Fashion” to get a better understanding about what’s driving the IC lifestyle.
Thanks for visiting!