Write 250-500 words responding to Elizabeth Cline’s “Introduction - Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes”. You may want to consider these questions as you write and respond to one another:
Can you apply Cline’s viewpoint to any of the readings we’ve covered in this unit? If so, how? And if not, why not?
Please keep in mind these questions serve as a starting point for conversation, meaning you can take your ideas in any direction appropriate to classroom discussion. Consult the syllabus for detailed Chat guidelines.
Elizabeth Cline’s viewpoint can be applied to last weeks reading of the article “Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion” by Christine Muhlke. In Muhlke’s magazine article she mentions that trends are developed by one person but as soon as it goes out in the market other designers take the idea and change it up to make it their own in order to create a competition within the market. Just how a color trend like “cerulean quickly [shows] up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it [filters] down through the department stores and then [trickles] on down into some tragic Casual Corner, [people] no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin.” Cline’s viewpoint that people just look at prices and “try to get more for less” ties into the quote mentioned above of getting items at a department store. People adhere to fashions in the sense that one cannot wear the same wardrobe more than once so they go to clearance racks and avoid paying too much for something just so that they are able to expand their wardrobe collection. However, that leads to people not knowing where certain items come from or the origin of such items. Not that it affects their value but it affects the economy because we are not buying items that are made here in the United States, instead we are contributing to the clothing industries and economies of other countries by buying items made from those countries, simply because they are marked down on price.
Elizabeth Cline's viewpoints could be applied to many of the readings that we have read in this unit. Cline's viewpoint that clothes at stores like Forever 21, T.J. Maxx, and departments store are almost exact replicas of the actual and more pricey clothes at the brand name stores is similar to the reading of Trickle Down: The Circuitious Path of Ideas In Food and Fashion and 21st Century Problem. This leads to Muhlke's article that shows that once a clothing item is out for everybody to see, many people will try to replicate it and make something similar to it. The idea that the clothes are almost exact replicas of brand name stores is similar to the Trickle Down article because clothes are replicated to look exactly like the high end stores. The clothes that are first seen in brand names stores are soon in stores like Forever 21 and department stores because they want their customers to follow the high end trends. They want to provide their customers with an alternative clothing item that is similar to that of the brand name store because it is cheaper and more people will purchase the clothing item. Cline's other viewpoint is that we do not take the time out to see where the clothes is made. Cline actually looked through all of her clothes that she had acquired and she marked where each and every single clothing item was made in because many of us do not know where they originate from. This is similar to the 21st Century Problem written by the Vintage Traveler which states that we repin pictures that interest us but we do not know where and who first took put the picture online first. It's difficult to retrace the post back to the original source. This is like Cline's viewpoint that we don't take the time out to see where the clothing item is made. Since the clothes are mostly replicated, it is hard to see who was the first to create the specific clothing style.
The viewpoint of Elizabeth Cline looks like another real life example of the ideas from the two readings we have read so far, 21st Century Problems, and Christine Muhlke’s Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion. Introduction-Seven Pairs of $7.00 Shoes starts off by talking about how a perfectly good department store that sold authentic goods from out of seas gets replaced by a modern century department store we know as KMart. The major difference between these two stores is established by the price of the goods, and more importantly, the quality of the goods. 21st Century Problems addresses the issue of how people nowadays never really pay attention to the origins of anything of what they hear, see, or buy. In Elizabeth Cline’s situation the old department store carries high-end fashioned shoes that came directly from Paris whereas Kmart abandons quality for the sake of low prices. Elizabeth is one of many people to fall for the low prices because one they see a sale or discount their brains simply forgets to question: Why? In Elizabeth’s case she bought seven pairs of cheap low quality shoes that she didn’t even have chance to wear them all before the material started to come off. Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion critiques the flow of ideas and fashion which connects to Elizabeth’s topic about where she buys her clothes. Department stores such as, Forever 21, H&M, and Old Navy work really hard to keep their clothes up to date with the trending fashion that is currently “in”. And the fact that these fashion trends fluctuate so frequently it challenges designers to keep coming up with designs, only to have them be duplicated and sold cheaply at our local department stores.
Elizabeth Cline’s viewpoints relate to last week’s reading Trickle Down: The Circuitious Path of Ideas In Food and Fashion as they both talk about fashion and how people perceive it. Like Katrina says, Muhlke’s article describes how fashion is replicated while Cline’s article explains why it is replicated. All in all, throughout Cline’s article, I could tell then Cline’s way of thinking is different from that of my own. I don’t believe much in fashion since it changes so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love change, just not when it comes to the clothes I wear on my body because quite frankly I think the perfect outfit consists of jeans and a t shirt. I would much rather spend a thousand dollars on a laptop that I use on a daily basis rather than a thousand dollars on a purse that I use once for a party. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard the saying, if a girl is photographed once in a certain outfit she cannot wear it again. I think that idea is ridiculous. Because of this idea, girls think that they have to have the newest “Style” or dress in the right “colors” for that particular season. These kinds of ideas are ruining young girl’s minds by telling them they have to look a certain way, in a certain time. Although I know many girls would disagree with me, this is my way of thinking. I am much more tech orientated then I am fashion orientated. I think this way because my sister is the fashion savvy one in the family while I am tech savvy. I see that she has a million outfits in her closet and she doesn't even have a chance to wear each and every one of them, while I have a computer and a laptop, both of which I use frequently. So you tell me, which one is worth more?
Elizabeth Cline's Introduction - Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes expresses an interesting point of view about how cheap fashion has degraded the value of clothes. In 21st Century Problems, the author had an issue with his or her work being taken and altered with absolutely no credit given. That kind of scenario is evident in fashion. From a video we watched during class, it is known that fashion fluctuates and 'new fashion' isn't always novel as the industry makes it appear. Style is copied from one designer to the next, textiles and patterns reused and recycled to change and create something other designers can claim as their own. In page seven of this article, Cline explains how she observed a changing trend from "high-waisted shorts, jumpsuits... and floral-print dresses". It just so happens that high-waisted shorts, jumpsuits, and floral-print dresses were styles from the 70's (the famous jumpsuits!) and the 80's. Since there is no copyright in designs, this field of art is an open field.
Cline also notes that "fashion is oscillation... [and] change" and that affects the economy as a whole. In Christine Muhlke’s's Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion, there is a quote that breaks down the process of 'change':
"You go to your closet arid you
select... that lumpy blue sweater... but what you don't know is that sweater is not
just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're
also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de Is Renta did a
collection of cerulean gowns... And then cerulean
quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on
down into some tragic Casual Corner, where you no doubt fished it out of
some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and
This stems a the similarity between the two articles in terms of repeating styles, styles being in 'clearance', and the mentioning of fashion and the workforce. Cline's viewpoint is similar to Muhlke’s in how they view fashion with a different perspective and how it affects everything we know of in a manner more important than one. Fashion is often overlooked and clothes is usually taken for granted. Because of all three of these articles, it shows how blind of sheep most people in our society really are.
Cline's viewpoint in Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes can be applied to Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion by Christine Muhlke because first of all they focus on fashion trends. In Trickle Down, Muhlke shows how many designers look at past designs. Majority of designers or stores just take a step further from previous designs. For example in Trickle Down when Muhlke interviews Maria Cornejo “I go back to the future...I look at the last collections and try to go one step further”. Once a style is out almost every store will adapt the “trend” and put their brand on it.This is very true a great example are skinny jeans, for a while bell-bottoms where in style but now skinny jeans and multi-colored jeans are back just like in the 70s. This is also exactly what Forever 21 is, all vintage and in style. Cline just goes more in depth about how people always want to be in style and some either don’t care the cost or pretend they don’t.
The origin of something is also portrayed in both. People do not ever bother to see where a piece of clothing was originated from. Now a days how can we trace where a piece of clothing came from? We can’t because once an idea is out everyone adapts it. Originality is lost in between it all. It is normal for many people not to care as long as they are not "out of style". I personally do not care about style that much but I know that many of those that highly do have no idea where the trend originated from.
In response to Elizabeth Line's "Introduction - Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes", many department stores don't care about the quality of products they are selling, but rather the price they are selling it at. It's basically the idea of quantity over quality. Like what Cline said, Wanamaker's was replaced by Kmart, in an effort to maximize profit and sell cheap shoes. The result of this attracts blind customers who only care about prices. They forget to recognize the origins of their commercialized products and how they were made. Also, they forget to notice the quality of the shoe in which they are buying thus straying away from traditional market buying. This ties into 21st Century Problems, because it stresses the importance of how consumers like us do not recognize where and how the products was assembled and produced. This really contributes to the idea of Capitalism where everything is consumerism based. Everything produced in mass quantities thus preventing consumers from recognizing the origin of where it was made and by whom. Cline's essay relates to Trickle Down: The Circuitious Path of Ideas In Food and Fashion and 21st Century Problem, where many clothing companies will create replicas to influence consumers like us that they are the same certain brands indicate prestige and wealth, which attracts high income consumers. By producing fake branded clothing, low income can purchase clothing and shoes that give the impression that they are the same as the "real" brands. Although, consumer may be satisfied with their purchase of buying fake brands, it doesn't contribute to the good of the economy. Buying fake brands contribute more to economy of other nations because they were produced in those countries. Next time we buy something, it would be humbling to recognize what you're actually buying and from whom.
I agree with the others in the fact that this excerpt from Elizabeth Cline’s “Introduction – Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes” seems to relate to Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion by Christine Muhlke. I think they both really relate in the fact that fashion is not really what it seems when you take a real look at it. It seems as though being fashionable is either being the first one to create or wear a look, or just to be out of the ordinary. What is funny about this is that many of the new styles coming out are just repeats of the old styles from years back. So are the people wearing the latest looks or new trends really considered “fashionable?” Fashion is something I am personally not too interested in and I tend to look for the cheapest clothes that I think look decent enough to look somewhat “fashionable” and modern. This is the concept that Cline speaks about, but I also tend to not buy too many clothes. I would have to say that most of these fashion stereotypes are put on girls personally, because guys do not often care too much about their style, or not nearly as much as girls. I also think that this excerpt can be related to 21st Century Problem because Cline mentions that people do not think too much about the origin of their clothes or have no idea where they came from. Half the time we do not care to find out just because they are cheap and affordable. Fashion is something I will probably never personally figure out and will continue to amaze me by the strange styles and clothing.
Just like everyone else I also believe that Cline’s conjunction about the effects of low-price shopping and the costs to the consumer and fashion industry can be related to 21st Century Problems and Muhlke’s Trickle Down article, when people do not realize what they are possessing. However, I additionally believe that Cline’s idea can be also be applicable to the articles What is Smart? and Are Smart People Overrated? in an overall general idea of what value means to the individual.
In reference to Cline, why does the consumer buy an $1,800 Apple laptop (which in my opinion is overpriced, considering the many other cheaper alternatives that are of either equal or greater quality that the market has to offer, just sayin’ haha) but is willing to spend so little on clothing? Why does the company Enron, overlook the importance of the organization of a business and rather have success and intelligence of the individual to be the overshadowing factors of hiring and promoting someone despite lack of experience? Why do people ignore the fact of why we have our clothing or food the way it is, or what significance it has to offer? It is because of our own perspective; our values sets limits and expectations to certain things. We tend to label and put our values of things or ideas into categories of importance. Cline explicitly addresses this notion when she tells us our story of how many clothes she has yet knows nothing about it stating that,“I owned more clothing than I did anything else and probably knew least about it of anything else I bought”(Cline 5).
These piles of numerous amounts of cheap clothing Cline addresses in her story is a symbol of value, just like the symbol of value of Are Smart People Overrated would be the I.Q. of the individual, or for 21st Century Problems the photos and writing of someone’s creation and so on. And what Cline offers to her readers that our previous readings also mentions are the effects of how we value certain things. Thus, many of the general public do not know the drawbacks when shopping for cheaper clothing, or the importance of the origins of something or a company not caring about improving the system by managing in a different way even if it may be taboo and the reason for this is because they choose to not know or ignore. We as individuals have the freedom of choice to decide what we can do and hear which is why these articles are addressing the problems that surface when our values and how we act upon them possess greater effects than we do not realize.Therefore, the value of clothing that Cline addresses in Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes can be related to this overall idea that can be tied to our previous Chat readings of what value stands for whether it be in the category of intelligence, origin or business industry or whatever.
Elizabeth Cline's Introduction - Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes has some points that are similar to 21st Century Problems and Trickle Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas. Cline mentioned the fact that many Americans don't even realize that 41% of the products are made in China. The point in which 21st Century described. The reason so many of our products are being produced in China is because of the low cost of labor. Apple is a company that is known for their product being made in China. The cost of labor is lower than minimum wage in America and they sell the product to us for a ridiculous high price. Another thing that is similar is the origin of the product. Cline also mentioned about how her old store has brand names and how they come from Paris. The new store which was Kmart, has the total opposite of what the old store had. Their product was made just for the purpose of making money, There wasn't any history and technique was put into it. The idea of Trickle Down is to replicate an idea and make it yourself. That being said, stores like Forever 21 and H&M provide consumers cheap products with style that is up to date. They knew that average Americans would not have the money to buy top brand like Louis Vuitton and Burberry so they have to settle for something they can afford while keeping up with the trend.
Elizabeth Cline's viewpoint can be applied to last week's discussion about Trickle Down: The Circuitious Path of Ideas In Food and Fashion and 21st Century Problem. All three of these reading are similar in the aspect that they focus on the ideals of originality and origin. As consumer of this century, we hardly ever have the chance, at least we think we don't, to actually stop and think where we get all of our products and belongings from. As was mentioned in Trickle Down, '"nothing stays original for long," and in Elizabeth Cline's reading she mentions how we've basically lost ourselves in the constant changing trends of society. It is a constant cycle we live through; someone create's a new item or trend, producers slowly begin to copy it and transform it over time, society declares it the new trend of the season, and finally it becomes outdated and someone else comes into play and creates the new trend. It is all basically never-ending, and all three of these readings were able to convey this idea.
I believe that Elizabeth Cline’s article “Seven Pairs of $7 Shoes” relates to not only the “Trickle-Down: The Circuitous Path of Ideas in Food and Fashion” article by Christine Muhlke but the “21st century Problems” blog post as well. All of the articles discuss the transformation of ideas in the world today. The articles by Cline and Muhlke specifically focus on the transformation of the fashion industry. Before, most people were willing to pay a good amount of money for the clothes they desired. However, now that people realize they can get the same exact article of clothing for a lot less, the demand for the expensive clothing has decreased. Stores everywhere are cutting the prices of their clothes so that more people will buy more clothes rather than one shirt or one pair of jeans.
Also discussed in “21st Century Problems”, Cline discusses how now, our clothes have “no origin, no story” (1). Now days, we don’t think twice about where our clothes or the idea of the clothes comes from. Now, the fashion industry has started to create mass amounts of the same type of clothing, diminishing the use of fashion designers. Instead of owning a one-of-a-kind dress found in a boutique, this dress can be found in hundreds of department stores all across America. It all goes back to the idea of not knowing where our belongings originate from. The sad part is, I no longer think anyone cares. We have become so used to down-sizing the cost of everything that we simply no longer feel the need to place value on our items. It is simply an item that we bought for personal use.