According to many high school hallways, or college sorority parties, if you don't have the right back-pocket designs on your jeans or a designer handbag big enough to hold your laptop and your hand-held chiwawa you are just not cool.

How does one know what is cool in one circle and "totally dorky" in the next? Oh that depends on the circles you run in of course. The name brand, Dickies, are perfectly acceptable threads in a punk rock crowd, but the same pair of jet black polyester straight-legged pants would be "totally dorky" say at a launching party for a new make-up line for runway models.

There are trends in bowling alleys that die-hard loyalists will stand by, claiming there are certain must-haves in bowling fashion. They will probably tell you the brand says it all or maybe it isn't the brand but the image of success. Like the champion bowler who bowled four turkeys in a row- people want to mimic that image of success. For example, if that champion bowler wore the same Lefties Make Better Lovers foam dome hat in the finals, you'd better invest in polyurethane fabrics.

The importance of fashion depends on people's value of certain items, what they stand for and how they are perceived. How much money one spends on the price of fashion is another topic--all depends on the person. Especially if you ask men verses women.

For example, I wouldn't spend the same amount of money on golf clubs that my husband would- nor do I understand it- or want to. Same for the amount of money I might spend on make up or my Prada handbag, or Coach Purse for example. I don't think my husband or any husband will understand the dramatic differences in why men and women spend money on the things we do, unless of course my husband was a Prada handbag designer, then he might be singing my praises on my exceptional taste.

Someone may save up two months of paychecks to afford a pair of shoes, a tattoo or stop buying lattes to get a pair of those True Religion or Seven Jeans. Most of us can say we know where those people are coming from. It is the same reason teenage girls are not lining up outside the mall to buy acid washed, high-wasted "mom" jeans. A guaranteed rebelliousness to not want to dress like our parents is what the fashion industry is thriving on in the first place--constant change and the desire to buy the next hot thing.

According to recent studies in United States, fashion continues to be a leading industry employing 4.64 million people. Hundreds if not thousands of designers are trying to create the next designer handbag that's going to fly off store shelves and hang as arm candy of the next reality TV celebrity.

Fashion, like technology, is already outdated once it is launched on the market. The trick is to find out what the trends are before they are considered a trend. Fashion designers know this of course when they agree on fabrics and textile patterns more than a year or two before the product, made from the fabric is launched.

One way to stay a head of fashion is to analyze the European markets who are overly obsessed about brands and obtaining "the hot look." In opposite worlds of trend setting, the hot fashion in Tokyo, Japan is street style. The youth in the Japanese fashion district of Harajuku make up their own style. They create designs from uncommon fabrics, thrift store finds as well as old traditional garments like kimonos and geta sandals. "Found Objects", or bits and pieces of unwanted materials, are commonly sewn onto the clothing to create an entirely new texture to a once smooth fabric. These new Japanese styles to name a few are the Gothic Lolita, Decora, Kogals, cyber and the punk look.

These expressions were possibly built as a way to define oneself as unique in a conforming society. There are websites and entire books compiled of street style photographs taken on the streets of Tokyo. Some say, Japan has seen and done everything, nothing is considered too abstract or too crazy.

Street style fashion may never travel outside of Japan, or extend further than trendy bars of Paris or Manhattan. Unless the street style moves into Europe or on the subways of New York, or Vogue magazine announces other wise, Americans will be content to purchase their Prada handbags and their Seven Jeans and happily conform to modern American society.

About the Author:

Melissa Peterman is a web content specialist for Innuity. For more information about designer handbags, True religion or Seven Jeans, please feel free to contact DesignerDirectOutlet.

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