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Why is fashion so damned obsessed with distressed clothing?

Rips, frays and dirty clothing is out of control

Why is fashion so damned obsessed with distressed clothing?
01 September 2016

"Did you fall over or did you buy them like that?"

The sigh inducing joke we've all heard from some elderly family member about ripped jeans, a style most have us adopted at some point in our youth that has remained a consistent entity on the high street. However, in the past few years the distressed look has spiralled out of control to such an extent that even your granddad wouldn't crack a joke about it, he'd probably just have a minor stroke at the fact you've dropped £300 on a pair of trainers that've been pre-dirtied by someone.

But has it gone too far now? What was once a look owned by moody subcultures is now a rising style in premium streetwear, with Kanye West adding rips to his Yeezy collection, as well as Topman adding holes to their joggers. Why? These looks, typically, are meant to be clean, and their wearers typically pride themselves on the sleekness of their outfits, not on how much it looked like they were kicked into a ditch.

Another example of how the look has gone too far is with the introduction of pre-scuffed shoes, which are exactly what they sound like: trainers that someone has already knackered for you.

I more than agree that some trainers look better dirty (e.g. Converse and Vans), but the idea behind that is that they tell a story on how they got like that. You look down at them and think, “I had a good time getting that stain; I was absolutely rat arsed”. What are you going to think when you look down at a pair of trainers with stains you didn't make? “I can't eat this month because of these”, that's what.

I know most people love The Walking Dead and are waiting for an apocalypse post-Brexit and arrival of Trump, but it doesn't mean you have to dress for it. Just stick to your ripped denim and the occasional distressed t/shirt and leave it at that, because sooner or later someone is going to chuck you some spare change and it's going to be embarrassing.