Essay Clothing Indication Personal Worth

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 62 - Fashion trends are difficult to follow these days and it’s widely believed that they primarily exist just to sell clothes

Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2016 05:28
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IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Fashion trends are difficult to follow these days and it’s widely believed that they primarily exist just to sell clothes. Some people believe that we shouldn’t follow them and that we should dress in what we like and feel comfortable in.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

You should write at least 250 words.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Model Answer 1:
Nowadays, we live in consumerism advanced era in which whether following fashion trends or not has become a debatable issue, especially, among the young generation. Some people believe that pursuing this trend is a good way of improving people’s lifestyles, while many others argue that people should dress something more comfortable. I advocate the latter group at least for two main reasons elaborated below.

The first group claim that in this day and age, wearing in vogue clothes enhances the sense of pride and self-confident among the people. In addition, it is a necessary task for celebrities and famous individuals. Of course, they are right to some extent, but I am of the conception that the drawbacks of following this trend outweigh its benefits.

Firstly, it is obvious that fashion is a changeable trend by its nature. Consequently, following this dynamic procedure cost so much and it is kind of wasting people’s money and time. As an example, one of my cousins allocates more than fifty percent of his income to the latest attire instead of saving it for his future life. Moreover, it should be mentioned that the main purpose of wearing clothes is to protect humans’ body from different weather conditions rather than showing off.

Secondly, people’s clothes should illustrate their own personality and uniqueness instead of mocking someone else who works for the film or fashion industry. To be more precise, people should appreciate their own tastes, believes. However, the predominant feature of fashion is being against the traditions and cultures of many societies.
All in all, from what has been discussed, I pen down saying that although pursuing fashion might be a pleasant task for some people, it is an expensive and improper trend in a long run.


(This model answer was written by - Mahdi Naeini)

Model Answer 2:
It’s widely believed in today’s materialistic world that the latest innovative fashion trends hold great significance. On the other hand, such trends are believed to be set only in the pursuit of profits for large designer companies. It seems that in recent times, people are now changing their minds in regards to wearing clothes for comfort and as a personal choice. Personally, I agree that we should pay more attention to individuality and comfort in the way we dress.

Firstly, fashion designs exist as a form of creative artistic expression of the designer. Although this may be true, undoubtedly such designs take away individuality once a trend is set in place. By this, I mean that there is nothing unique about wearing what everybody else does. More specifically, if everyone sports the latest colour and design in summer skirts, do we not look the same?

Secondly, It is possible that fashion trends can look extremely stylish to the general public. However, it can be argued that the main purpose of wearing clothes is for more functional reasons. This is primarily due to the fact that clothes were traditionally worn to protect people from climatic conditions. For instance, clothes are still worn basically to keep people warm and dry in winter and cool in summer.

Finally, fashion certainly gives us a sense of confidence and pride in our appearance. While this is certainly a good point, it also means that following such changeable trends proves to be expensive. For example, purchasing every latest season’s fashion item will, of course, blow the budget of many young people.

In conclusion, there are various arguments to support the dismissal of fashion trends, consisting of not conforming, comfort and price, which I strongly agree with.


(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)

Model Answer 3:
The fashion industry is thriving like never before, and the fashion trends change very frequently these days. What was in vogue yesterday becomes obsolete today. I believe sometimes it is good to buy things which are in fashion but otherwise, people should dress in clothes that they are comfortable in.

Firstly, following fashion trends is very expensive and a waste of money for the people who do not belong to fashion and film industry. Apparels and accessories which are in trend are generally very costly and sometimes pinch a hole in one’s pocket. Moreover, they go out of fashion very quickly and are not wearable after a certain point. For instance, in India silk sarees were in fashion in mid 90’s and they would range from Rs. 5000 – 50000; but now they are out of fashion and different material like brocade, chiffon or net are in vogue.

Secondly, I think it is more important to feel comfortable and confident in what you wear. It is not necessary that the clothes in fashion will suit your body type. For instance, Indian actress, Vidya Balan garnered a lot of criticism when she tried to follow the trends and dressing up in the western outfit which did not suit her body, culture and style. But then she went back to her roots and started dressing up in traditional Indian wears and now she always looks stunning and critics do not through fire on her.

In a nutshell, it is of utmost important that people buy clothes which are more wearable and in-line with their lifestyle. Fashion trends change in every season and it is merely a tactic to sell clothes. If one wears clothes they are confident and comfortable in, they will automatically look good.


(This model answer was written by Prashant Dixit)

Model Answer 4:
Many people believe that following fashion style is difficult, and they also think that the main purpose of the trend is to sell more clothing apparel. A group of people believe that people should choose their own clothing based on their preference rather than following the update fashion style. To a certain point, I would agree that we should select the clothes that we like and feel comfort in wearing them, but following the fashion style bring many additional points.

On the one hand, it is true that people should wear clothes which are in accordance with their own interest. It is obvious that everyone has his own personal taste in fashion, as some people like loose clothing since they are more comfortable to wear. But there are others who prefer to wear tight clothing because the clothes make them feel young and energetic. Besides that, fashion trends are dynamic and change rapidly in just a few months or periods. Some people think it is consumptive to follow the latest style since people must buy clothes more often.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that following the up to date fashion style has some advantages for the individuals. Firstly, by wearing the latest style, some people feel more confident in their business. For example, a sales manager might meet many potential clients, and he must have a great confidence in convincing his customer and one of the ways would be to wear a stylish dress. Secondly, it is a fact that certain people are measuring someone based on his physical and clothing appearance. For instance, should there be two potential candidates in a job interview; both have nice personalities, good technical skill and a wide range of knowledge, but one of the candidates wears old fashioned clothes, while the other follow the modest fashion style. The later candidates might have a higher probability of being selected since many people are appraising someone based on their physical appearance and performance.

In conclusion, following the latest fashion style is difficult and it is just a commercial act of the producers themselves.  Although it is true that people should wear clothes based on their own preference but I do believe that we should also follow the latest fashion style since it also affects our own performance.

(This model answer was written by Darwin Lesmana)

Model Answer 5:
During the early days of civilisation, clothing was nothing more than a simple need of every human being. All they ever needed was a piece of clothing to cover and protect themselves from the harsh weather the Mother Nature had to offer.

But times have changed. This simple need of man has transformed into a lucrative business, alluring people from all ages regardless of their gender or social status.
The world of fashion has grown at an astonishing rate during the past couple of years. Companies such as Dolce & Gabbana, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger are some brands that have been dominating the market with fashion trends bringing in millions of dollars in revenue annually. Yet, there remains the question “Is this really worth it?”.

People pay an absurd amount of money to buy clothes which do not suit them nor do not make them feel comfortable. Yet, they purchase these for social status, prestige and bragging rights. In my honest opinion, I feel these fashion trends have brought in social discrimination among the young crowd. Kids with simple clothing feel inferior to those who look highly fashionable wearing branded clothing.

I feel the old saying “Do not judge a book by its cover” no longer exists. People nowadays judge others by their clothes and fashion sense, and not for who they really are. Fashion is not something that should be followed blindly. It is just unnecessary and not a definite need of man. I and most of the others believe that people should wear clothes which make them feel comfortable. This is something which I regard is more important than fashion.

I believe it is time for us to stop following the fashion herd and be ourselves. We should wear simple yet comfortable clothes and live our life with comfort at heart.

 [ This model answer was written by Inam Imthiyaz ]

Model Answer 6:
Clothes designers overwhelm us nowadays with quick changing fashion developments and new trends. It's commonly thought that the aim for fashion organisers is merely due to economic reasons. There are some groups in society who totally ignore these commercialised influences and insist on wearing what is convenient to them. In addition to the purpose of clothing to be practical and light to wear, it's quite a waste to follow seasonal modes. In this way, our choices are limited and we have to dispose of our unfashionable outfits. Instead of discarding those clothes we could keep them and combine them the next season.

Among teens, clothes play a primary role in creating social establishments. Pupils chose to wear well-known brands with the negative consequences for those who can't afford to buy these. In my opinion, it's easier for both parents and youth to be obliged to wear a school uniform. Then students will be valued only according behaviour and not by their newest dress.

Although I am convinced that clothing companies are interested in their bank account and use fashion as a way to attract potential buyers, for some it may be a rescue. Some people just don't have a notion for what fits together. They need a professional eye to advice them what to buy and what to wear. Maybe also in some circles society imposes on them what to wear.

In summary, I think people should wear what they love and prefer. They should feel free to improvise and use their imagination. Society will be more vivid and gay if people wear what they like without certain boundaries pressing on them.

[ This model answer was written by Yael Shiri ]

Model Answer 7:
A person’s attire is an important aspect of him and it creates a significant impact on the people around him. I strongly believe that following the fashion trends is a waste of time and putting the dress we like is a better option than to follow the latest fashion trends.

The numbers of fashion models have grown dramatically in the last decade. All the movie stars are having their own dressing styles and following their fashion trend is getting very difficult to follow. Moreover, following these trends creates a false identity about the person as he is trying to mock the dressing style of somebody else. Even Though few dressing styles enhance the physical appearance of the individuals, it masks the individual characteristics and creates a false identity of the person.

Secondly, the amount of strain these fashion trends places on the individuals are enormous. A good friend of mine who works at a call centre spends seventy percent of his monthly salary on the wardrobe shopping and following fashion trends. He subscribed to all the leading magazines. The house where he lives has several posters of movie stars like Will Smith and Angelina Julie. Another friend of mine realised after the end of his adolescent life that following fashion trends is such a waste of time and money and he is left with no savings.

To summarise, I strongly believe that we should dress what we like and what we feel comfortable in as that will bring out the true individualistic characters and put less stress on the monthly budget. After all, we have a single life and I would rather fail to live my life than to try and live somebody else life.

[ This model answer was written by Rajaganapathy ]

Model Answer 8:
Fashion industries have no doubt revolutionised our dressing standards by making us look more stylish and versatile after wearing designer outfit. Wardrobes are more filled with brands than actually dressing needs of a person. People believe that we should not blindly follow the modern dressing style, rather we should wear what we like and which suits our personality and I fully adhere to it. This essay will analyse the demerits of following fashion trends.

Firstly, fashion designs represent the creativity and innovation of a designer and it hides our own identity. It seems that we are showcasing their brand when we move in the society, be it shopping malls or social gatherings. Following modern style blindly takes away our uniqueness and tags us with brand names.

Secondly, fashions trends are set to benefit industries more than to the consumer on the monetary base. People spend hundreds and thousands just to buy branded dresses that will make them look stylish in social gatherings. Designers rip their money on the sake of their creativity. Fashion trends also give rise to competition in the global market, which again benefits the industry.

Finally, wearing latest design suits certainly makes us proud and our stylish look appeases the general public, but one should not forget that the basic purpose of wearing clothes is to protect ourselves from the climatic changes. For instance, we usually wear warm clothing in winters, if we wear designer's light fabric just to follow the trend we might fell ill.

One should always wear comfortable outfits that shine their personality. We should not waste our money on buying latest designer's suits just because others are doing so. If this trend continues, it will give rise to competition which may take away our identities, cultural and traditional norms.

[ This model answer was written by Tauseef Raza ]

Model Answer 9:
I do not agree with the opinion that we should completely avoid the fashion trend but I do agree with it up to a certain extent. Fashion trend in our clothes has reached a level of craziness now. I find it bizarre to follow the latest fashion trends these days from a normal man's perspective.

It's gone a level out of hand, according to me. You simply can't dress up to the trends in the fashion world these days and expect to lead a normal life. For me, fashion is about being you and giving a picture of yourself or I say portraying yourself to the world. It's not about following someone or what people do. It's more of your own personal thing rather than adapting someone's style completely, as the fashion trend right now is that. For me being yourself and dressing up what you think suits you the best and being comfortable physically and mentally but at the same time looking good and presentable to the outside world. It's a hard task getting all the combinations right. Maybe I'm a fashionable person, as I get appreciated most times which made me feel that fashion is just about being yourself and not always about following the existing trend. Some might disagree. I say set your own trends.

I completely disagree that it's widely believed that fashion trends exist just to sell off clothes. Fashion trends are like innovation and ideas. They keep changing and they keep moving ahead, a step ahead than most of us in my opinion. If the world was following the same trend then boredom would have set in. Fashion trends give you new ideas and innovations in the world of fashion but it’s just up to you to decide whether you have to try it or ignore it. It's not about following it but picking the right ones from various combinations of right and wrongs.

[ This model answer was written by Abhijith Radhakrishnan ]

I remember the first fashion magazine I ever read. Gwyneth Paltrow was the cover star of InStyle’s January 1999 issue. I checked the magazine out from the local library in our small town of 1,000 in rural Iowa; my family couldn’t afford the $4 or $5 price tag at the grocery store, and I was obsessed with Gwyneth, whose star turns in Emma and Shakespeare in Love appealed to my nerdy, Jane Austen- and Shakespeare-loving self. (This was nine years before Goop.)

I had been interested in fashion before, but discovering fashion magazines sent my interest into full-throttle obsession: I drew designs, I spent hours mixing and matching pieces from my closet. But I grew frustrated as it became apparent that fashion was a difficult hobby for a girl from a blue-collar working-class family in a blue-collar working-class town. Growing up in a particular socioeconomic bracket in the rural Midwest before the age of online shopping, there were limits. The clothing in fashion magazines — and even the imitations that graced local mall stores like Express, Maurice’s, and J.C. Penney — were beyond my family’s budget, beyond what I earned at minimum-wage fast food jobs. Thrifting back then wasn’t thrifting as it is now, emboldened by e-commerce. I wanted to play with fashion, but even in high school, it was clear to me that money was a requirement to bring desire into alignment with reality.

Nearly 15 years later, when I was sitting on my front porch with a friend talking about how we as queer women were treated like shit in lingerie stores, and shouldn’t there be a store for us, and maybe I should be the person to open that store, money was the last thing on my mind. This was in part due to the number of beers that I had consumed. But as the days went on, I couldn’t shake the idea, even as my conviction ran up against my bank account. I was a Ph.D. student (which is to say, broke). My friends were mostly grad students (which is to say, broke). I wasn’t particularly well-connected. My family was doing better financially, but still had that frugal working-class mentality.


I had stumbled on an idea from which I couldn’t let go: I loved fashion, but really loved lingerie, which had helped me get in touch with my sexuality, with my queerness. The irony was that the lingerie industry itself was deeply conservative and heteronormative in its imagery, seemingly hell-bent on only showing thin, white, femme-presenting women who would appeal to the male gaze. I wanted to challenge that. Underthings were for everyone, and all that.

But where, exactly, would the money for this business come from? As with all things, how much money you have (or don’t have) determines what you can do. I took the short-term view — I’m a graduate student already in debt, why not go into more debt? — and took out more loans. I took out a business credit card. I made a business plan and ran numbers, but mostly I winged it; I figured that the investment I was making was modest enough that I’d be able to pay off the debt within the first year or two of business.

In hindsight, this was optimistic and naive.

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The personal debt I currently have for Bluestockings Boutique (the product of that fortuitous summer brainstorm) is roughly $20,000 in loans and credit cards; call it an additional year’s worth of college education. When I talk about debt for a fashion business, it’s no joke. And this was just a boutique that was online, on a shoestring budget, not a brick-and-mortar boutique that would have required a significant amount of money up front to secure a lease. To start an actual fashion brand (not a boutique), that number skyrockets into the six figures — multiple six figures, depending on the number of variant items (“stock keeping units,” or SKUs), quality and amount of material, and factory location.

The second layer to this is that those are just start-up costs. That’s what it costs to open. In order to stay in business — to continue to roll out additional seasons, buy additional inventory (thousands of dollars a season), pay for photo shoots (which can easily run from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for a day-long shoot), and anything additional — you must continue to sink just as much money into the business.

This is why the third season (or 18th-ish-month mark) is the make-or-break season for most fashion brands (and boutiques, for that matter). No one makes money on the first season, and because of this, the second season also has to be self-funded. The hope is that by the time the third season rolls out, there will be enough customers and enough sales to springboard into a fourth season. The third season is when money runs out.

The third season is when brands start to go bust.

Folks in lingerie, and fashion generally, are tight-lipped about startup capital, about how much it takes to start and run a business, how long it takes to become profitable. And to be a bit blunt, the truth that the money most often comes from family — or even in my case, that it comes from loans and credit cards — is decidedly unsexy. Money doesn’t fall out of the sky. It’s a resource. It has to come from somewhere.

It’s important to be straightforward about the privilege that enables a career in fashion. While I may not come from a financially privileged background, I am privileged in being a white, college-educated person with the resources to apply for loans and business credit cards. No one looks at me twice when I walk into a bank. I have internet at home. I already owned a laptop on which to run my business. When that laptop was stolen in 2015, dozens of family members and friends pitched in $10 here, $20 there on GoFundMe to help purchase a new one. These are not insignificant pieces of the puzzle. And the fact that I could choose to take on this kind of debt for a new business is a statement in itself.

Still, there are nuances to the kind of privilege that help buoy a business through its red ledger startup days. The longer I’m in the industry, the more I learn about the stories behind prominent brands. Like one founder whose parents own factories in Colombia, or a lingerie designer whose father regularly bankrolls her collections. Far more prevalent, especially in cities like New York, are independent designers and creatives whose parents may not be traditionally wealthy, but who can afford to subsidize their adult children’s rent and bills to allow them to focus on their creative work in lieu of working a full-time “day job.” Or, of course, the folks who are able to borrow start-up money from family for far more preferable terms than they would receive from a bank. These are all privileges which, inevitably, put some folks ahead in the game.

“Life isn’t fair,” my no-nonsense, ex-librarian grandmother would tell my sister and I when we were teenagers. “Get used to it.”

The truth is that it takes a substantial amount of money for a fashion brand to stay in business, even at a loss. Recent bankruptcies declared by once-independently owned companies like Nasty Gal and Agent Provocateur stand as proof of this. The biggest mistake customers make is assuming that visibility in the media — or worse, longevity — are indicators of a brand’s profitability. In fashion, at least, nothing could be further from the truth. Media coverage and PR can be bought or obtained through connections and hustling. And as we’ve seen through long-suffering lingerie companies like Frederick’s of Hollywood, longevity is sometimes only an indication of a slow, drawn-out death.

To be profitable means to operate in the black — to actually make a profit in business. This is certainly not impossible in fashion, but the margins are tough, especially for indies, who often aren’t selling the kind of bulk quantities that are going to get sales anywhere near the multiple six figures (to be extremely explicit, Bluestockings’ gross sales have been under $40,000 each year, before taking into account the tens of thousands of dollars spent on inventory, photo shoots, and a variety of business expenses, which includes accountants, bookkeepers, travel to industry events, and all manner of software that keeps an online business running). It’s not so much that profitability itself is a challenge; the emotional and mental endurance to make it to the point where profitability is possible is the challenge.

Personally, I have learned to separate “successful” from “profitable.” Bluestockings is not profitable. It never has been, and it is unlikely to be. For the eight months before Bluestockings opened, and then for the first year of business, I put in full-time hours building the business. Overtime hours. 40-, 50-, 60-hour weeks. I didn't have an off switch. I wanted to devote as much time to Bluestockings as I could. For a year I took part-time nanny jobs, going without health insurance (and going months without paying student loans or credit card minimums while charging everything to credit cards). My (now ex-) partner paid for our utilities and most of the rent (this, too, was a privilege). When we moved to New York City in 2016, she covered our bills for five months as I looked for work and failed to find it — all while still running Bluestockings and not taking a paycheck from the business.

“What are you getting out of this?” she asked me in the beginning. My answers, once long (serving a need in our community, filling a gap in the industry, professional development) grew shorter and shorter.

Eventually, she stopped asking.

I slowly realized that I did not have the financial or emotional resources to sustain working 60-hour weeks on a business that could not pay me. In addition to the question of profitability, this is the other question: Who can afford to work for free? In college, I didn’t take unpaid internships because I simply could not afford to. But here I was, in my late 20s, trying to build a business — and driving myself into the ground financially, with no safety net.

Ultimately, I scaled back the hours I spent on Bluestockings and found a full-time job that was professionally challenging (and that could allow me to actually repay the loans I took out for Bluestockings in the first place). Still, almost everyone I meet is surprised that Bluestockings is not, in fact, my full-time job. My full-time job is in marketing at a tech startup. When I tell folks in the tech world that I'm happy with my business where it is, I get looks of confusion. But why wouldn't I want it to be a multi-million dollar retail chain with a bunch of investors and have an IPO in 10 years? I shrug. I've met people on the other side. I know the cost of the other side and know that I don't have the willingness to risk bankruptcy on the other side. I'm good where I'm at.

And the ineffable "making it?" What is “making it?” Is “making it” finally being able to pay my business’s bills through monthly sales without dipping into my personal savings? Is “making it” the fact that I haven’t needed to take out any more loans? Or is “making it” that far distant, nigh unreachable land of actual in-the-black, out-of-debt profitability? I don’t know. I have a feeling that the line is different for everyone. But after almost three years in business, I finally know where my line is. Every email I get from someone who tells me that because of my store they feel a little more seen, a little more welcome, and a little more comfortable picking out underthings affirms that I have, in fact, accomplished what I set out to do. And that’s enough for me.

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