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Out with it! ‘Fess up to yourself right this moment. Do you check out other fashionistas and ‘judge’ their worth on the value of the accessories that they are adorned with?
Do you give the quick once over of every fashionable prospect that comes your way and focus more on what’s on their arms, feet, neck, hands and waist? Have you become an expert at spotting a fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Versace simply by checking out zippers, leather quality, strap, threading, etc of same? Do you lower your eyes automatically to the feet of most people you meet because you believe their shoes will say a lot about them? Do you determine who you wish to be friendly with simply by checking if the earrings are bling, cocktail ring is a real stone or its Valentino, Fendi or Prada etched somewhere on the handbag, clutch or purse they carry?
If you said ‘YES’ to any two or more of the above, you are an Accessories Snob! Our fashion terrain has changed drastically over the past few years, we will all agree. With the fashion world tweaking our fancies every waking moment with more ‘irresistible’ products, new lines, great collections and amazing marketing aimed at awakening our every sense of want and in some cases desire to ‘belong’, its no wonder snobbery of every fashion type has evolved equally! If you are an Accessories’ Snob, you are probably one of the following (be truthful!)

-  the ‘outsider’ earlier on, who can now ‘afford’ the good    things of life
-  ‘nouveau riche’ who’s out to make a statement of ‘arrival’
-  Old money that wonders at the nouveau riche lifestyle
-  Seeking to stand out from the crowd of high street wear
-  Just started to spend a lot on real designer stuff
-  A ‘starter’ who’s hoping to make friends with the wearer with hopes for their cast-offs
-  Seriously wanting in with the ‘it’ crowd
-  You’re part of the ‘it’ crowd already and don’t want to be ‘tainted’ with company that’s ‘less’
-  Genuinely love the real deal, loathe fake products;
-  Know that fake products fund terrorism, child prostitution and other terrible crimes in the world today;
-  Clueless and hoping for signs in accessories!

There are different types of accessories snobs:

This person stares at your handbag first and then stares at you. The second stare is borne of the first; akin to awe or nice and friendly if its expensive arm candy you’re toting, dismissive if its not, scornful if its  heavens forbid!- a fake. This is the newest snob on the block in our environment, even as everyone makes a mad, hectic dash towards acquiring designer bags! This snob wants to see a label peeking out, wants to gauge how much you must have generally to have spent so much on that bag. This snob may be a true fashionista who means no harm, or just someone who needs to calm down and realize some truths:

  • Your self worth is not determined by your handbag size and/or cost
  • living within your means is honorable, desirable and fashionable!
  • Some high street names make great handbags too!
  • You should live in freedom, devoid of unnecessary pressure to spend so much if you don’t have it; you should enjoy fashion at every level of your progress in life, not be in a ‘rat race’;
  • You make your own rules, you’re confident!
  • You can’t afford it yet and won’t steal, borrow, beg or compromise your principles for it;
  • you have loads of them but do not think your every outing should be tied to one;
  • You’re fashionable anyway!

Eagle sharp eyes flick over your eyes, ears, neck, fingers. She’s checking to see if your gold is real, if your diamonds are cubic zirconia. Don’t ask how she tells the difference, she’s got some internal meter wired with knowledge of carats in their 9’s, 14’s, 18’s, 22’s and/or 2’s, 4’s and 3.5’s! This dear person knows Dubai gold from Saudi gold from Italian gold; she’s got the numbers of every bling merchant on speed dial and believes fervently that every woman should be ‘worth her weight in gold’.
Our jewellery snob probably sells them herself or always takes her old ones to her merchant friends to sell and exchange for newer designs. She judges you and her desire to mingle with you on the basis of the weight of what hangs around your neck. She’s that ‘friend’ of yours who looks for a reason to fight you on the day you wear a sparkling new amethyst and gold set. She probably owes several months in back payments on the piece around her neck, currently can’t afford a decent meal in a nice restaurant because of how broke her last purchase made her. This snob’s operative base is mostly at parties; she speaks nicely to you if your jewellery is not as nice as hers, gives you nasty glares and snaps at you if your set landslides hers. Wahala! May this lovely person with this curious personality quirk learn today:

  • to live with peace of mind; in the grand scheme of life and all it has to offer, the size or otherwise of a piece of jewellery is really not that important;
  • it tells you absolutely nothing about the actual worth of the wearer; some of the wealthiest people around do NOT wear great rocks most of the time; some of those who wear borrow;
  • if you buy a lot, try to make other investments apart from gold and diamonds- property, bonds, financial investments for instance;
  • watch out for the jewellery merchants who become your ‘friend’ simply because you’re easy to unleash their products on. While they smile to the banks with your money and build huge homes, you live on in rented apartments with a huge jewellery bag and in perennial fear of having that stash stolen by your houseboy/housegirl/cook/washman! Be wise and stop the vicious cycle!

So many serious fashion people are guilty of this. I must admit, it’s hard not to be one, particularly if you love great shoes. This snob knows the newest designs from the main fashion names, knows the labels to buy for comfort and those to buy for great looking but dismally uncomfortable shoes. Her shoe wardrobe is bursting at the seams, she buys shoes every opportunity she gets; stilettos, platforms, flats, sandals, wedges, pumps, she’s got them in every hue, style and fabric. Problem is, she expects the same of everyone else. This is why she meets you, looks at your face and then automatically slides her eyes down immediately to your feet! She can spot leather soles, rubber soles, synthetic soles a mile off and knows if the ones you’re wearing are from five seasons back or made in limited edition. She can tell flashy, synthetic, cheap from understated, top grade leather, expensive. She’s a walking encyclopaedia on shoes and is very proud of this fact, too.
The shoes snob silently demands that your shoes are clean, tidy, unfrayed and good quality. She simply cannot pardon a situation otherwise. She will frown at ugly shoes, sneer at bad ones and simply ignore you if you’re wearing sad looking ones.
Let’s face it, of all the Snobs there are, the shoes snob is the easiest to excuse. Is there really a reason for nasty footwear? NO. A lot can be said about a person just by looking at their shoes  if they are:

  • fashionable or unfashionable
  • ‘bush’ or posh
  • Tidy or untidy
  • Old school or ‘avant garde’
  • Eccentric or down to earth.
  • Have good taste or not!

Which of the above Snobs are you? If any, long live your fashion power, but please read the advisory bits to heed; if none, more power to you too! As we always say in Stylescape, fashion is to be enjoyed at all times, not turned into a huge burden. Snob or not, the aim ought to be good looks within one’s means. There’s no excuse for bad taste!
Would you tell if you’re an accessories snob?

Bimpe works as a management staff
in a foremost financial institution.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.