Monday, 9 June 2014

#Makeaneffortmonday- Choices

When I started writing this post it was, in fact, Monday-so in my head it still counts! Anyway as stated in my new blog format (http://textilecandy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/blog-spring-clean.html) today is #makeaneffortmonday where I not only make an effort with what I wear to work, but also make an effort to write a substantial blog post.

Anyway, here is my outfit choice for #makeaneffortmonday- gold, black,white and borderline tacky but I just love it....

Festival hairstyle: Pinterest, Gold bag £26.00 (Littlebylitte at ASOS Marketplace), Fringed crochet top £65.00 (Topshop), Gladiator sandals£38.00(River Island), White Joni jeans £36.00 (Topshop).

As it was such lovely weather at the weekend I seem to have made a transition into a summery festival-y mood and this is reflected in today's outfit choice. I also have a huge love for mono outfits at the moment so this selection is an ode to the mono trend. Joni jeans(my new favourite!) in a stark white colour, balanced out by a hefty amount of black in this outfit. I am absolutely in love with this fringed crochet top from Topshop and would love to get my hands on one. I've created balance in this outfit by adding a pair on chunky black gladiator sandals with gold buckles (I actually own these)and a gold pouch bag. To go along with the festival vibes I am feeling at the moment I've added this gorgeous braided hairstyle to my outfit choice, channeling game of thrones, the loose braids make the outfit more relaxed and less try hard.

For my main #makeaneffortmonday post I want to discuss choices and how we are part of a generation overwhelmed by surplus options that make the decision making process impossible, and the outcome unsatisfactory. 
  

Last Friday marked the long awaited payday, the 5 week month had really taken it's toll on my footwear and every pair of shoes is my possession seemed to make the simultaneous(somewhat inconvenient)decision to fall apart. I honestly think I need to re-master the art of walking as I'm obviously doing something wrong here.....

So on Saturay I ventured to the absolute nightmare that is London's Oxford St. Manic crowds of people sauntering from window to window at a speed which is only comparable to a snail and stores full of beautiful items of clothing which I cannot afford...like I said ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE! I am quite a directional shopper and I already had an idea in my head of the replacement footwear I needed to purchase: A pair of trainers and two pairs of chunky sandals- one in black and one in white. I congratulated myself on my organisational skills an the preparations I had made. What I wasn't prepared for was the overwhelming amount of choice I was presented with. Every retailer had their own version of a chunky black/white sandal, tweaked to make it ever so slightly unique. Feeling baffled and confused, I started reflecting on the situation and came to the conclusion that, although choosing new footwear is an extremely menial decision the surplus options we are presented with are representational of what we have to face in our daily lives.We are offered so much choice that the decision making process is prolonged and we find it impossible to reach an outcome we are 100% happy with. 

Top left to right: River Island(£40.00), River Island (£38.00), Office (£80.00)
Middle left to right: Urban Outfitters (£62.00), New Look (£27.99), New Look (£29.99)
Bottom left to right: ASOS(£50.00), New Look (24.99), Urban Outfitters (£62.00).

Dating, for example, is comparable to the aforementioned shoe dilemma. A few decades ago, before the explosion of technological advancement kicked in, people married their childhood sweethearts/a local lad that was a friend of the family. Now, however, we have options. The advent of the internet brought a world of new possibilities, possibilities including online dating. Our society now has a plethora of potential partners across the globe. New phone apps, such as Tinder, have extended our dating pools to the extent that we need only swipe left or right to make a decision regarding potential future partners. So much choice, so many options. All of which leave us feeling increasingly confused and depressed when we realise that, after endless hours "tindering", we are still single. 



Why is it that decision making seems to cause us so much stress and, when it comes to dating decisions, depression? Recently I read an article in 'Psychology Today' magazine which speculated that "maybe a world of possibilities is also a world of missed opportunities." The superfluous options we have and the unnecessary amount of decisions we have to make on a daily basis have a direct correlation with our satisfaction levels. 

What happens when you overwhelm an entire generation with too much choice? Nothing is decided and little progression is made. Perhaps this is one of many reasons why the unemployment rate for 16-25 yr olds in the UK is on the rise. Coincidentally the unemployment rate for 16-24yr olds is highest in London(http://www.poverty.org.uk/35/index.shtml), arguably the area of the UK with the most choice. That's not to say this is the reason unemployment is so high, obviously there are many other contributing factors. 

Pressurised to make decisions at the age of 14/15(GCSE's) that will map the course of our lives, we choose school subjects that limit our futures. As we go further up in the UK education system, our options become broader, have increasing importance, but are also more limiting. The ultimate paradox where too much choice, instead of expanding our future, limits it.

According to an article in The Telegraph, "when you have too much choice, you become obsessed about what your decision will say about you." In a social atmosphere where our personality/character is assessed within a few seconds of interaction, routine decisions have increasing importance. Snap judgements are rife, particularly in overcrowded cities like London. First impressions are made quickly and so decisions like "what tie should I wear to work?", "What shoes work best with my outfit?"and "should I quickly re-paint my chipped nails before getting on the tube?" become of paramount importance.  

We are so focussed on these menial decisions that seem to absorb all of our brain capacity that we find it impossible to make decisions on the more important aspects in life. What would we be capable of doing if we found a way to sieve through the surplus options and focus on the important decisions in our lives?

I'm not advocating that we have controlled/limited freedom of choice, just nostalgically stating that things seemed to be easier when there were less options. Gone are the days when one milkman brought each house one pint of standard milk directly from the dairy. Now we even have to implement an entire decision making process just to buy a pint of milk, whether it be full fat; semi-skimmed; skimmed; 0% fat; goats milk or soya milk. 

Is this much choice really necessary!!!It's Milk for goodness sake!!!
The current social atmosphere is one of confusion,depression, anxiety and self consciousness. If we all made a united, decisive movement towards downplaying minor,unnecessary decisions I'm sure our society would find that the more important decisions regarding our futures, would be easier to make.




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