Name: Fashion Impostor Syndrome.
Age: New for spring 2020.
Appearance: Glamorous, insecure.
How do you get this particular syndrome? You contract FIS by repeatedly purchasing high end fashion items that seek high status and confidence.
Eh. It is one of those problems that people wish they were rich enough to have. May be. Except that many people find that an expensive handbag does not automatically confer an increase in self-esteem.
Of course not. You also need the shoes. In fact, it can do the opposite.
What do you mean, the opposite? Expensive clothes and accessories, far from making you feel better about yourself, can come at a significant psychological cost.
What kind of cost? Luxury consumers often experience feelings of “inauthenticity” because the sense of privilege these items are meant to confer seems unwarranted.
They feel their own clothes make fun of them? It’s hilarious! Show sympathy. It is a recognized condition.
No, this is not the case. It is supported by a scientific study from Harvard University and Boston College, published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
What are some of the symptoms of FIS? Consumers may find themselves less confident than they would be if they had gone out wearing non-luxury clothing.
So I would do better at a job interview if I showed up in a dress made from a sack of flour? I think it depends on how much you paid for it.
What if I bought fancy stuff and kept it at home? Will this help? Apparently not: The study found that even expensive items used privately, such as skin care products and makeup, could cause FIS.
Will it not be damaging to luxury brands that shoppers find out that buying their products only makes them feel worse? Yes. “But boosting consumers’ sense of ‘worth’ through sales tactics and marketing messages can help,” says study co-author Nailya Ordabayeva.
So that they will have to trick people into believing that paying a lot of money for something will not make them feel bad or poor. Only certain people. Not everyone suffers from FIS.
Some people are immune, you mean? Exactly. According to the authors of the study, the effect is attenuated “among consumers who by nature have a high sense of entitlement”.
What you’re saying is that high-end fashion works for all the wrong people, for all the wrong reasons. ‘Twas never so.
Say: “That’s why we can’t have beautiful things.”
Do not say : “What an incredible dress! You look pathetic.