Lyrics from the song Handbags and Gladrags, written by the lead singer of Manfred Mann, Mike d’Abo, in 1967. The song is about advice to a teenage girl that the way to happiness is not through being trendy. Happiness is about having deeper values.
‘On trend’ or ‘trending’ are words now synonymous with fashion and social media. Being trendy in the late 1960’s meant pretty much the same thing - Of the moment, current, with it, fashionable.
d’Abo’s lyrics recognised a ‘trend trap’ that many of us may have experienced growing up. The desire to look good and project an image that says ‘I’m cool and current’.
Why is being cool and current a trap?
Why is happiness not about being trendy?
Why is happiness about having deeper values?
These are psychoanalytical questions that are very much up for debate, but I think d’Abo meant happiness is derived from our inner beliefs about the world and about ourselves. In other words, our core values.
Given that you have to live with yourself, your values define you and your choices.
Old Trends Die Hard
Being ‘on trend’ when buying and wearing vintage. Nothing wrong with that, particularly if it makes you happy.
I sense d’Abo’s advice is about exploring and understanding what’s important to you and finding a route to happiness by living those values, rather than trying to project an image that gets you noticed, then waking up one day and realising that being noticed or being trendy does not make you happy.
If your values lead you to buy vintage, you should be happy. You’re saving the planet one vintage piece at a time. Now, there’s a trend to value!