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Trendy Wendy: What's Up With the Spikes?

06/03/2013 10:27 am ET | Updated Aug 03, 2013

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I am browsing online, relishing my shop-the-world-in-my-jammies ability to peruse store after store as they offer their post-Memorial Day discounts, and one recurring visual has me wondering:

The spiked (as opposed to round studded) embellishment on anything wearable - clothing, jewelry, shoes or handbags - has come to represent to me the perfect emperor's new clothes fashion trend. And I wonder if it has been as successful as the media and its designers would have us believe. What started out as an iconic, somewhat extreme fashion statement has found its way into the mass-market, retail world. I am now seeing hardware-heavy markdowns galore: High-end, spiked designer items flow past me, page after page, as do their trickled-down, affordable knock-offs, all begging to be purchased by some enterprising Trendy Wendy. Will in time I be seeing these same pieces of spiked-out fashion armor in the deep-discount, close-out sites because, though they no doubt looked great on the sketch pad or the catwalk or certainly on the theater stage (and yes, the venerable Met's Costume Institute is paying homage to punk fashion in its way-cool current exhibit) no real-life fashionista is going to be terribly interested in going about her everyday looking like a 21st century Road Warrior?

I must ask: Who really wants to wear or carry anything with a sharp, pointed tip that could 1) pierce the wearer and/or their nearest and dearest 2) catch and pull, shred, or put a run into any adjoining wearable or carryable 3) suggest that the wearer aspires to look like some latent punk, pain fetish (u-call-it) wannabe? The costume-y approach bothers me less, as fashion should be creative and fun and to each his own - it's the idea of the average fashion-consuming demographic owning something that could damage anything it comes into contact with, be it during storage or on the person, especially considering what it costs to build a good, keep-worthy wardrobe.

I love the studded embellishments and have a few pieces of my own, as it suits me. On my leather booties, the studded motifs are for me a Goldilocks, just-right bit of fashion fun. But spikes? Pointy, sharp protrusions? I'm sorry, but I find them very nearly comical as real-life wear and the epitome of wardrobe malfunction opportunity. I can't help but wonder how many sweaters' finely wrought surfaces have been snagged up and ruined in the process of wearing spiked anything. How about a hug with someone wearing spiked cuffs? Forget hugs; what if you accidentally brushed up against someone at a crowded event, only to be instantly caught up with them, literally? Give me a glass of hard cider, especially if it has a shot of cinnamon liqueur in it - spike the beverage but please keep me away from its pointy, little fashion counterparts. My pullover will thank you.

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