Have you ever thought about the enormous number of everyday products that you buy based on appearance almost as much as you do functionality? For so many things in life, the way a product looks is almost as important as how well it works. We’re not just talking about things like clothing and cars. With those products, is obvious how intertwined form and functionality are. What you may not have realized, though, is that there are also many other types of products that you buy as much on appearance as anything else even though those products are completely essential for your lifestyle. Here are just a few of the everyday products that have become trendy fashion accessories.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have been fashion accessories for almost as long as they’ve existed. Screen sizes get larger and smaller based on what’s likely to be fashionable among consumers in a given year. A few years ago, companies started designing phones with wraparound screens that displayed alerts on their curved edges. Today, companies are releasing phones with screens that bend and fold. When a manufacturer releases a phone with a distinctive new design element, everyone takes notice and immediately begins to discuss the merits of the change. Who could forget the camera notch of the iPhone X? There’s no question that appearance is just as important as functionality for many phone buyers.

Vaping Devices

Can you remember when smoking used to be fashionable? Probably not! For decades now, people have thought of smoking as something that’s dirty, smelly and incredibly uncool. The change in public perception has gone a long way toward encouraging people to quit – or to not start smoking at all – but when you’re dealing with a chemical as addictive as nicotine, negative perception alone sometimes isn’t enough to make people stop using a product.

That’s why vaping exists; it’s an alternative to smoking that costs significantly less and has the extra benefit of not making you smell bad. In addition to its other benefits, vaping has also become fashionable in a way that smoking never was. If you vape, there’s a good chance that you check out the latest vaping devices when you buy vape juice online. Vaping devices are available in a huge variety of colors to please all tastes – and these days, manufacturers are even adding luxury trim options to their products such as leather, wood and abalone shells.

Phone Cases and Bumpers

A moment ago, we discussed mobile phones – and there’s no way to talk about phones as fashion accessories without also mentioning the accessories that we use to protect those devices. Do you use a case or bumper to protect your phone? We’re willing to bet that you do. If you have a phone that was released recently, there’s a good chance that it’s worth more than $1,000 and that you’re going to be paying for it for the next year or more. You’re obviously going to want to protect your investment, and there are literally hundreds of different phone cases and bumpers available for the most popular models. There’s even a good chance that you’re going to spend more time looking at your phone’s case than you will looking at the phone itself – so whether you want a case made from leather, silicone, plastic or something else, there are plenty of fashionable options available to tempt you. Have you ever paused to consider why you have the ability to buy a bumper with a cutout specifically designed to show your phone’s Apple logo? The cutout certainly isn’t there to protect your device.

Kitchen Appliances

Isn’t it funny how the designs of kitchen appliances seem to change from year to year? It’s not as though this year’s toaster does a better job of toasting your bread than last year’s model – and perhaps that’s the reason why manufacturers are doing their best to convince you that this year is the perfect time to “upgrade” your kitchen appliances with a full suite of avocado green appliances designed to perfectly recreate the 1950s feel of your grandparents’ home. The manufacturers will even go a step further by hiring the most popular Instagram influencers to make you sure that you see the latest designs wherever you go online.

Next year, what’s trendy will almost certainly be some other color or material. If you love having a kitchen that you can show off to your friends, you can always look forward to having no shortage of options when you shop for appliances.

Consumer Electronics

Mobile phones have become large enough parts of our lives that they merit discussion as their own separate category in this article. When you really think about it, though, it’s obvious that fashion, appearance and brand perception have become major aspects of almost all consumer electronics purchases. If you own a PlayStation or Xbox, why did you select that product? Although Nintendo is a different beast entirely, Sony and Microsoft tend to offer just a small handful of exclusive titles per year. Therefore, you probably didn’t choose your console based on a tangible difference from its competitor – you made your choice based on how owning that brand makes you feel.

The same thing is true among computer owners – particularly those who use their machines for gaming. Did you buy a computer with an Intel processor, or did you go with AMD? Did you choose an AMD video card, or did you buy something from Nvidia instead? If you’re a heavy gamer, there’s a good chance that you looked at benchmark scores when choosing the hardware for your computer. The actual experience of playing a game, though, doesn’t change in a noticeable way between two similar competing hardware choices. Mainly, you’re making your choice based on brand perception. When you run a benchmark on your new gaming rig and share the results online, you’re showing off the fact that you identify with a particular brand. In that sense, even computer hardware has become something of a fashion statement.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.