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My Strange Shopping Addiction: iPhone Cases

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The author with her Aritzia cat iPhone case. Photo: @elanafishman

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You might say I’ve been obsessed with the concept of iPhone cases since before the iPhone even existed.

Back in middle school, my fellow classmates would take notes the old-fashioned way, with a spiral notebook and Gelly Roll glitter pen.

I, on the other hand, blew weeks’ worth of allowance on a Palm Pilot with a fold-out mini keyboard and interchangeable faceplates, including a leopard-print one I particularly loved. (As you might’ve guessed, I didn’t have many friends in middle school.)

My first cell phone, a brick-like Nokia I definitely used for playing Snake more than for making calls, also allowed for customization via faceplates, and so I quickly acquired a collection of colorful crystallized options (remember, this was during the Paris-Hilton-BeDazzle-everything era).

Attempting to make my face match my sweater, with mixed results. #ootd

A photo posted by Elana Fishman (@elanafishman) on

At some point, I inevitably graduated to an iPhone — and with every new model I’ve purchased since, from the 3G in 2008 to my current 6s, I’ve scooped up a handful of decorative, dubiously protective cases to go with it.

A few favorites have stood out over the years, including a pink Aritzia case with a cat face on the back, a polka-dotted version from Kate Spade, and a navy leather cover by Adopted that makes me feel like a sophisticated businesswoman.

Lately, I’ve become fixated on finding a clear case that doesn’t yellow over time (impossible, according to Reddit). This search has led me to order a number of transparent options from Sonix, including one sprinkled with tiny gold stars and another printed with bananas.

A recent apartment clean-out revealed that I’ve accumulated an embarrassing twelve cases for the iPhone 6/6s so far — and despite the expected arrival of the iPhone 7 in just a couple of months, I am still buying more.

It's Friday. Wear something sparkly.✨

A photo posted by Elana Fishman (@elanafishman) on

Now, I fully realize the absurdity of paying $30+ for a plastic rectangle — make that multiple plastic rectangles — to protect an already-pricey item of technology that’s doomed to become outdated in a year or two.

But to my way of thinking, we spend the better half of our waking hours clutching our phones, for better or for worse. And shouldn’t something that’s essentially an extension of your hand be reflective of your personal style?

If you’d pay for a weekly (or even monthly) manicure, why not change your smartphone’s decoration just as freely and frequently?

And as silly as owning a dozen different cases for a single device might sound, it's got to be better than carrying a naked iPhone and risking a shattered screen.

The author with her star-printed Sonix phone case.
Here’s my most recent acquisition, a star-printed clear case from Sonix. As you can probably tell, I enjoy shiny things.