How Fashion Effects Today’s Society
Fashion has been a major part of our society for hundreds of years. In most societies, years ago, the way an individual dressed may have identified their social class, political standing, or maybe even their respective age group. Fashion has evolved so rapidly over the years, from the zoot suit in the 30’s, to the bell-bottoms and Afros of the 70’s, and finally to the Mohawk and skinny jeans worn by individuals today.
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However, has fashioned evolved for the better? Fashion has been used as a way to establish a type of individualism and set a person aside from others.
Because fads have evolved so rapidly over the years in unique and bizarre ways due to today’s media, they have been unaccepted in today’s society. During a classic discussion of fashion change by George Simmel, a major German sociologist says that, “fashion was nothing more than a process of imitation. ” (Johnson, 2003). This process leads to equalization and ultimately the need to further differentiate ones self. “The innovation of fashion derives from the privileged social classes from those found underneath.” (Johnson, 2003).
Simmel proposes that, “the more elite social class plays a major role in the change in fashion with the “trickle-down” theory regarding fashion. ” (Johnson, 2003). However, in today’s society the media plays a very specific role in pinpointing the trends and styles considered as today’s fashion. People in today’s society, mainly the younger crowd, thrive for a sense of belonging and acceptance. Teenagers view a music video, flip through a magazine, and see an artist or actor portraying a certain image.
They immediately want to emulate those images to fit in with society and be accepted by their peers. Some of us can relate to having been young at one point and wanting to buy the newest shoes that our favorite basketball player put out. According to a Speaking of Fashion article, “public appearances have been encoded in a panoply of theories concerning topics dealing with morality, individuality, and the relation of appearance to deeper character traits. ” (Reference and Research, 2010).
The way someone is dressed can affect the likelihood of that person getting chosen for a job. “The way you dress can discredit a particular event. ” (WordPress Admin, 2008). Fashion has become such a major factor in today’s society on so many levels. “Fashion can effect the way people are perceived by others, especially when it comes to meeting an individual for the first time. ” (WordPress Admin, 2008). In this new world, people don’t get a second chance at a first impression.
As discussed in the previous paragraphs fashion is amongst one of the things people look at when making an impression or wanting to appear a certain way in the eyes of others. Fashion has it’s own lifecycle and will eventually make full circle throughout the years. What keeps fashion alive are celebrities such as music artists and actors. When the public sees the way these individuals dress their styles are often duplicated from the East Coast to the West and back. When going to a job for an interview we imitate the dress code of the company and wear something to adapt to our surroundings of what the job position is.