To begin with, I shall look at what fashion is; it is a currently popular style or practice involving clothing, footwear or accessories. It mostly refers to the current trends in looks and dressing style of a person (Cumming 234). In most cases, fashion is confusedly related to costumes; when a person talks of fashion they are seen to mean fashion in terms of textile. Fashion is seen to originate from the Western world and it is copied by other places. In this paper, we shall look at how fashion affects lifestyles and the group of people who are affected most.
The paper further investigates how media is used to transmit fashion from one region to the other. Although it has been seen to affect people’s lives many people have different perspectives on fashion and dressing. From a historic point of view, Western travelers had remarked on the slow pace of lifestyle and fashion change in Turkey and Persia. On the other hand, many people were of the opinion that the western culture is getting out of hand in terms of dressing fashion (Cumming 234). In most cases, change of fashion and dressing style took place hand in hand with economic and social changes.
In the developing world, changes in fashion began with the coming of the whites in Middle East. Changes began in the 11th century when the Turks came to central Asia and Far East. In Europe, continuous change in clothing fashion is believed to have started in middle 14th century. It started by a sudden introduction of shortening and tightening of male garments, it further brought the introduction of trousers and leggings that were worn by men (Cumming 235). After the advent of change in men fashion, it was followed by changes in female clothing style and hair style becoming sophisticated.
There have been remarkable changes in fashion; initially it was spear-headed by tailors but with the improving of textile industry there has been a remarkable improvement (I. P. F 1). Presently, modern Westerners have a wide range of fashions to choose from, it is currently believed that what a person chooses to wear has a lot to tell about their personality. Most of the fashions have been introduced by people who have cultural or social status such as musicians, leaders and to some extent beauty pageants.
Although fashion is universal, everybody has his or her own tastes. Fashion is mostly dictated by a person’s age, social class, generation, occupation, geographical location and time (Brook 53). In the case of age, it is very ridiculous to find an old person dressed in the fashion of young people. People who follow fashion blindly are referred to as “fashion victims. ” Aisha Shajid asserts that youths are the most affected by fashion; she terms them as slaves to fashion (1). She points out that fashion does not only involve clothing but also language, dancing and music.
In addition, she argues that at the teenage age the most important thing is to look fashionable and beautiful. Teenagers are the most active because at this time, one is facing identity crisis as they try to cultivate a sophisticated image. According to her observation, a new fashion for teenagers will be sold within a day; she associates this to the fact that most of the teenagers have part time jobs or have pocket money that they feel extravagant to spend on fashions. Aisha is of the opinion that the reason behind youths being obsessed with fashion is, it defines their personality and who they want to be (1).
In addition, development in sexuality and in most cases peer pressure is to blame for the obsession. It is hard to comprehend that in most cases, youths spend more time thinking what they will put on the next day than they would thinking about a simple test. Changing trends in fashion among youths is mostly driven by musicians as a result of their interest in music. It dates back in history where youths were mostly influenced by styles of prominent rock n roll and pop music singers and dancers. Youths can imitate their favorite singers’ clothing, hairstyle, cars and language (Sajid 1).
In an interview by Laura Holson to Min Liu asking her why she had to restrict people who will view her facebook profile photos, she said it was class instigated (1). On her response, she points out that she has pictures putting on too short skirts, drinking and posing funny styles. She fears that if such photos are seen by her working mates who are younger and others older than her, they will not be taking her seriously. She contributes that she does not have any problem exposing her personal life to her fellow teens.
It is a normal phenomenon for her to post her newest fashion on her facebook profile for other teenagers to have a look at. Ms. Liu is not only concerned about her looks and reputation but also her sisters, she had asked her sister to put down photos she had posted on her profile exposing her breasts and her boyfriend sitting on her laps (1). She asserts that such a photo may damage her reputation, since she intends to venture in the filming industry. She might be taken to be slut or a person with no morals for what she is seen putting on or doing.
She believes that fashion can speak on the behalf of an individual (Liu 1). In another perspective, fashion and dressing can tell more about the class. Power dressing, refers to clothing and hair style that make the wearers look more authoritative and competent. In business, government and law fields, power dressing is very much applicable to create the sense of professionalism. Power dressing mostly applies to women who are in authority; it will be absurd to find a woman in elite class of business dressed in tight pants and extra short revealing blouses (Blumer 276).
Media is the major driving force behind changes in fashion. The editorial critique, commentaries and updates are found in magazines, newspapers, televisions, websites and social networks. The contribution began in early 20th century. Magazines and news papers are mostly sought after by the public to upgrade their dressing fashion (Wan,Youn and Fang 5). The magazines use templates provided by illustrator as a way of marketing new fashions that will easily be taken up by the fabric industry and the marketing industry for distribution.
To begin with, it was the female fashion that was mostly featured but in the late 20th century, male fashion has become an item in media. Study has shown that media does not only influence clothing as an aspect of fashion, perfume lines and accessories have become items in media too (Wan,Youn and Fang 7). Presently, media is bringing in the aspect of merging new fashion with the old fashion. Some of these fashions have been taken to present people as conservatives of their tradition. Such trends have been observed in African countries where the new models in fashion mimics traditional dressing models.
Most of the people in the media industry should keep themselves in touch with the changes in fashion; they are always watched by those in the society as a point of reference. News anchors and presenters are forced to be fashion sensitive and yet be sensitive not to send a wrong message about their character. A study conducted on television media personnel, it showed that they are very conscious about how they look and end up using most of their earnings on dressing and accessories (Wan,Youn and Fang 6). William James wrote that a human being is composed of three parts; the soul, body and clothing (292).
According to him, clothing is a vital aspect of life in a human being (William 292). A study conducted to determine consumers’ perspective to determine their culture. The study observed that there is a behavioral aspect in determining fashions to be picked. It is observed that shopping trends, entertainment activities and socializing are key factors that affect fashion trends (Wan, Youn and Fang 6). This study further indicates that fashion-sensitive consumers do shop at high-quality stores and are engaged in product promotion activities that will make them be at the limelight.
It was also observed that fashion sensitive consumers do shop at specific traditional chain stores, where the quality of the commodities they purchase is assured. Another interesting indication from the study is that the fashion-sensitive consumers are likely to be involved in on-line shopping. In addition, it was observed that such consumers will spend more on clothing and yet be on diet. They will visit the most expensive hair saloons for hair makeup (Wan, Youn and Fang 7). Fashion and consumption are highly correlated.
The highly fashion-conscious people will be seen to have colorful entertainment activities. It is highly likely to find them in the entertainment functions and at the movie theaters, plays and watching games. It will be likely to meet them in the fancy performances such as rock and jazz music (Wiiliam 275). They like social gatherings and it is likely to send cards to friends to enhance ties and show friendship. Another special attribute of the fashion-conscious people is their ability to keep trend of consuming their classy products.
It was indicated that women use the most sophisticated products and the strongest sprays to keep their sense of class (Wan, Youn and Fang 8). Fashion can also be influenced by time. In some cases people do dress up for the day according to the trends that are being observed. Recently, it has been observed that smart casuals are worn on Fridays. As a result, business companies are allowing their workers to dress-down so that they can blend with their customers from other industries. As social trends are changing, the mode of dressing is continually changing.
People are taking up the walking lifestyle hence they consider putting on suits cumbersome. In addition, there is an increasing demand for clothing fashions that are compatible with all the activities of the day. In conclusion, fashion will speak out a person’s social signal, people dress on designs that blend with their social class. Just as population, social activities and fashion are changing with time. Fashion has made clothing to be convinient, everything needs to be done with the least effort and spend the least time.