Fashion is an expression of individuals, special groups and cultures. Fashion is important as a means of interpreting social attitudes and values in a particular period of time. To the individual woman, fashion may be a means of expressing a particular element of her personality. Rich colors and luminous accessories may suit an extrovert personality.
On the other hand, beliefs can be powerful forces that affect our health and capacity to heal. This is often in conflict with fashion; whether personal or cultural, they usually affect us in modifying our behavior. It refers to contemporary mass culture, and all of the influences that color it – current slang, movies, television, music, products, and technology. It implies a widespread familiarity with common entertainment and consumer items, and will vary from one generation to the next as those things change.
Some may feel more comfortable following a trend set for them. Glamorous fashion magazines or celebrities might set up fashion trends. Others may express their individuality by creating their own fashion.
For each generation, fashion is different from their parents’ fashion. Skirts have gone from ridiculously long to ridiculously short and back again. Men’s trousers have been baggy, skinny, flared and bell-bottomed, not to mention worn backwards or hanging down past hips. Hair has been long, short, shaved, spiked, blond, red or black.
Culture reflects patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Cultures are systems of symbols and meanings that even their creators contest. They lack fixed boundaries, are constantly in flux and both interact and compete with one another.
Similarly, fashion for people creates a sense of self-satisfaction and self-awareness. Fashion attracts the opposite sex and makes a person more appealing. A fashion statement can make you appear sexy, trashy, classy, modern and frumpy or what you will.
Fashion gives each of us an opportunity to accent our personalities and characters by providing us with clothing and accessories that constitute our appearance. All of us want to mark our individuality and be distinguished from the crowd. Fashion is one of the ways to do this.
One reason to follow fashion is because people treat you better when you are well dressed. It should not happen, but it does; people have prejudices and will form opinions on you based on the way you look. By taking pride in our appearance, we show the people we meet that we care about how people view us and that we have respect for ourselves.
But fashion is not just about how you look; it is about how clothes make you feel. Dress like a supermodel and you instantly feel gorgeous, glamorous and more confident.
Contrarily, culture is not one of life’s luxuries: it is life itself. It is all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Since life is implemented with culture as well, culture covers all aspects a human might come upon during his life, from language, politics, economic systems, to traditions, behavior, religion, even up to fashion and food. Culture becomes the lance through which we perceive and evaluate what is going on around us. Culture determines the way someone perceives the world around him.
Fashion and culture are completely intermingled with each other. Fashion is a huge part of the artifacts, behaviors, values, customs, and shared beliefs of the members of society to be used to cope with their world or one another, and pass down to the next generation. Fashion plays such a large role in our culture because it is the basis, or foundation in all that we do. Fashion sets the standards in society. All of civilization tries to match their clothing, mannerisms, pets, even the food they eat to what is known at that time to be fashionable. –By Srishti Saini