Sociology of Fashion

  • by Dean Jones

Fashion is a mainstream societal thought process that involves manufacturing, expenditure, and harmonization of uniqueness. It is conceived as a cultural actuality that reflects the culture, the people, and society.

It cements itself in people's minds by creating a norm where materials come in various textures, shapes, colors, and branding. And this expression occurs in various cultural climes.

Besides being a social process that has to do with the dress, Fashion is an expressive feature that promotes innovation and self-admiration. And this helps to improve the economy in the aspect of production and personal usage.

Various vital reasons exist as to why modern culture must tally with the philosophy of fashion and how it affects us every day.

To wrap it up, societal fashion has a pivotal role to play in culture because of its aesthetic offerings in aspects like apparel and clothing, religion and philosophy, habits and traditions, and music that individuals from different communities either identify with or not.

The culture of Fashion and Identity

Fashion is instrumental in helping individuals who share cultural ties to identify with themselves anywhere they meet in the world.

These days, people use their interest or indifference in societal fashion to create their social diversity.

Fashion as a significant Economic gauge

Fashion is crucial in any nation's economy because it contributes tremendously to the novelty of creative economic manufacturing in artistic industries.

Fashion also serves as a tool to establish communication ties with the world at large. It provides a platform for people to make inquiries such as surplus consumption, exploitation of labor, and the concept of beauty, which is defaced with various identity representations.

Georg Simmels’ view on Fashion

Georg Simmels (1997), a notable sociologist, pointed out in a popular essay he wrote that fashion was not only related to clothing designs, but it was a fundamental process that drives modern life and the psycho-social mindset of the modern man.

He further cited fashion as not belonging to any social life realm, stating that it is a conventional reality of modern communities. Hence, fashion provides a social platform where the interest of individuals is pitted against the joint. And where novel aesthetic systems defy the old social norms. Anything can symbolize fashion, which could be apparels, habits, or ideals.

Simmel mentioned that Fashion symbolizes one of the various forms of life where we desire social equality that thirsts for individual distinction and change.

The views of some writers on Fashion

Entwistle (2000) described fashion as an organization of dress in a modern system that encrypts bodies’ presentation. She saw Fashion as a dress system that relates to body dressing and presentation, alongside its performance, the message it carries, and the meaning.

Diana Crane (2000) conducted a study that described fashion in the sphere of clothing. She gave insights on conventionality and suitability and how they must have possibly encroached the rich clothing forms available.

Edward Sapir, a linguist, and anthropologist mentioned that clothing was the system of expression closely connected to the identity and body. And it could be live in a sphere of other aspects of life like furniture and sports.

Sapir’s approach was quite interesting. He mentioned that fashion is jointly knitted with self-admiration, thereby stating that utility has reduced fashion systems' priority.  


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