A Peek into the Fashion World
The fashion industry is constantly changing, and as people age, so does their style. Why? As people mature, they begin to make the switch from trending clothes to more professional like clothes, such as suits and ties. Your sense of fashion not only reflects in your appearance and the way you portray yourself in front of the world, but it it can also be a deep emotional connection. It starts developing once you can start making decisions for yourself. Beforehand, you are completely dependant on your parents taste, their finance, and environment you live. As you mature and enter your teenage years, you begin to have more input in the way you dress. This is determined again on your environment, your interests, and also your friends. For me this transition started at around I3 years old. It was then, where I began to have the freedom to dress myself. As many people age, they change the way they dress due to different emotions, comfortability, and the fashion industry itself. These emotions may include a boost in confidence, lessen your insecurity, and in some cases spark curiosity.
People tend to dress the way they do at certain ages due to different emotions. One of the main reasons why young adults in their teenage years tend to fall into fashion trends is due to their social image. Newport Academy states “Humans are acutely social animals, and trend-following appears most radically in our youth and early adulthood, when we’re most self-conscious about our social standing.” Kids usually experience these emotions most throughout their high school years, which is normal due to how social standing plays into high school. During your high school years, it is very common to have a sense of insecurity as well. Your image and your sense of style becomes you as a person and how people identify you. You may think it can be shallow, or unimportant, but teenagers put a lot of emphasis in their outside appearance. The pressure of “fitting in”, being part of a group, being praised for your appearance, are all aspects that can help that sense of insecurity that most teenagers are faced with. Many teens begin to fall into fashion trends, or what’s hot at the moment as it presents itself as “socially acceptable and cool”. One can see this displayed as you walk around a High School. Certain groups based on their personal interests will dress a certain way. As an example, athletes tend to dress with more athletic geared clothing because it gives them a sense of belonging. Personally, I experienced this transition during my freshman year in High School. I found that not only did wearing nice clothes set a statement socially, but it also greatly boosted my confidence. One of the main reasons to why many teens continue to follow fashion trends is due to the ego boost it gives you, It’s no surprise that wearing nice and “trendy” clothes will make you feel good. Style Rail stated “However, some scientists have shown that the way we feel about ourselves is often directly linked to our appearance, whether we realize it or not. Dressing well takes advantage of this finding and allows us to literally dress for success.” Many times, giving into trends can help teens get out of their insecurity phase as they begin to have a better perception of themselves.
During the first couple weeks of january I surveyed 20 high school students and asked them if they ever went through an insecurity phase and how it changed the way they dressed. Through this survey, I found that 11 out of 20 students did undergo insecurity, and 9 out of the 11 people changed the way they dressed throughout High School due to their own perception of themselves. I was expecting that more than half of the people I surveyed to have changed the way they dressed during high school, 9 out of 20 were confirmed through my survey which proved my initial point. I surveyed both juniors and seniors as they are near the end of their high school years and would have the most accurate and useful information towards a conclusion. With the finding that more than half of the kids did undergo an insecurity phase, I am confident that this will continue to happen. Another interesting aspect of is how you can change your mood through what you are wearing. People usually dress the way they feel, but sometimes you may want to wear clothing that changes your mood. As an example, a person that is sad may choose to wear something colorful to brighten their mood. It is comparable to sunlight on a gloomy day.
Social media, a new phenomenon has had a huge impact on why teens are continuously falling into fashion trends. Most kids growing up participate in some form of social media, the most popular being Instagram. “The way Instagram and the internet have reshaped trends shows up many times in our modern world.” As kids browse instagram, they are constantly being presented ads throughout every couple posts. Many times these are fashion ads, and with the emergence of Fast Fashion, a new way of buying designer like clothe at a portion of the price, brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and Vans, makes buying fashionable clothes accessible to everybody. Before the emergence of Fast Fashion, most trending clothes were usually too expensive for the average person to afford. The fashion industry is continuously producing more and more clothes paving the way for more teenagers to find interest in the fashion world. With applications like Instagram, it connects the youth to what’s happening in the modern world, many times focusing on celebrities who advertise their fashion. However, this may influence young adults in a negative way and give them a false idea of what the “ideal image” may be. “The current media ideal of thinness for women is achievable by less than 5 percent of the female population.” This statistic really sums up the problem. The media can be very misleading when it comes to young adults going through insecurity and many times can end up being harmful to these kids. With the emergence of social media, it is no surprise that more and more teens will become emerged into the fashion culture, although it can not always be helpful. With social media being a huge part of our generation, it is no surprise that it has helped the fashion industry spread influence across the world. Social Pro Daily states “Fast fashion retailers are seeing the benefits of these trends’ shorter life cycles because it’s resulting in people constantly looking for a product to satiate their moment of inspiration. Today, people don’t walk into a retail store to find their next look—they turn to their social media feeds to see what’s happening around them with friends or people they admire.” With all the emotions coming along your social image, Instagram helps people stay on track to see what’s trending, almost acting as modernized form of a magazine. The influence social media has is so large that not only does it help advertise fashion, it also helped inspire the rise of fast fashion.
As people grow up and begin to become financially established in their 20s, they begin to change the way they dress based on conditions and expectations placed upon them. In most full time jobs, there are usually expectations on what your should wear when you come to work. This of course is dependant on what type of profession you have. As an example, if you work in the Business world, and are meeting with clients and partners you are more likely to be expected to dress very conservatively. On the other hand, if you work in the High Tech industry, the focus on how you dress is irrelevant, and many times can be seen in a negative manner. Many times, these expectations tend to lean more towards the professional side of fashion, introducing younger adults to suits, ties, and specific uniforms. “When they do get jobs, truth to tell, their clothes get a little bit conservative – nothing would persuade my 24-year-old to give culottes, flares, jumpsuits or big sleeves a whirl. They have bosses and (perceived) rules to conform to. And even if they haven’t, they don’t always know where to start.” Even if there aren’t always written rules to what you should wear at the workplace, it is usually expected that you look professional. In this case, wearing trending clothes such as flashy shoes, different articles of clothing, or tracksuits would not exactly be seen as acceptable, and would most likely be looked down upon at the office. When working in an office job, attracting little attention is also something that employees tend to do. Keeping a low radar, and blending with your peers can be useful especially when starting a new job, or having less experience than your peers.
Fashion is an important aspect of everybody’s life. Not only does fashion creates a sense of belonging and self worth, it also gives people a way of distinguishing themselves from others. As fashion evolves so do people. Their interest may peak in their teenage years, where dressing yourself becomes possible, and seeking acceptance and praise from your peers. As you age and enter the workforce, people’s fashion usually need to be adjusted. Your personal sense of style may be affected by the environment and the position you hold. A banker may need to wear a suit, a nurse may need to wear a uniform. Overall, people tend to dress more conservatively, except if they hold a job in the Fashion Industry where those rules don’t apply. As people age, so do their taste based on their emotions, comfortability, and the ever changing fashion industry itself. These emotions can boost your confidence, lessen your insecurity, and spark curiosity. Through my research, I found that the way you dress is not only a way to portray yourself in front of the world, but also a way to bring self confidence, uniqueness, and self belonging. Your fashion may change through the years, but it will ultimately always be an emotional connection.