“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” – Oscar de la Renta
We can say that Style is something that has been adapted and personalized on an individual point to go well with each person’s own personality and body. While, Fashion is a general term for the style and custom prevalent at a given time which mainly means that fashion is constantly fleeting while style is forever.
With that said, is fashion significant?
Others like to brush off fashion as vivacious, a sheer expression of a materialistic society yearning whatever one does not have. Yet, as for me Fashion is important because it is not only a means of expressing oneself but also society in general.
The fashion of a decade is deep-rooted in the political and social problems of the time, especially in women’s fashion. Surprise why the 1950’s were full of housewife-style dresses? Or why the 1960’s mods made a clean break from that with straighter silhouettes? It was a repeat of another women’s rights movement in the 1920’s of a similar nature. But it was a new decade, with new concerns and therefore different trends.
Let us go even further back… Fashion of the late 1700s was more often than not overstated: big hair, huge dresses, exaggerated makeup, and sumptuousness. This was immediately called back in the 1800s. Was it industrialism? Were people sick of the revolutions of the 1700s? Was this renewed conservative attitude reflected in the clothing? Maybe.
Fashion is important and fascinating because it gives us a window into the way of thinking of people from different times. And now that communication is so much faster due to the internet, changes in fashion occur even more rapidly. Thus, I don’t find fashion vivacious for these reasons. I think it’s a big part of our culture and something to commemorate.
In addition, whether or not you care about fashion, you make a conscious decision every day of what you wear, and what clothes you acquire. You may want to express that you don’t care about fashion by wearing a basic tee and jeans, or wearing the same clothes just like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs does, but you cared enough to give it some thought. These preferences then become an expression of who you are and how you see yourself as an individual.
Fashion is an influential instrument people have used for hundreds of years to incorporate to clans, or differentiate /express themselves in the general public. You can be a celebrity, teacher, or a Muslim, but you care about what you wear. I do believe the fashion stigma comes from the commercial/retail side of the fashion industry. But we should note that there’s cultural importance, and a means of artistic expression that some fail to remember about fashion.