“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas,
the way we live, what is happening.”
Clothes appeared hundreds years ago. Through this time functions of fashion changed to a great extent. First of all clothes were created to save us from cold. Ancient people that lived in caves did not require any esthetic peculiarities. That is why any of improvised material that could be found anywhere was rather helpful. Parts of animal skin were used to warm the body and protect it from different injuries (Fashion: a philosophy. Svendsen. 2006). However even then the leaders wanted to stand out and so they tried to wear more arms and skin of dangerous animals to show their power. Each generation has made its contribution. Gradually, step by step, with the development of civilization, clothes started playing more important role. Now people tried to find some beauty in it. Of course every nation had its own understanding about beauty because of their traditions and climatic conditions. Culture is supposed to be one of the main factors of the fashion. Thanks to the culture, the belonging to different nationalities can be easily understood. For example, an Indian woman differs from the European one because of the spot on the forehead.
Very often the leaders of a country or the whole empire influenced the nation`s tastes and commenced some innovations to hide their physical defects. So for example, Charles VII was hiding his legs under long clothes. Another example may be Louis XIV started wearing a wig to hide his bald spot. And people accepted these changes in clothes and followed the examples. Even in literature we can find examples of people silently accepting new trends in clothing. Hans Christian Andersen in his story “The Naked King” showed how the king wanted to stand out of the crowd. He ordered the best cloth anyone cloud imagine and received nothing. He believed that he was wearing the most beautiful suit and his subordinates for the fear not to lose their jobs kept silence. As a result the king became a laughing stock.
Nowadays, clothes are the main goal of fashion. Fashion can be defined as a “constantly changing trend, favored for frivolous rather than practical, logical, or intellectual reasons” (The American Heritage dictionary of the English Language. Houghton M. 2000). We should admit that we cannot imagine our life without fashion for the time being. Whatever people say, but the first impression is always based on the outlook of a person. Everyone wants to look like elegant and exquisite. For a long time, good taste was considered as a characteristic of good breeding. Of course tastes are different. That is why it is difficult to judge somebody`s taste about his manner of dressing or his style. We may say that type of clothing depends on the person, her interests and her tastes. A lot of people say that clothing helps to show your inner life. It is a part of your own, it is even your identity. Clothing is the way of expressing yourself. Everything you choose to show yourself (like make-up, colors of your clothes) is as important as your nationality or your gender. That is the way how other people identify you, that is the thing that marks you out from the crowd. It is universally admitted that nothing marks the gentleman more than the style of his dress. Clothing may serve as a recommendation letter. For example, when you meet a man in the street you take a look at his appearance. A well-dressed man always catches your attention is an object of your admiration. (The Philosophy of Ancient and Modern Dress and Fashion. Fox. 1872) While choosing a color or textile of a dress, you are sending a code to others. They receive it and interpret it. Any personal thing carries some information about its` owner. It can show whether you are sad or happy, what kind of character you have. There are different professionals are can easily say a lot about your personality. For them, clothes are not only a piece of black or white cloth, but a language. Sometimes it may tell even more than you could imagine. Clothing, as many other things, can also give some information about your status and state. Nowadays it is especially true. We have different styles of clothes. The most acceptable and preferable is “business style”. We trust more to people dressed in this style. They seem to be more confident, tidy and intelligent. This style plays especially an important role while you are having an interview. It may really help you to show yourself from a better side and to make a good impression. However this style cannot help you in all cases. Each situation requires its own dressing. You will not choose an evening dress to go to the night club. Fashion is a very keen tool of manipulation while communicating besides its importance in social class, culture, sex and gender relations of people.
Fashion as industry has developed so much, that you can buy clothes everywhere. With the development of technology, now it is possible to buy things even online. Earlier fashion considered to be more women orientated (The fashion business: theory, practice, image.White. 2000). From knowledge of life, fashion has proved itself as a main method of attracting men`s attention. Well-chosen clothes always make women more womanly. With its help, they acquire some unknown charms and unusual confidence. Because of these facts the demand on the production of women`s clothes has increased greatly during the last century.
We may say that women greatly influenced on the development of fashion. Now they demand clothes to look more luxurious. The world has changed and the way of looking at things has changed. Earlier a woman was supposed to be more a housewife. However the feminism has denied the idea of staying a woman at home. So she is becoming a business lady. The style of clothes should be changed accordingly. Women have accepted a lot of clothing styles that propagandize masculinity. Of course there are still women who prefer staying more feminine however the equality at work has changed the women style and image to a great extent.
Today we may also talk about men fashion. Probably a century ago these words could be mocked but a nowadays society requires a man to be also fashionable. There are a lot of fashion trends that make a man to look more businesslike and mach at the same time.
The manner of dressing has become a great business. Everyone wants to look like fashionable and some people do not spare money and time on buying new clothes. A lot of us cannot resist fashion. Fashion is often also seen as a value added to clothes to make them desirable to consumers (Fashion: A Very Short Introduction. Arnold. 2004). Because of a great demand, a lot of brands appeared. Nowadays we have various fashion shows that influence our understanding of beauty. There are a lot of popular brands like Prada, Dior, Georgio Armani, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss(Fashion Brands.Branding Style from Armani to Zara. Tungate M. 2006). The designers of these brands believe that fashion is the art, so they are the masters. To some extend it is true. It is not a piece of cake to create a definitely new thing that will fit to people of different nationalities and different forms. Tastes differ. It is rather difficult to satisfy everyone.
A lot of people are involved in the fashion industry. We can see that the number of models and designers is always growing despite the job losses in the whole world. That means that this kind of art is not going to disappear any time soon (Career Opportunities in the Fashion Industry.Vogt P. 2007).
Fashion has a great impact on the personality. It is a part of self-realization. With the help of fashion we may achieve more, however we should know how to us this key to success. Anyway fashion is one of the sources of joy and it may be rather entertaining.
1. Svendsen Lars Fr.H. 2006. Fashion: a philosophy. London: Reaction Books.
2. Arnold R. 2004. Fashion: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press
3. Houghton M. 2000. The American Heritage dictionary of the English Language. 4th edition. [online] Available at:
4. Fox G.P. 1872. The Philosophy of Ancient and Modern Dress and Fashion. London: Trubner & Co.
5. White N. 2000. The fashion business: theory, practice, image. Oxford: Berg
6. Vogt P. 2007. Career Opportunities in the Fashion Industry. Second Edition. New York: Publishing Enterprises.
7. Tungate M. 2006. Fashion Brands. Branding Style from Armani to Zara. Second Edition. London: Kogan Page Limkted.