What Does Fashion Have to Do With Culture?

Fashion is the way we express ourselves through clothing. It can be a form of art, and the right clothes can make us feel confident. Fashion can also show our social status, for example in ancient times judges wore robes, and soldiers wore uniforms. Fashion can even be used as a tool of social change, for example in the roaring 20s women wanted to dress more freely and to be able to vote.

Fashion has a huge impact on the economy, it supports millions of workers worldwide. Those people design, sew, glue and dye fabrics, produce commercial ads for buses and billboards, and then they transport and sell those clothes in stores. Fashion also influences our lifestyle, and we can learn a lot about culture by studying the fashion of other countries and cultures.

For something to be considered as a ‘fashion trend’ it needs to be widespread. This can happen through a process called ‘trickle-down’, where an elite group of designers and sartorialists create looks that are popular among a wider circle of consumers, and then the look spreads outward from there. It can also occur through a process of ‘trickle-across’, where a small number of designers create and promote a specific style that influences a large number of different designers and styles.

Fast fashion has a big impact on the environment, as when items no longer are ‘in-fashion’ they get thrown out. Sustainable and ethical fashion, on the other hand, focuses on sustainability and promotes responsible sourcing. This is a more sustainable option that benefits our planet and the lives of the workers who produce clothing.