The fashion industry in the United States is a multibillion-dollar sector that is propelled by societal influences as well as economic considerations. In a society where this is not always feasible, fashion and clothing allow people to freely express themselves and increase their creativity. Creativity may help businesses get an edge in the marketplace, and it can also help society find new ways to improve the quality of life (Casey and O’Brien 2020).
According to Georg Simmel, fashion was a way for various classes to show how different they were from one another. In the early 1900s, the clothes worn by upper-class people could be used to identify them as part of a social rank. Many people from the lower classes did not have access to select their clothing and would end up wearing what was donned by their employers. Simmel classified cultures and confined the idea of fashion to the upper classes. He also mentioned how people from the lower classes wore clothes but had no fashion.
People are fortunate in that the style they pick nowadays is widely accepted. Fashion is used to differentiate individuals, but it may also be used to identify oneself as a member of a certain group. Moreover, people use fashion to exhibit their personality, connect to their identity, and as a self-expression tool. Clothes may aid in a person’s feeling of self-identification. Girls, for example, can put on different outfits and materialize an older persona, delivering a sensory experience that allows them to investigate the actual changes that will occur in their bodies (Blanchard-Emmerson 2021).
Capitalism has opened a whole new perspective for fashion, making it no longer confined to higher classes. In addition, there are codes of clothing that people consciously or unconsciously follow depending on the circumstances. In conclusion, fashion in impactful in society because what one wear matters and there is an abundance of options to choose from.
Georg Simmel explains that fashion’s importance is related to one’s identity. It allows us to nonverbally show the world what group we fit into the most while at the same time showing the group we identify with, what sets us apart from the everyday group member (Aspers and Godart 2013). By this, I mean an individual will try their best to dress in a way that will ensure their acceptance within a group, but they will also alter their appearance to allow them to stand apart from others. I think the main reason the United States has such an extensive fashion industry is rooted in what Simmel expresses to be one of the main ways we present ourselves in society. Today we use fashion as a way of self-expression. It allows us to nonverbally show our personalities and beliefs to everyone who views us. It is sometimes even encouraged to dress a particular way to gain acceptance into a specific group or job occupation. For example, you’ve probably heard of the expression “dressing for the job you want.” Phrases such as these come about because fashion is essential to who we are and how we present ourselves. Over the years, fashion has become more than just an expression of ourselves. It has also become a reflection of our society’s beliefs, struggles, and growth (Obukhova, Zuckerman and Zhang 2014).
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