How Much of Fashion Is Conformity?

A Brief Look at the Thinking Behind Fashion

The fashion industry is an odd one to those on the outside looking in, and even those inside can probably agree it has its quirks. From the eccentric possibly mentally unstable fashion designers to the extravagant models, nutty photographers and everyone else further down the ladder, much like many of the arts the people at the top are thought of as either geniuses or very lucky asylum dodgers. Despite this in the fashion world what comes down from above is rarely disputed and everyday people are constantly in a state of chaos trying to catch up with what is in and what is out. This ever-spinning cycle causes a panic and an unstoppable consumerism that few other industries have. Fashions change by season, month, occasion and simply on a whim for seemingly unknown reasons and yet millions buy into it. Is fashion just a huge veil of social conformity that nobody else is aware of and why has it never changed?

Cultural Fashion

Fashion and clothing are tied to culture, it is indisputable. The many women of India do not wear the same hot pants as joggers in California, equally it would be silly if a native Inuit wore a crop top and leggings. Each society is different, and each has their fashion do’s and don’ts. Though some of these may be logical like those associated with climate or religious beliefs, others aren’t. Who was it who decided the suit was the garment for professionalism almost worldwide? Why is it not okay to wear your onesie out and about in public? And who made the call that mullets were no longer cool (or were cool in the first place your pick)?

Safe on The Rails
Safe on The Rails

Safe on The Rails

What if overnight every high street store completely changed their stocks; male sections were swapped to female sections and amongst it all S&M leatherwear was spread liberally amongst the shelves. As the store opens the next day what would happen? Though you may expect an uproar, the likelihood is that people probably wouldn’t notice since once something is on the rails in the high street it is generally deemed ‘safe’. Though people may not go for the riskiest of the options, like masculine guys buying miniskirts, the fact is that by being exposed to them in this manner may open their minds up to the idea later. If this sounds ridiculous just check out the tight Deep V neck trend.

Who Makes the Decisions?
Who Makes the Decisions?

Who Makes the Decisions?

At the heart of this is someone or some organisation is dictating to the rest what’s cool and what isn’t. From hair, to shoes, to handbags and jeans, some fashionista or designer is designating these things into a positive or negative camp and everyone else simply nods and complies. Sure, you might argue that beggars can’t be choosers and that you don’t choose what your high street store stocks, but they aren’t the only place you can shop from. Today we are liberated from the constraints of the clothing store as the internet offers up infinite possibilities of fashion, next time you shop buy from somewhere new and don’t let anyone influence your choices.  Just see what happens.