Clothing and its importance in Society
There is a very common saying, “The way you dress, you will be judged.” Some people do not believe this is true, they say is more important your character than your status quo, your thoughts than the car you drive etc. But today, we are living in a very corrupted and materialist world, where those second things like material possessions and appearance are taking first place on people’s priorities. This is because fashion builds the person´s identity. That’s why we should understand that clothing and fashion is important today as it was yesterday and will be in the future. For hundreds of years people have put some message in the type of clothing they wear. Long ago people started wanting to stand out from the “crowd” and be different changing their clothing. Some examples of these “standing out” became very popular and were followed by more people. This was the moment when fashion appeared. Nowadays, fashion is defined for Malcolm Barnard a fashion reporter as a “constantly changing trend, favored for frivolous rather than practical, logical, or intellectual reasons”. Nevertheless, it is necessary to say that at the present moment fashion has a deeper influence on the life of people and possess more than just frivolous reasons for its existence. Clothing has become an integral part of self-realization of every person. It is no longer just an “external shield” and a frivolous attitude towards it may cause losing a very important physical, psychological and social aspect of a person’s life. This covering is a need, a necessity that is dictated by the norms of social conduct. This “necessity” brings a lot of variety into the lives of people and makes their image more complete. It is not about people serving fashion; it is about fashion being a slave of people. This is something we should pay attention.
The type of clothing completely depends on the person who is wearing it; therefore it becomes a reflection of his perception of himself, which leads us to the term, “personal identity”. The choice of clothing and accessories is as important as identification through the color of hair, height, skin and gender. Clothing nowadays is a media of information about the person wearing it. As every cloth carries a strong message about its owner, every owner “nests” a certain value in it depending on his temperament, mindset or today’s mood. Therefore, the clothing of a person is a mean of communication with the outside world. It is the way of telling people about the “state” of it owner.
Communication is also a sing expressed by clothing. This especially touches extraordinarily in clothing or an obvious lack of taste and vulgarity. Malcolm Barnard in his book “Fashion as communication” makes a great work by outlining cultural roles, rules, rituals, and responsibilities that are maintained and constructed by fashion. Fashion is compared to art. It is like an architect that gives his creation any shape he desires and at the same time is the reflection of the architect’s belonging to a certain social level, a certain psychological condition and so on. The message that clothing contains is basically a way of nonverbal communication with gender, ethical and power aspects. Clothes have an immense impact on the perception of people around and on the perception of the person wearing them, too. A suit can make a person feel more confident and organized, which would eventually change even the gestures and the manner of talking of the person or for instance wearing jeans after a suit may change the conduct of a person to a very liberal and feeble one. The perception of people around can be very predictable in terms of their reaction on a person wearing this or that style of clothing. Fashion is one of the most powerful means of communication, which sometimes may play a vital role in the life of a person. So, fashion is a very important tool of manipulation while communicating besides its importance in...
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