In general, when people hear the word fashion the first thought that pops up in their minds is superficiality. We rather think of it as a way to express ourselves, as some kind of universal language. Nowadays, in the Western world, we have the freedom to wear whatever we want. There are occasions that require to wear a certain style. You can’t go to a fancy wedding with a ripped jeans and when you’re a doctor hotpants are kinda out of the question. Of course there’s also that thing called social pressure. But even in these cases, we’re still free to go along or to wear whatever we want instead.
This freedom translates into people developing their own sense of style. Even when you’re not to be considered stylish at all, this expresses who you are.
The evolution of dressing up
Centuries ago we only wore clothes to protect ourselves against the cold, rain, the sun and other natural influences. Throughout the years this evolved drastically. The ancient Egyptians, Greek and Romans started developing their own sense of fashion. In the first place to show how wealthy they were and to which social class they belonged. Because compared to the actual fashion industry, prior to the mid 19th century most clothing was custom-made. And thus a more expanded wardrobe was a privilege for the high class population.
All around the world fashion has known so many evolutions. Making a list of these would be a never ending task. Broadly we can conclude that fashion always has been a way for people to diversify themselves. To show that they belong to a certain group, status or on the contrary, that they don’t belong to anything at all.
As we already mentioned in the last paragraph. It is only since the mid 19th century that we can refer to fashion as an actual industry. This evolution turned the language of fashion upside down. It is still used as a way to show to which group you belong or to display wealth. However, the arrival of chain stores, seasonal sales and the world wide web changed a lot. Dressing up became much more an individual thing.
And we’re damn happy with these changes. We would honestly not be able to express ourselves fully without that daily dose of fashion.
Photo credits: Thisiskattie, Vogue, Popsugar