The word “fashion” means something different to everyone. Fashion means beautiful clothing itself to some people, it means the art of style to others, and there are too many definitions in between to list. One thing’s for sure, however; and it’s that fashion is meaningful to everyone and plays a role in everybody’s life, no matter how conscious they may or may not be of the fact that the way they dress defines how others view them, and even how they view themselves. Let’s talk about learning about and appreciating the art of fashion!
There are so many things to know about the history, contexts, and manifestations of fashion. Every culture has its own unique set of fashion roots and guidelines, as well as an individual modern scene where current trends take place. There are tons of resources on the subject. One great example is AbeBooks, a website where you can find fiction, nonfiction, text books, and even sell your own books; websites like this can help link you to the resources you need to learn about any subject. Movies and plays are another perfect resource for diving into the researching of clothing and trends of any era!
Another great way to learn about how fashion plays an important role in daily life is through this favorite activity: people watching. Places like the mall, your local starbucks, and the park are hotspots for (politely) seeing how people dress themselves and thinking about how this affects the way you perceive them, how others perceive them, and how they perceive themselves. What kind of clothes are they wearing: are they activity based, religious in nature, professional, playful, artistic? What sorts of brands do you see, and how do you associate them with wealth or lack thereof? Do you think that person spends lots of time choosing their outfit or not very much at all: why? There is much to learn when you start asking yourself questions like these, and sometimes the answers you find are not what you’d expected!
Fashion is an important part of human life, because it affects culture on a personal, daily basis. This up close and personal study of how people see and flaunt themselves can teach us a lot about other people, other cultures, and other eras–which is what makes fashion fun!