What is one thing runway models, your English teacher and the cashier at the grocery store all have in common?
The presence of fashion in their lives.
Now, the runway model’s life may have a more heavy fashion influence than your teacher’s, but fashion plays a role in both of their day-to-day activities. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
The dictionary defines fashion as: “n. A popular trend, especially in styles of dress, ornament, or behavior.”
You may be thinking, “Wait, what? Behavior?” Yes, behavior as well as clothing. Fashion trends have obviously changed since the 1960s; for example, I don’t see people wearing platform shoes anymore (although jumpsuits are sneaking back into style). And the way we act has changed, too; I’m pretty sure if you said “YOLO” in the 1960s, people would ask if you meant “yo-yo.” The way people as a whole behave is constantly changing, lo and behold, fashion trends.
A lot of people wonder why fashion is even important, more specifically, the clothing aspect. But when do you feel more confident and successful; wearing sweats and a hoodie, or wearing a cute skirt and a nice top? The way we dress and choose to look affects our moods more than we can even imagine.
Making a statement
For some teens, if they think their hair looks bad in the morning, it will be on their mind the whole day.
“If I take the time to do my hair and makeup, I feel more accomplished and have a better outlook on my day,” says Madison Dalrymple, a junior at Syracuse High School.
Simply put, looking put together and feeling put together go hand in hand. Same goes for looking like a mess and feeling like a mess.
The way we present ourselves doesn’t only affect our mood, it affects others around us as well. No one likes to admit that they judge a book by its cover, but we all do. If you see someone who dresses like you do, you are naturally more comfortable around them; and if you see someone who dresses in a way you perceive to be weird or uncool, you will automatically think that they’re weird or uncool.
“The first thing you notice is someone’s clothes, so you can kinda tell what kind of person they are by what they wear,” says Liz Jenkins, a Weber High sophomore.
Success and fashion go hand in hand. Note what businessmen and businesswomen are wearing. They wear formal, conservative clothing because someone long ago established that clothing that isn’t distracting screams success in the business world.
Now look at your favorite band or artist. What are they wearing? Probably something really creative and out there; that’s because the crazier you are as an entertainer, the more easily you are noticed and pulled up to fame.
Always in style
There are always those who don’t really care about fashion — whatever is comfortable is what goes on their body.
But contrary to popular belief, even if you aren’t keeping up with trends and wearing what’s hot, you are still making a fashion statement. You may give off the vibe that you’re calm, mellow and easygoing because that is how you present yourself.
Everyone’s style falls into a category; even if you say you don’t care about fashion at all, you’re in the “comfy” category, and the style is changing. Whether you know it or not, you’re following the wave of change.
It seems as though some teens do consider themselves fashionable. When asked if he considers himself trendy, for instance, Bridger Wood, a junior from Weber High, says, “Yes, because ladies tell me I am.”
And Minsum Choi, a sophomore from NUAMES says, “Sometimes, I try to look good, but I’m not obsessed about it.”
Fashion can be confusing. After all, it’s a very fast-paced industry and its standards are constantly changing. Fashionable is also a hard word to define, but if you follow these simple rules, you’ll ALWAYS look stylish.
1. Wear what you want.
2. Rock it.
From the general behavior of people, to how we feel about ourselves, to whom we choose to associate, it’s safe to say that fashion rules our world. Whether you’re gaga for Gucci or your closet is made by Macy’s, fashion is one of the biggest “peer pressures” of all.
Savannah Rice is a sophomore at Weber High School. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.