Friday, January 22, 2010

Defining Fashion

Today I decided to write about fashion since this is about fashion stuff I think its important that we know what fashion actually is.

Fashion is defined as, "a style that is popular in the present or a set of trends that have been accepted by a wide audience". Our fashion behavior is powered by our psychographics, demographics and geographics. As social beings our desire to fit into a community or a social cohort is constantly up against our desire to stand out as an individual. This psychological response is a large determining factor in what we choose to purchase. Furthermore, influences from popular culture (like movies, tv, advertising, celebrity life) hold sway over our purchasing decisions. Our economy is built on creating and marketing products that we will covet. Coveting creates business, and popular culture affects coveting a great deal. More over, in today's market, clothing doesn't only serve our utilitarian needs, it also serves our hedonic needs. As a consumer we seek what we need, and want, but also something that is aesthetically appealing to us. Today we do not only want to wear clothing for protection, but we also make buying decisions based on emotional stimulus. A reason that all people across the world regardless of culture or geography dress, is decoration.

Every individual has his/her own personal needs and wants and everyone is in a social cohort or wants to belong to one (or both actually). We all lead different lifestyles and so our fashion behaviour is affected by what we perceive to be necessary. Individuals make purchases of products that have meaning to them or to others. We might make a purchase to seem to others as a fashion leader, unique and an innovator or we wear a garment in order to impress others, to fit into a lifestyle group, to be accepted or to meet others' expectations. These two psychological traits are constantly affecting our decisions when we make purchases.

In contemporary society every product has a meaning. We no longer only shop for utilitarian needs. Even though we have clothing that has not worn out yet, or gotten old and ruined, we still purchase new styles. We do not pay for new clothes because our old ones are unwearable, we buy new clothing because we are buying fashion. This is because fashion is always changing and we seek novel items. We would never covet a product if it had no meaning to us. This is why when products are made, designers, marketers and the press assign the products meaning nad position them in order to get a large group of people to want them. Buying something we want or like gives us a positive emotional stimulus. Giving products meaning is one way to keep making business and avoiding planned obsolescence.

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