Blog 4: “Introduction to Fashion”

In his chapter, George Simmel, examines the world of fashion as a factor of social life “built on the coupling of opposites”. Simmel looks at fashion as a way that one can express their sense of individualism by separating themselves from the norm but at the same time to express imitation and conformity. People are so into fashion because the clothing they wear represents what they stand for and what they believe in.

Fashion trends over the years have become very popular as each person tries to wear the newest trend to fit in with society and to be known as “cool”. Fashion allows for uniqueness because it makes the individual feel that they mean something to society. Fashion trends come and go as the shirt you are wearing today can be seen as old and out of fashion tomorrow. Simmel states that “with the destruction of its very purpose to cultivate individuality the fashion dies, only to be replaced by a new trend that through its inevitable spread, will also face its equally inevitable death”.

Simmel talks about the eb and flow of fashion trends and who affects the rise and demise of fashion trends. He looks at the upper class when it comes to the separation between them and the lower class. The upper class want to stick out from the ordinary lower class and therefore they wear clothes that many people in the lower class can not afford. Fashion also helps identify ones class position. If you see someone wearing a nice suit and polished shoes than you would consider them wealthy and in the upper class. On the other hand if you see a person with dirty and unkempt clothes on you would think that they belong to the lower class. From Simmel’s chapter we learn that the pace at which fashion trends change quickens in modern day societies. The lower class in these advanced societies have greater wealth relative to those in less developed socities states Simmel


4 responses to “Blog 4: “Introduction to Fashion”

  1. I agree that fashion changes as time progresses and after a while once trend dies and another rise. Many individuals want to wear the latest trend or they feel out of place or that they’re not in style. As for me, wearing the latest trend is not really a big deal for me, as long as I put myself together everyday that’s all that matters. I’m not a big fan of wearing a lot of name brand clothing, I just like looking presentable.

    I believe this would apply to adolescents mainly because they tend to act like they have no mind of their own so everything they see, they want. At the adolescents stage, wants is way important than needs. The eb and flow Simmel discussed affects both the fashion designers as well as the consumers for that fashion. It affects the designers if they don’t continuously come out with something new when that trend goes out of style. And it affects consumers who can’t keep up with new trends and are then looked down upon by many in society.

  2. I really love the way you talked about fashion especially these day many people think fashion is everything. many people following fashion more then what the society is teaching them, or whats going on those days in the world, I like simmel idea the way he express and discussed that fashion is not everything, don’t go by the look, go for what you beliefs in.

  3. Excellent exposition of Simmel’s ideas. You identified the fundamental quality of fashion, in Simmel’s conception: how it simultaneously expresses individuality and group loyalties. Some of Simmel’s conclusions no longer seem apt. For instance, the way that looking “unkempt” is fashionable, even (or especially) among rich people. And “unkempt” can be interpreted in different ways at different times.

  4. alexandrazayas1

    Fashion and what is seen as “in” varies depending on numerous factors. It depends on where you live, personal preference, and status. As previously mentioned, some upper class people find it absolutely necessary to wear every brand name on their body and have huge bags with logo’s on them to achieve status recognition and show off their money. Other’s may feel it is not necessary and would much rather invest in something else which will actually benefit them in the future. Then there are those who don’t feel the need to advertise their money so to speak. These people wear what they like and leave it at that.

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