Blog #4 Simmel and Fashion

I for one, am not into fashion, but as I say this I am clearly somewhere on the fashion spectrum as it is impossible to remove yourself from it.  Simmel believed that those who didn’t follow fashion were still a part of fashion since it is a dichotomy and requires those who are to be considered the inverse of fashion followers.  This aspect of social life has two extremes, Imitation and Distinction.  Imitation is the style or trend that most people aim for.  According to Simmel, someone from the upper class will for lack of a better word, lead the general population.  It is conformity, to be like a certain “role model” in appearance, it’s widespread acceptance.  On the other side of the spectrum is Distinction, to be eccentric or apart from the crowd.  Only a few prefer this unique side.

Fashion is dynamic, always changing.  A unique style can become “popularized” and shift from Distinction to Imitation.  This process can also go the other way, from Imitation to Distinction.  To depict this we can look at an example from the past.  At one time, bell bottom jeans were “trendy”.  People conformed to this style and then after however many years it dissipated so if you were to wear them you would be seen as being eccentric.  As we saw in the video in class, fashion is not limited to just clothing, but also include things like hair style, tattoos, piercings, plastic surgery and etc.


4 responses to “Blog #4 Simmel and Fashion

  1. I personaly think that it is nice also to create your own style. I stopped throwing my clothes away or donating them for a new trend because all I am doing is do is buying more clothes that I really don’t need but just to possess them. I discovered that when I recycled my clothes and now after a while I mix and match them everyone always compliments me about the same clothes that they think is a new outfit I just purchased. for me the way I see fashion in clothing is how you where it and not what you wearing. We don’t all have to look the same.

  2. Simmel did notice that fashion can make the poorer people aspire to be like the richer. I believe that this is the driving force behind some fashion, if one ever watched Project Runway, they are always making old trend new for the wealthy people. This is like some form of the American Dream, many people try to attain fashions to feel comfortable about their social status. While they follow the ideology or fashion of the wealthy or ruling class, a Marxist concept, the less wealthy are still keeping the system going. They strive to look, dress, act, and talk a certain way, a trend or fashion that may keep leading to their demise later. If the less wealthy keeps up with fashion, they are only making themselves more poor and feeding into the greedy system for status.

  3. The first thing people notice about anyone is there physical appearance and what they are wearing. Regardless if poor or wealthy everyone wants to look presentable. It is true that someone with no money may dress really well and trick people into thinking they are wealthy but in todays society it is impossible to make it anywhere if you are not dressed well. I’m not really into fashion as well but I do know what is nice and what is not. It seems that the “eccentric” people have a harder time fitting in, and while it is great for people to be unique and not care about the rest of society, it may be harder for them to get a serious job because the way you dress is an indicator on the type of person you are.

  4. Interesting perspective about how even though you do not care for fashion, you realize that you are still a part of it. I believe this is true because of the social construct in which we live today in which society made it mandatory to wear clothing. This thus eliminates a choice in whether they can reject fashion all together because clothing is essential. Whether one decides to follow the trends or just require the bare minimum is also taking a part in a choice of fashion which distinguishes how they wish to be represented in society.

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