Fashion as Communication - It Defines Us

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on October 17, 2014

A dazzling and shining evening with lights, music & glamour around. Wait a second, where are your thoughts started to wonder ‘A Fashion Show’, right. Just a few words and the first thing that comes to our mind is fashion. Such is our involvement with fashion and that too when very few of us has really experienced a fashion show. What is fashion; latest or popular style of clothing or behaviour.

So let us talk about fashion and the changing trend and how it is affecting all of us. But first stop and think is fashion only about design, colour or whatever people generally perceive about it. Answer is no. Well let me clarify this in a simpler language. Consider fashion different from fashion industry. Each individual can have a fashion of their own given that they have the creativity and curiosity in them. Fashion requires being experimental. It shows your belief, confidence and trust in yourself. Fashion is much more than just wearing a piece of cloth or jewellery. No, we wear it because we feel comfortable in it and it reflects our behaviour, attitude towards others and also towards our self. It defines us.

Image Courtesy:, Stuart Miles

The term fashionable was commonly used with men’s behaviour in European countries at 80’s. It was mostly related to a person who used to show sophisticated behaviour and was attentive towards women. Usage of this term was mainly limited to high class society only. When you look at a person walking in the room, what attract your attention first? Dress. Well most of the time yes. We have a tendency to judge a person on the basis of his or her outfit. Especially in formal meeting or meeting for first time. “First impression is the last impression”. In the present competitive world it is very important to market our self wisely and this is not a new concept, difference is that now more and more emphasis is given on it. We nowhere is trying to demotivate a talented person but only that in a place where everyone is equally talented & similar, then there should be a differentiation factor in you. Experts say that we can easily judge any person based on his or her outfit. Wearing pressed dress with carefully polished shoes suggest that the person is very organised, arranged as well as disciplined and like to do works on routine. A person wearing fine dress and good shoes but not as carefully as the previous mentioned one suggest that he or she is organised makes plans ahead. Another person is again in perfect dress but with a loose tie shows that he is a good planner, confident, open to changes and like to enjoy the life. Similarly is the case with women’s. And it is well known that they have more variety to experiment with. Just by changing an accessory or the way we have matched our clothes can tell a lot about our personality.

According to oxford dictionary “communication means the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium”. And this some other medium is a very powerful tool now a day. Fashion is considered a part of visual communication and it is taught as a course at various places. Fashion is considered a very powerful tool to leave an ever lasting impression on others. While doing my research on this topic which is surely very different and on hearing it for first time people gave responses as really, are they interlinked, is it really called fashion? Individual is satisfied by the communication part but not essentially with fashion. Some said I do not care about fashion. I just put on whatever I like and here comes the key word. ‘Whatever I like’. Fashion is not to show off. It is very much prevalent in our self. Our behaviour is a part of our fashion. Even being simple or say doing no fashion, for sake of some of my friends, is also classified as a type of style by experts and that reflects in personality. Experts explain such person as simple and humble who are still in search of them self, so my dear friends do take care of yourself and keep on doing your soul searching while you take care of others. All of these does not means that it is always true but then which studies does not have drawbacks. Another one more important link, about which we have not talked till now, between fashion, communication and behaviour, is culture.

We see distinct culture and it is a part and parcel of our life which affects our fashion sense, in what we feel comfortable, out behaviour and interaction with others. Most of our sub conscious and unconscious decisions are affected by our culture, whether in fashion or communicating. Picking up anything or giving any sudden prompt reply, all these are some were affected by our sub conscious mind. We all must agree till now that fashion is a wider concept and it should be looked from a broader prospective and yes is it very different from our so called glamorous fashion industry which is just like the tip of ice berg.

When we carefully observe and analyse it, putting together all the facts we get the result that fashion surely is a decisive factor of communication. People have started to focus on it but before just blindly following any fashion or someone else we should think carefully about fashion and its real meaning. What essentially fashion means to each individual and how we can improve it. While we look for what is best suitable to us, we must not forget that it acts like a mirror so we must be very careful about what and how we are presenting our self to others.

This article has been authored by Pankhuri from IIM Kashipur

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