The Poetics of Fashion

Fashion is a too familiar a word for us living in this era to even think of it twice, so we think. But what do we mean by a person’s fashion in its most down to earth definition? Is it about what she wears, how she talks, moves, and acts? Is it an art that she can wear? Is it a satisfaction of one’s vanity, a grand competition, or just simply a pampering of one’s self? Or is it a game in which people get caught in?

Not many will disagree that it has to do with identity. We have used fashion to define ourselves, to pronounce our uniqueness, demonstrate our social class, and illustrate our beliefs. We at times manipulate fashion to send clear messages to the others. And whether we notice it or not, we also quickly and even unconsciously decipher what other people wear. We may easily jump into conclusions that our new neighbor is old fashion, sporty, business-like, or even immoral just by looking at what he or she wears.

Social Scientists believe that fashion is a form of passion for self definition. They believe that everything about our personal style is subject to be processed and interpreted by society, including the jewelry we wear, the type and colors of the stones, the cut, the fabric and the colors of our clothes, our hairstyle, etc. Every time we make a choice as to what sort of necklace or blouse we buy, it is partly our attempt to define and describe ourselves. But if we dig a little bit deeper, we may also find that we are also much influenced by what we assume others will think or say about it. Whether we like it or not, as much as we judge others based on what they wear, our looks are also open to interpretation… and criticism. It seems then, to a certain extent at least, we are what we wear. Of course our choices are also much influence by the media, whether from the advertisements or from movies or even from rock concerts.

Fashion then seems to be a non-verbal communication that is going on among people, and at most times, without them really being conscious of it. Some dresses, jewelry, and other fashion items help us feel at home, comfortable, sexy, smart, devilish, etc. And similarly, when it is the others who are wearing them, similar feelings arouse in us for and about those who are wearing them.

So whatever choice we have taken to wear today it will most likely have certain effect on how others see us and… how we feel about ourselves.


Source by Troy Tun