Tag Archives: Fashion

Keeping Face

As a population, we care very much about what we look like to other people.  Because of this, we become fans of a particular type of clothing–we choose a style and go with it.  

Erving Goffman, former president of the American Sociological Association, extensively wrote on this subject.  His most famous paper, ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,’ focused on how the majority of people are obsessed with being accepted, and that we would change things about ourselves to be accepted (a counter-example would be hipsters, etc).  He coined the term “expressive idiom,” saying that media tells us how to dress to be normalized, and then we tell the media what we do and do not like.  It’s a never-ending cycle.  He states,

” the social actor has the ability to choose his stage and props, as well as the costume he would put on in front of a specific audience. The actor’s main goal is to keep his coherence, and adjust to the different settings offered him. This is done mainly through interaction with other actors. To a certain extent, this imagery bridges structure and agency, enabling each, while saying that structure and agency can limit each other.”

As actors, we dress in a way that will gain acceptance and approval from the “audience,” which are our peers.  He goes on to explain that because of the different situations we find ourselves in, we dress differently for each situation.  Because of this, we have different sets, props, and most important, costumes.  This is where the different types of fashion sprout–evening wear, day wear, business casual, resort wear, safari–the list goes on and on.  The way we are dressed, in turn, influences how we act.  One of the most famous quotes fashion designer Coco Chanel states, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Michael Kors

Hipsters

The newest (but really not so new) trend that is chic to follow is one that would rather not be noticed at all-the hipster.  The hipster look is gaining a huge fan base lately, seeping into every aspect of the follower’s life.  Changing the way the dress, to the music they listen to, to the lack of shaving, the hipster is the newest trend that the under 25 crowd is embracing.  Take a peek, and maybe you’ll find that you, too, are a fan of the hipster…

Look At This Hipster!

DOs and DON’Ts

Let’s just say we are all fully aware when someone looks ridiculous.  We might just think it, but many people will comment to a friend about something too shocking.  For those people that are wearing said ensemble, however?  They have a confidence we can only dream of.  But, would we say that we are fans of that confidence?  Or of the outfit, even?  

Being different has been chic for ages, but that does not necessarily say we are all fans of what people are wearing.  Dick Hebdige first wrote about a “different” type of culture in his book, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.  He wrote about the English Punk style that was emerging, and how the youth were embracing the idea of not caring about what they look like.  This was a new concept in the 1980’s.  Today, though, people care a lot about what they look like, and what others look like–too many people are obsessed with it, in fact.  From plastic surgery, to purple hair, to anorexia, to skinny jeans, people are fans of themselves and what they look like compared to others.  But these people?  They’re not fans of any one trend.  Wouldn’t it be nice to not care at all?

 

You just have to wonder…what did they say “No, no, this is just too outrageous,” to when they were getting ready that morning…