Research Paper Example: Fashion as a Vehicle of Self-Expression

5 pages
1333 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Research paper
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Fashion is described in many ways. One of the typical descriptions of fashion is that it is a popular style mostly of clothing. Clothing plays a significant role in human life. There are different kinds of clothes that are specific to particular cultures (Taylor, Melissa). In the contemporary world, there are many trends in clothing that are exhibited in various parts of the world. Caring and being concerned about clothes can occasionally be regarded as flippant and shallow compared to other forms of self-expression such as paintings, writing or dancing. It is essential to understand that the more a person cares about something, the higher chances of falling into the path of personal exploration. What is it about dressing the body that makes it so different from other forms of expression? Many people dont understand the real meaning and composition of fashion. Fashion is more than just clothes, it is an art, a way that people can express themselves.

Fashion as a Vehicle of Self-Expression

Fashion is not only a versatile piece of art, but it also creates a way in which people can express themselves to the world. Fashion is a personal way of choosing how people want to present themselves to the world in the most comfortable way (Bui, Jessica). Furthermore, in fashion, there are some things that people dislike, and fashion provides an avenue of people choosing what they like without hiding their true self. A mistake that people do is that they mostly dress for other people. In expressing ones ideas, dressing for your own body, despite what people say, is paramount to true self-expression (Bui, Jessica). Fashion can be used to show what people feel about different matters in the society. For instance, a person can dress in clothes that have colours which reflect the colours of the countrys flag; expressing love and loyalty to the nation. Others wear to communicate specific ideas relevant to their culture and tradition (Taylor, Melissa). All these are forms of expression that despite what other people think about your style of clothing at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows the message you are passing out to the world.

Fashion gives necessary information about people without saying a word; it is a form of non-verbal language (Csaktornyai, Fanni). A language is a form of communication that is used by society to express various ideas. Fashion shows and relates concepts in a non-verbal way. It constitutes vocabulary which in this case can be clothing, jewellery, makeup, body decoration and hairstyle. All these pieces together represent fashion. When expressing ideas and feelings through fashion, people interpret the meaning of the pieces in different ways since every person can have a different opinion of the same kind of clothing, hairstyle or jewellery. An important fact is that gaining the information of every aspect of fashion is essential when trying to analyse fashion as an outfit but not as separate forms. There is an unfortunate tendency of people judging fashion merely with a glance (La Grave, Katherine). Looking at what a person wears and judging it is not bad, but it is essential to take time and internalise what meaning is expressed by the wearer. As far as fashion is concerned, there is more than what meets the eye (La Grave, Katherine); it goes deep into the aspects of what constitutes the whole fashion.

Furthermore, fashion expresses beauty To me, fashion is similar to beauty (Bui, Jessica). Makeup which constitutes style is a form of improving on peoples natural beauty (Miller, Sanda). For a while, people have ignored the importance of outer selves at their peril. Fashion express quality and modality in beauty. An individual can use the available avenues of fashion to accentuate the features of beauty on them by the different forms of style they use. According to Jessica Bui, fashion is similar to beauty. It makes the user feel beautiful and present the beauty to the world with confidence. A mode of dressing that makes one feel beautiful even if is different from what others put on is the best way to go. There is nothing wrong to dress differently and feel beautiful and comfortable. Using fashion to express beauty does not mean a person wants to be liked by others but instead, means it makes the wearer look great because it was a personal choice to put them on in the first place. There is a tendency of people using fashion to be liked by some other people, make their presence to be felt, or outdo others. It is not wrong to use fashion to compete, which happens in beauty contests around the world. However, even in the beauty contests, the participants relate to fashion styles which they feel makes them more beautiful and comfortable when they present themselves to the viewers and the panel of judges.

Expression of oneself through various forms of fashion improves focus, creativity and inspiration to explore more avenues within the fashion industry. Following fashion is not about copying the sets of models but using them as an inspiration to create outfits expressing individualities (Csaktornyai, Fanni). Fashion designers around the world define the latest trends within the fashion industry. Frequently, these patterns are inspired by ideas of famous singers and actors around the globe. People follow fashion because of imitative instinct, and people would emulate each others fashion due to biological protective instinct. It is an idea that people need to belong somewhere in a group that they can associate with regarding fashion as being explained by social status, gender and class within the society (Miller, Sanda). As much as people have different personalities and want to express them through fashion, human nature still drives them to find fashion which can make them belong to the society. It is where creativity and inspiration come in, to help individuals come up with outfits that reflect their personalities without copying the sets of models within the society. Therefore, a person can make small changes in the fashion and style of dressing that can an inspiration from a particular designer or model, improve on it to fit what the person feels is an expression of self. Reforming existing contemporary pieces through creativity and making them personal is the idea of inspiration and self-expression of fashion (Csaktornyai, Fanni).


Fashion is dynamic, and there are always new trends emerging through which people use as a form of self-expression and communication to the world. Most people use fashionable pieces which they make them personal to express specific ideas about themselves. As a form of non-verbal communication, fashion speaks about the wear in many ways, and the viewers can have a different conclusion about a particular style of fashion. Also, fashion is an avenue to express and explore beauty. It makes a person look more beautiful by improving on the natural aspect of beauty in a person. It is also an essential part of inspiration and creativity where people find it necessary to emulate the trends in fashion and personalise them to express their selves. Although people use fashion for self-expression, occasionally it is difficult to understand if somebody is using fashion to hide from preconceptions by copying universal expressions that are trending within the society. It is essential to be true in using style to express oneself because each person is different and has valuable features which should be respected.


Works Cited

Bui, Jessica. "A Fashion Student Explains Why Fashion Is So Important." The Tab US, 2016,

Csaktornyai, Fanni. "Do People Use Fashion To Express Themselves?." The Student Journal, 2014,

La Grave, Katherine. "Fashion: Why Is It Important?." Huffpost, 2012,

Miller, Sanda. "Fashion As Art; Is Fashion Art?." Fashion Theory, vol 11, no. 1, 2007, pp. 25-40. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.2752/136270407779934551.

Taylor, Melissa. "Culture Transition: Fashion's Cultural Dialogue Between Commerce And Art." Fashion Theory, vol 9, no. 4, 2005, pp. 445-459. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.2752/136270405778051112.


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