FACTORS AFFECTING FASHION
Fashion is always in harmony with the time in which it prevails. Environment is the sum total of the conditions that surround and influences .a person. The following are the three major environmental factors affecting fashion interest and demand:
x Economic factors
x Sociological factors
x Psychological factors
Now, let’s look into each of these factors in detail.
The growth of fashion demand in a country is dependent on its economic development. This is because economical development results in increased purchasing power, technological advancements, and a healthy population. Now, let’s look at the various economic factors affecting fashion.
The rise in consumer income affects fashion demand. Discretionary income is the money an individual or a family is left with after paying the taxes and purchasing the necessary items from the earned amount. This income decides the purchasing power for fashion goods
The rate of inflation, taxes, strikes have a negative impact on the purchasing power of the people, and hence on fashion demand. Scarcity of money leads to simpler and practical styles with subdued colors and accessories; whereas, with excess money in hand, one tends to indulge in superfluous expenditure on fashion clothing and accessories:
The rise in population means an increasing number of people with money to spend on fashion. The age mix of a society also decides its fashion interests. The increasing interest of youths in fashion goes hand in hand with the accelerated fashion changes. Older citizens also affect the fashion scene Longer life expectancy and high purchasing power due to greater retirement benefits means that the elderly are spending more on clothes for their recreation, fitness programs. social get-togethers, and other interests.
New technologies have given birth to new products, which, in turn, have increased the demand and interest in fashion. Mass production has become possible with the advancement and computerization of machines used for spinning, weaving, knitting, stitching, embroidery, and other operations. This makes a wider variety of goods available a lot more quicker to more people in greater quantities and at lower prices. Improved methods of farming have also played their role in production of better products.Research has helped in the development of synthetic fibers, durable finishes, better dyeing, and printing techniques, all of which help increase the life and wear ability of a garment.
Improved communication in the form of round the clock broadcasting and internet along with faster transportation plays a major role in transferring information related to fashion much faster than before.
Fashion is a reflection of the society in which it exists. Fashions change with changes in the behavioral patterns and attitudes of the consumer, which are at all times influenced by social patterns. Following are the sociological factors affecting fashion.
Recreation and Physical Fitness
The need for recreation has opened the gates to a society requiring casual and sportswear. An increased awareness of physical fitness in both sexes and all age groups of the society calls for clothes that allow ease of movement.
The number of healthy and economically sound retired people is growing due to high life expectancy and retirement benefits. This segment of society offers new opportunities and challenges for the fashion industry, as old people look for clothes that suit their age and figure.
The dramatic increase in the number of working women who have money to spend has led to an awareness and interest in fashion. This new, independent class of women has the incentive, opportunity, and money to influence fashion.
People indicate their social status through the fashion they adopt. In our society, there is a tendency of imitating people of higher class and associating with them as much as possible.
In any society, the middle class is the major driving force behind fashion demand because of its great size and its need to associate with the upper classes.
Physical mobility from one city to another or from one country to another for jobs, vacations, and other ventures exposes people to different lifestyles and inculcates a desire in them to adopt attractive fashions.
– The movies and music videos of the present time influence the dressing style of the people, especially the youngsters. To state an example, who can forget the costumes, such as the red dress, white and green lehanga, and the purple sari worn by the actress Madhuri Dixit in the movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun that became a rage with the public? A more recent example can be seen in the collared Kameez worn by Rani Mukherjee in Bunty Aur Babli, and tee-shirt and salwar combo worn by Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met, which was adopted and worn by all the sections of the society.
Famous personalities like world leaders, royalty, and other people in the news at times play a major role in bringing forth a new look and establishing a trend. The dresses of Lady Diana and the dressing style of Jacqueline Kennedy were readily copied by the fashion-conscious people. At present the dressing style of Michelle Obama is being appreciated and copied. The famous movie stars of Indian cinema such as Dev Anand Rajesh Khanna, Zeenat Aman, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Kareena Kapoor and many more have played a role in popularizing a style. At times, a fashion is even named after the person responsible for its popularity, like the Nehru jacket or the Eisenhower jacket.
Natural and man made calamities such as war, earthquake, and floods influence the lives of people in a negative way, forcing them to adopt a fashion compatible with the changed environment and lifestyle.
The buying decisions of an individual are the direct result of his or her mental state. Certain common psychological conditions are helpful in looking forward to and indulging in hew fashion trends Some of the common psychological reasons that contribute to fashion include:
The feeling of boredom towards existing fashion leads to restlessness and pushes a person to look for new fashion and a desire to acquire it.
Curiosity encourages change. Since fashion thrives on change, curious people always experiment with changes in colors, details, and other things, keeping the fashion demand alive.
Rebellion against Convention
Today’s youth is rebellious when it comes to adopting fashion. They outwardly reject the conventional designs or trends and seek newer fashion. Such an outlook motivates designers to churn out new fashion to the increasing demand
Self-assertion is important to boost one’s self-esteem and wearing fashionable apparel is a wonderful way to overcome one’s feelings of inferiority and gain acceptance in the society. Companionship implies formation of groups, which requires conformity in dress, among other things. Fashion Companionship plays a major role in the search for companions for it depicts the social and mental status of a person.
FACTORS AFFECTING FASHION