It’s no news that people interact on different scales of intimacy, and that the superficial layer is the one in which most people interact. First impressions count, and this helps us to understand some perks to following fashion. Fashion is one of the tools that help solidify first impressions. And the standards of how to dress -- as dictated by current sartorial leaders -- act as vital guidelines about ongoing trends.
First Impressions Count, Locally and Globally
When we are up-to-date on fashion, we come off as aware of our surroundings on a global scale. Because the world is so interconnected, an imposition is created on us being able to dress only how the local population dresses. Keeping up our outer shell based on the guidelines of global fashion dictators becomes more important, in terms of how people -- from traveling acquaintances to potential business partners or international clients -- consider us as being connected with the world. When we combine fashion sense with practicality for whatever event we're focused on, we climb just a few steps higher than the people who do not consider fashion.
Fashion is a Business
Because fashion is an art and business that relies on people placing value on the aesthetics of dress, participation in fashion stimulates the economy in a way that other art outlets may not. Think about it: Every day we are bound by law to wear clothes, bound by our occupation to dress in a certain kind of uniform, and bound by society to follow fashion as it is presented to us. If you remember high school, you’ll agree it is a human tendency to want to fit in for survival purposes. The power we get from fitting in is enough that when people follow fashion -- which is ever changing -- it keeps the market successful. This interest and participation in fashion provides reliable jobs of all ilks so that if people ever stopped following fashion, a huge chunk of the sturdy consumerism system would evaporate.
Everyone Wants Something New, Sometimes
This market survives not only on the acceptance factor, allowing people to do things the masses are doing, but also on the apparently inherent desire to submit to new things every now and then. Rebecca Arnold, author of "Fashion: A Very Short Introduction," acknowledges that “we’re drawn to the new … to things that provide a feeling of change, and, perhaps, progress. We also want to belong -- to be part of something recognizable -- and there is no more obvious way to demonstrate this than through your clothes.” Fashion as an industry takes these apparently innate desires to crave superficial newness and to belong, and creates an outlet for people to show off their humanness.
It Shows Knowledge and Critical Thinking
On top of fulfilling a need for newness, an acceptance in a local and global culture, and perpetuating an already established industry, one last advantage to people following fashion is to promote critical thinking. Being knowledgeable on fashion terms and fashion concepts memeing around allows us to discern which fashion trends work for our bodies and lifestyles. That calculative skill is what separates blind followers from proactive followers. One of the more appraised fashion quotes of the century comes from former model Lauren Hutton, renowned for critically not following the mold under certain circumstances. Hutton said, “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” Ultimately, it seems that the advantage to people following fashion is that it keeps alive a thriving art and business, while maintaining the individual self through physical and mental stimulation.