There always seems to be some amount of debate in regards to fashion and world cultures. Some people believe that fashions are largely determined by the culture in which a person lives while there are others who believe that fashions can literally influence a culture. To some extent, both statements have a great deal of accuracy with perhaps one major exception. Some regions of the world are highly defined by the religion prevalent in that part of the world and so fashions would then be largely determined by the culture.
Cultures that Define Fashion
There are some cultures around the globe that are built around a set of religious principles. Two which come to mind are the Islam and Hindu faiths. Both have acceptable dress codes that are strictly adhered to by members of their faith and so that would necessarily be how fashions evolve. For example, Islamic women are mandated at certain ages of their lives to cover their heads with a hijab. Just as Roman Catholic women used to be required to cover their heads when attending Mass, Muslim women are required at all times to wear a hijab when in public. This is just one example of how a culture determines acceptable fashions. You can learn about religious traditions on Deily, a site dedicated to discourse among various world faiths.
Can Fashion Really Influence Culture?
It is easy to see how culture can influence fashion but when questioning the reverse, it may not be as black and white. Some designers do believe that their fashions can influence a culture and there is some amount of evidence that this is so. For example, when Goth came into fashion within the past couple of decades makeup became darker, women began dying their hair black, many people began getting body piercings on a number of hitherto frowned upon locations on their anatomy and even music and moods became ‘darker.’
Suddenly there was an influx of movies on vampires, zombies and ghouls of all sorts. There are a number of sociologists who say that music influenced fashion which in turn influenced culture on a broader scale, but the evidence is clear that fashions predated behaviors and activities that verge on what is considered to be the ‘dark side.’
Talk to Your Children about How Fashions Impact Their Lives
Whether you subscribe to the belief that a culture defines its fashions or that fashions shape a culture, it is important to discuss with your children how fashions can impact their lives. This would be a time to talk about the old cliché “Never judge a book by its cover.” Although children (and adults!) have been given this same worn out advice for centuries, the sad fact is that we all still do judge others by the way they dress and look. To this extent, fashion then would define a culture because the way others perceive us is often the way we act.
If your son or daughter wants to succeed in the world of business, it is important that they learn to observe a few ground rules. They surely can put their own little personal touches to the clothes, makeup and hairstyles they wear but the entire package should conform to what is considered to be acceptable. Trends are slowly changing in everyday life, but when it comes to business, fashion must define who we are. Your children will be judged by their appearance in the professional world so having ‘the fashion and culture talk’ at a young age could have a positive effect on the rest of their lives.