Fashion has become another visual form of communication. Gen-Z relies heavily on visual information because of how prominent social media is in our lives. But, visual information continues to connect people quickly aside from social media. Fashion can be a way to express one’s self and tap into innate creativity. By expressing ourselves in this way, we are being authentic about our tastes. When another’s eye catches the creation we wear, we can then relate and bond.
When shamelessly dressing the way you want with others, there is a sense of shared freedom and expression. Fashion introduces people to one another by acknowledging their tastes. It is a form of communication that can lead to friendships and consistently be a source of bonding. Fashion is something we can control, it gives us a sense of authority over our perception and how we feel. Psychologist World explains a perspective backed by evolutionary psychology: “In humans, our ability to create and wear clothes gives us an equivalent advantage in being able to distinguish ourselves from a crowd and demonstrate our individuality in an effort to find a mate. We might use clothing to merge into a crowd and hide our individuality by dressing in a uniform.”
Fashion has a stigma for being superficial or surface-level. However, beneath this initial belief belongs a deep creational value. Even though fashion can be seen as a form of seeking attention, it really is a way to share a part of your personality. Diverse individuals of all personality types express themselves through fashion, but the stigma surrounding the industry places shame on those, particularly women, who seek to stand out or create a stronger sense of individuality. Depending on the kind of clothing you wear and how you style it, you are communicating tastes, values, and feelings. Even though fashion is not the only form of self-expression, it is a subtle and visual way to build and share connections with others.
Social media has played a large role in giving people the ability to exercise their creative freedom by relating to the fashion sense of people from all over the world. Trends are constantly being created thanks to the collaboration of people expressing themselves and their unique tastes, then communicating those with others. With this comes a more diverse and inclusive path towards fashion and connection. Fashion can be yet another way to build a stronger community. And, this community is constantly seeking to understand how we operate socially by confronting the stigmas and judgments surrounding the industry.