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Some interesting thoughts about fashion

I was just doing a little research, when I stumbled across certain theorists and their attitudes towards fashion and fashion’s role in society. I don’t think they are 100% accurate, but they are interesting nonetheless.

First, there were three reasons which applied to fashion:

1. Purpose of Utility. This is dressing for warmth and protection

2. Purpose of Hierarchy. This is to show one’s position in society and your rank in the hierarchy.

3. Purpose of seduction. This is, as the name suggests, dressing to appeal to the opposite gender.

These mainly apply to historical fashion, because nowadays you could add dressing to represent one’s personality, or dressing to show your culture, background or beliefs.

Then there is Laver’s Law of Fashion, which is also interesting to see how attitudes change over time.

James Laver’s Law of Fashion

  • 10 years before its time:  indecent
  • 5 years before its time:  shameless
  • 1 year before its time:  daring
  • current fashion:  smart
  • 1 year after its time:  dowdy
  • 10 years after its time:  hideous
  • 20 years after its time:  ridiculous
  • 30 years after its time:  amusing
  • 50 years after its time:  quaint
  • 70 years after its time:  charming
  • 100 years after its time:  romantic
  • 150 years after its time:  beautiful

What do you think? Do you agree with Laver’s Laws of Fashion? Are there any other reasons for dressing in a certain way?


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