Ashley Poole, Fashion

February is in full swing. Fashion magazine representatives, wealthy fashion lovers, and trend-spotting bloggers alike are all clamoring to get last minute reservations at the hottest hair salons and securing spots at the hottest after parties. All of this in preparation for New York Fashion Week 2014 which will be taking place during February 6 – 13th.

New York Fashion Week is basically one of the largest events in fashion history that happens biannually every year. It addresses the question of what is hot and what is not. Many retail stores rely heavily on fashion week to decide what they should sell in their stores. Most of what is “trending” in America every year is decided by Fashion Week.

Many people wonder though, what makes fashion such a big deal? We have all heard of “dress for success” or “look the part”, it seems as though fashion takes an even larger part in society than most would have thought. For those of us working retail, there is an understanding in the retail world that workers must “look like the brand”. Of course this is understandable, as it is proven people won’t buy clothing if the sales people don’t wear it themselves.

It is also becoming a more apparent fact that retailers won’t even give hopefuls a second chance if they do not look like the complete package during the first interview, or in the case of retailers such as Hollister and Abercrombie, if you don’t look, dress, or come off as a “cool kid”, you won’t even make it to the first interview. This is just retail stores though, where look really does matter in order to get sales. What about the influence of fashion in day to day life? Fashion has become such a big part of defining who we are today. Some people choose to ignore it, while others embrace it wholeheartedly.

Little do some know that even in ignoring the fashion trends, and not caring they are making a statement about who they are. In America kids and teens are raised by their peers to think that looks define who you are, and in some cases if you don’t look a certain way you aren’t a certain type of person.
Cool kids” are bread all throughout schooling and the look is universal, whatever is trending, and may or may not be easily accessible. In school, if you didn’t have the look you weren’t as cool, or in some cases, weren’t accepted or made fun of.
Sad to say that this carries over into today’s “mature” society with social media being a staple in the life of many today, it is well know that people who “look the part” are the ones who are insta-famous.

Shows such as What Not to Wear, Fashion Star, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, and even Toddlers &Tiaras all put emphasis on having the hottest styles, the most expensive clothing and a clique that rivals fashion gurus themselves.

This can’t be reality, can it? Who really chooses friends based on what the label on their shirt says, how much that dress costs, or even if you dress in the now?

Bryan Ward, 21 (medical) when asked if clothing style defines who he picks as friends stated, “I don’t really take fashion sense into consideration, unless they are wearing something that offends me such as racist attire, etc.”

Abigail Echiverri 22 (communication studies) states, “Fashion is important in a sense. You always want to look your best, and fashion of the past still influences fashion of today. I don’t really pick my friends based on what they wear. A person could look really nice on the outside but still be a terrible person.”

So not all people base their opinions of others on the judgment of what they wear. Why then is fashion so important? “Dress for success”, the motto of many successful people, but does it hold any real truth?

Alia Reyes 19, (new media emphasis) states “I wear what is comfortable. I feel like success lies within, If it looks nice I’ll put it on. But comfort is important too. Dress for success is true when looking for a job, but dressing up all the time is uncomfortable. I wear simple things. I don’t need to wear what is expensive to make people notice me.” Maybe fashion isn’t important to all, but we can definitely agree it has some impact on the world.

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