Fashion : a reflection of an age

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Barbara Jane Alley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Agnes Coxe

Abstract: Fashion is one of the greatest influences in life, pervading every field and reaching every class. From the standpoint of costume, it is the expositor of habits, social relations, in fact, of everything pertaining to the era in which each fashion exists. It is a thermometer of the infinitely various tastes of the day, reflecting the influence of external circumstances. It is said that fashion is a short custom whereas, in reverse, custom is merely a long fashion, for fashion affects an exceedingly wide range of human activity, undergoing continuous modification. Fashion in dress and adornment is more than the prevailing style of milady's attire; it is a form of human behavior through which people constantly seek to improve their appearance or their social adjustments with their associates. In imitating a given example, people satisfy their demand for social adaptation. Fashion, however, satisfies a need for differentiation as well as similarity. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his "Letters and Social Aims," "The sense of being perfectly well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.”1

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1957

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