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Factors Influencing Fashion Changes

Factors Influencing Fashion Changes

Monalisha Akter Keya     
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Womens College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh



Factors influencing fashion:

As discussed, if fashion is a reflection of our life styles, there are certain factors in our lives which influence it. The broad influence that motivation people to purchase fashionable items are-

  1. Economical
  2. Social Activities
  3. Cultural Activities
  4. Technology
  5. Political Activities
  6. Media
  7. Globalization

1. Economical:

Now matter how one approaches fashion. The conclusions drawn are luxury. We do not buy a garment when it is not a fashionable item, even though ,it may be cheaper, however, a fashionable outfit will be costlier in contrast to this. This leads to a conclusion that a group of people who are economically sound buy fashionable articles which are quality products also. These designs are imitated on cheaper fabrics for a lower class of people. However, merchandise products must have acceptance value. Mass fashion production succeeds when the right styles are produced at right prices fir wide acceptance.

When the price of raw materials is higher, ready-to-wear designers may choose to edit details such as bows, belts and cuffs, rather than raise prices. For 2011 collections some designers switched to cheaper fabrics when adverse weather and other conditions contributed to higher prices for silk and cotton, according to The Wall Street Journal.

1.1 How Economic Status Influences Fashion Trends

A wide diffusion of wealth and an increase in family income is one of the most important factors in speeding up the change in clothing patterns and styles. Families have income that now exceeds the amount of money needed for the bare necessities of life. Another factor that affects change in styles is that, the middle class always tries to copy the higher class, while the higher class is always changing their styles to stand out from the middle class. Social perceptions can be derived from the brands of clothing a person might own. In a study of college students, owning store brand jeans received more negative perceptions than a student owning designer/name brand jeans.

1.2 Fashion trends that become popular in hard economic times.

During tough economic times, items that are buttoned- down and have a regimented style become more popular. Military style jackets, military designs, and even vintage military attire become popular. They can even be seen on the runways. Other styles include over the top accessories, such as gargantuan jewelry, and over the top embellishments, such as feathers on everything (“Recession Fashion”, 2008). Most people cut down on purchasing clothes, shopping sprees, and have a hard time keeping up with the fashion trends that are ever changing during hard economic times.

2. Social Activities:

The social attitudes of a country have a strong on its fashion institutions. Opening night of an Opera or Derby events are examples of social events that normally merits coverage by the press,of who attended and what they wore. This news is devoured by the public, anxious to see what society ieaders accept as the appropriate dress for such an occasion.More social activities require more clothing,the right clothing for the occasion. Casual wear and active sportswear are the most important components of an individual’s wardrobe.

We have accepted them as part of our lifestyles, a way that allows us to dress as we please for almost any function. The casual attitude about clothing standards has not only given fashion marketers wider opportunities, but also helped to democratize clothing.

2.1 Society and day to day life:

Due to the fact that the society and culture lived in heavily influences our day to day lives it also affects what we wear. Some societies and culture dictate things inappropriate and unacceptable while others may see that style as a norm. For example, in some middle eastern countries showing certain parts of skin is seen as disgraceful while in the Americas it is perfectly normal to wear things like shorts or tank tops. Some fashion and beauty is seen through bright colors and jewel decoration while others may be seen through design and pattern. It is all relative to what you were brought up as acceptable.

3. Cultural Activities:

The cultural activities of people are reflected in their art forms. Clothing can be considered as an art form.it has shape,colour and arrangement of details i.e,design. This finished product aesthetic values,shaped by their education, interest and exposure to art forms.

In India,we have arts and crafts such as,folk singing, handicrafts,weaving and pottery which have unique cultural values. An abundant need to learn and impart our cultural heritage and our freedom for doing our “own thing” are influences that spill over into the fashions of our clothing.The result of which is that we developed, accepted and become internationally famous for some of the prints/textiles, like Bandhini, Madras checks cotton, dobby, silk,etc.Some apparels word wide. Our designers are in the vanguard of the fashion world when the ethnic look assumes international importance and the most important ethnic style which has all combinations of casual, active or party wear of all times is the salwar-kameez.

3.1 Cultural Influences On Trend Forecasting

For everyone who works in the fashion business it is important to be able to recognize and to foresee social and cultural movements, in order to understand the fashion environment and to be able to operate in the direction in which the fashion industry will move. Being able to anticipate what will happen in the next future is what puts a fashion designer, a retailer or a fashion buyer in the position to make better decisions in their work. And in this, fashion is not at all an isolated industry but is connected to the rest of our life. Fashion reaches beyond clothing and into the way we choose to live our lives. Lifestyle is how we communicate, how we travel, how we decorate our homes, how we eat and how we dress.

High culture refers to elite activities such as visual art like painting and sculpture, other forms of art, such as music and auditory art, but also applied art like photography, architecture and design. Art is a product of human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses, as well as the human mind by transmitting emotions or ideas. In terms of fashion inspiration, these emotions and ideas can later on undergo a further process and lead to new forms of inspirations and concepts, in the case of a designer; it can bring him to a collection idea. That means, that by observing contemporary art, we may get information about what influences designers and upcoming fashion trends. As an example of how art influences fashion can be found in the Louis Vuitton collaboration with several contemporary artists, like Stephen Sprouse or Takeshi Murakami, who in the past had embellished their famous Louis Vuitton Monogram bags.

Popular culture, or pop culture, is a cultural section, which is followed, understood and appreciated by a larger audience. Pop culture is highly influenced by celebrities and includes the daily interactions and cultural ‘moments’ that constitute the everyday lives of the mainstream. This culture is seen as a commercial culture, mass-produced for mass consumption. In terms of fashion, an example of how pop culture can influence our lifestyle and our looks, can be found taking into account the most stylish TV shows, like in the 80ties ‘Dynasty ‘and in the end of the 90ties to 2004 ‘Sex and the City’. Everybody wanted to dress like the protagonists of these serials.

To observe the street is of equivalent importance than to keep updated with fine arts and as well the pop culture. None of these three cultures lives in isolation and each may influence the development of the other and equally they influence the fashion environment development of trends.

4. Technology:

We are living in a worid of new technology.The wonderful worid of chemistry has produced nylon,acrylic,polyester and combination of man-made fibres with naturai fibres. In otherwords,we lived in a world of synthetics.Man-made fabrics now ruie the textile industry.Although,it is indisputable the naturai fabrics,such as,wool and cotton are in the spotlight of fashion importance, but, at prices they generally make them a part of better priced merchandise.Technological strides inherent in clothing which is only one phase of science in our study of fashion.New places, exposure to different ideas and familiarity with foreign customs broadens one’s scope and lays the ground work for wider acceptance of art forms and fashions.How can one deny the softness of Scottish cashmere, the suppleness of Spaish cape skin, the beauty of Italian shoes and handbags just to memtion a few popular categories,that have become important to the Indian fashion scene.All this has become easily accessible and more knowledge can be gained through science and technology which have produced aeroplane and television.This exposure helps to internationalize fashion.

4.1 Fashion Industry: The Influence of Technology

Creating a business seems easy: a) create a concept b) create a business plan c) implement your idea and earn millions of dollars. But looking at recent studies of how many start-ups in particular fail each year, I wonder: Is there a “perfect” start-up strategy to avoid competition; and have a sustainable competitive advantage? This question I hope to further investigate. However today I have decided to focus on the shift of business models thanks to technology; within the fashion industry.

4.2 Case Study: Fashion Industry 2012 – The Influence of Technology:

According to many fashion experts surveyed at IFB the future is in the hands of brands, not retailers.

In the fashion industry, technology has changed the way brands and customers interact. A contributor on The Business of Fashion argues: “Going forward, every brand must figure out how to connect directly with its customers and they must structure their business around the relationships they want to have with their customer rather than let their distribution channels define them. I would argue that Net-a-Porter is as large a threat to Vogue as it is to Bergdorf Goodman, because of the editorial content and contextual placement they provide. In my mind, making a decision to sell on Net-a-Porter is a branding decision, not a revenue decision.”

5. Political Activities:

Political activities can inhibit or enhance the fashion of the times and is probably an influence not often considered.The most obvious examples are restrictions which take place during wars,when the Government dictates the amount of fabric to be used in garments in order to preserve textiles in an attempt to save fabric.It is interesting to note that men lost their vests and pants,cuffs,during world war-ll.previously,suits were offered with both features and commonly with two paved way pairs of pants.World war-ll activity made for many fashions,some of which have become classic-chino pants,combat boots,field jackets and caps were few items that caught the imagination of civilian population.

Mujib Coat
Mujib Coat

Today the cost and degree of exports and imports are regulated by Government.If laws are enacted to curtail quantities of merchandise leaving the country [by embargo’s}, can cause an unlimitation on what is available in stores,exports/imports can be a competitive factor for domestic products and tend to depress some domestic retail price level.

These broad areas of influences are exerted on a constant basis,though, we usually do not associate our wearing apparel with them.We are more prone to realize specific causes,such as, influence of film as a medium and imitation of film stars.

5.1 Outlook of fashion in politics:

Fashion is a powerful way of expression, one that politicians – dictators as well as popularly elected – has This explored in the past, still do today and will be doing tomorrow.

6. Media:

We are thrilled to be partnering with Netbase this summer on a series of research reports that dive into how social media behavior influences fashion purchase decisions. Netbase commissioned us to survey female social media users about their fashion purchases, shopping behaviors, social media usage and even how they are influenced by friends and celebrities alike.

When presenting a curated view of a designer’s fashions, worn by stars at highly publicized events. Ginnifer Goodwin, star of “Big Love,” credits her stylist Penny Lovell as the source of her fashion style. Goodwin told “Manhattan” magazine, “It does surprise me how actresses like to pretend they do all of it themselves because they never do.”

6.1. Powerful effect of fashion in Media:

A Fashion Week runway is only as powerful as its echo on Instagram, Tumblr and P interest. Fashion brands now really on influences to share their latest styles, clothing lines and fragrances. This award honors the best use of social media by a fashion brand.

Social Bonus – Judges will award a social bonus to Industry Award entries that are shared the most by clients, colleagues and industry experts. Direct people to your entry page where they can click one of the share button.

7. How Globalization and Muslim Women’s Clothing Influence Fashion Movement:

The fashion industry is no longer addressing social and economic elites, but the common person, regardless of their status or fame. Globalization exercises substantial impact in all industrial sectors, including the fashion world. Meanwhile, technological advances and an increasing number of international companies push to eliminate borders. In the past, the fashion industry was controlled by certain powers. However, today, virtual places and persons are more influential than physical venues. The fashion industry is no longer addressing the social and economic elites, but the common person regardless of their status or fame.

Muslim womens fashion
Muslim womens fashion

Fashion designers were previously inspired by prominent names of the art and fashion world in their own designs and shows. Now, social media users of different ages, from different socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels take their place. For example, American designer Marc Jacobs prefers to see “bloggers” in the front-row seats of his fashion shows, rather than celebrities. He is even inspired by creative bloggers rather than famous stars.

Conclusion :

So,we can see that,in a circle economic, social, technology, politics, globalization,media influence our social movement. Economically who are in high level the are not only victim of social change but also lower class influence social change. Most of personalize style are applies by teenagers. They want something new and unique style  that differs to others. In this concept, they create a new line of fashion trends that keeps their own identity as a teenager. Fashion is an expression for the need to change. Change is the only constant. Otherwise life will become stagnant.Fashion keeps life alive.


  1. Elements of Fashion and Apparel Design
  2. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100802130712AAoaKYm
  3. http://www.intothefashion.com/2010/01/cultural-influences-on-trend.html
  4. http://kotics.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/there-influence-of-technology-fashion-industry-strategy/
  5. http://www.fashioninpolitics.blogspot.com/
  6. http://www.business2community.com/fashion-beauty/top-5-fashion-brands-using-social-media-key-strategy-0950789#!bGDvBc



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    what are the factors influencing fashion changes; factors that cause changes in design of garments;

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