Dress and Performance

Dress, Appearance and Performance: Is There a Relationship?

Lorynn R. Divita, Assistant Professor Judith Lusk, Professor Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

What is Dress?
Any body covering, attachment or treatment ± our appearance Dress is unique to humans Both a social as well as a personal behavior Dress is a cultural universal
Other cultural universals ± food, law, language

Dress Messages
Dress sends messages to every other sighted human being with whom we come into contact. These messages cause others to form an idea about us and to hold certain expectations that can influence our relationship with them.

Why do we adorn ourselves .

Why do we adorn ourselves? We dress in order to copy the cultural ideal. and by doing so: We enhance our sense of selfesteem We increase our sense of belonging to the group We become more confident We improve our self concept .

and bridge a gap between the phenomenal self and the ideal self .Apparel and the self Self-concept: Beliefs. feelings and ideas and individual has about themselves. Conscious and unconscious Apparent Self: What we think others want us to be Phenomenal Self: True identity Ideal Self: The way we¶d like to be Clothing can be used to help the apparent self appeal to the group.

Fashion and Group Dynamics Fashion is always a group behavior because it means something has become aesthetically pleasing to most of the people in the society or culture Huge changes in taste show a change in the way people feel in the world around them .

but ugly things are sometimes in vogue. Simmel. 1937. ²Laver..Fashion as. 1904 .. Popular Culture  Trivial  Transient  Extreme  Frivolous Fashion change is never entirely arbitrary.

Behavior We usually dress to cloak ourselves in the security of fitting in with a particular situation When dress is appropriate for a situation. . individuals tend to feel more confident and competent. The reverse is also true.

Communicative Variables Three communicative functions of dress: Communication Roles Status .

Unfortunately. a shared understanding must exist of its symbols. For dress to be a language. Not a likely function of early dress. communication happens whether or not a shared understanding exists. .Communication The transmission by symbols of information and ideas.

First Impressions and Stereotypes First Impressions: Formed within the first few seconds Includes judgments and assessments of the individual. . People have been found to cooperate with other individuals whose appearance is similar to their own. Stereotypes ± Assumes that a group of traits automatically go along with one attribute. social roles and status.Communication . including personality.

Communication-First Impressions and Stereotypes Does this look like someone who would establish trends in high fashion? Do we expect a different clothing behavior? .

Roles in the U.Roles Define the individual in society by describing the special tasks or functions he or she has in that society. are becoming less defined. the more specific the dress. so dress is less specific. . The more clearly defined a role is. Roles are learned.S.

Dress and Performance Dress can help someone assume a role by helping performance and persuading others he or she belongs in the role. .

What Is A Fashion? A widely popular expression (in apparel. D-square fall 06 . music and so on). homes. it may be in or out of fashion. art. How does fashion differ from style? Style = an item¶s characteristics: crew or ³v´ neck sweater.

Style Interactions  Apparel  Cuisine  Sports  Architecture  Interiors  Automobiles  Toys  Avocations  Pastimes .Spirit of the Times (Zeitgeist) Fashion is a reflection of the times in which they are created and worn.

Nystrom¶s Framework (1928)  Dominating events  Dominating ideals  Dominating social groups  Dominating attitude  Dominating technology .Spirit of the Times (Zeitgeist) Fashion is a reflection of the times in which they are created and worn.

what is in fashion one year (or season) will be out the next makes fashion exciting .Karl Lagerfeld Timeliness ± Change.What Is A Trend? A trend is the movement of fashion. Acceptance ± consumers must buy and wear a style to make it a fashion ³There¶s no fashion if nobody buys it´ .

Fashion Trends ³New´«because it has been missing or scarce in the marketplace But also  A logical evolution from a precursor  Building on a successful trial balloon  A response to social change  An expression of cultural drift .


Decline ± Sales diminish. replace the look for a newer trend. can find anywhere. Rise ± More people start to adopt looks Acceleration± Many knockoffs. General Acceptance ± Look maximizes its sales potential. retailers lower prices. Obsolescence ± ³Out´ . looks adopted by fashion followers.Fashion Lifecycle Phases Innovation ± Fashion leaders pay high prices for new looks.

5% EARLY ADOPTER or OPINION LEADER or INNOVATOR FASHION LEADER 2.5% MAJORITY LATE ADOPTER LAGGARD Time Change Agents Fashion Followers .Diffusion of Innovation (Rogers 1962) Number of Adopters 13.

lack the character to hold consumer attention for very long Cycles within cycles ± Design elements (color. but remain accepted for an extended period Fads ± Short lived fashions. silhouette) change as the style stays popular .Differences Within the Fashion Cycle Classics ± Never become completely obsolete. come and go. texture.

but create awareness Provide visual display and initial exposure of the style These people feel more socially secure and are more interested in fashion than other people . May or may not be influential in making other people like the style.Who Leads or Follows Fashion? Fashion innovators ± earliest communicators of a new style or look to other fashion consumers.

Who Leads or Follows Fashion? Fashion Opinion Leaders ± Legitimize a style for fashion followers. Influence people in their social world Stay within the social norms of their groups May adopt slightly modified or toned-down versions of a style or a look after innovators have received attention from others .


know a lot about brands Fashion followers ± Look to others for behavior guidelines rather than follow their values system or marketers .Who Leads or Follows Fashion? Innovative communicators ± People who are both innovators and opinion leaders Appearance-conscious. spend a lot of money on clothes.

Mass fashion is made by manufacturers and retailers at many prices. Fashion leaders buy these looks during the introduction and growth stages. Mass Fashion High fashion looks are created by designers and exclusive stores. The goods are expensive but exclusivity is what fashion leaders crave. Fashion laggards want good value.High Fashion vs.they buy late. Fashion followers (most people interested in fashion) wear mass fashion. .


Savvy retailers capitalize on fads. . A fad has a short life cycle.Fads and Classics A classic is a fashion look that has been around longer than expected. Retailers sell classics season after season.

Fashions originate on the street and move up. Fashion looks are similar at Saks and Target. How? Trickle across (horizontal. Fashions move from higher social levels to lower.Theories of Fashion Acceptance These theories explain how fashions move from one socioeconomic level of society to another. diffusion). Why? Trickle up (upward flow). Trickle down. When? .

They offer new features and benefits such as color and texture. styling.Transforming Basics into Fashion Marketers change customers¶ attitudes by transforming rational buying motives reasons into emotional ones. . and details.

What Influences Fashion Changes? Technology Economic Conditions Social Conditions Celebrities Hollywood Globalization .

or aspirations .Business Begins and Ends with the Consumer The apparel supply chain has one purpose j To provide an appealing and desirable product j To satisfy customer needs. wants.

. It is hard to find a product that does not contain some element of fashion! Retailers promote fashion through advertising. product presentation and direct selling.The Fashion Industry Today fashion is an integral part of our economy and our culture. Fashion drives sales but makes the retailer¶s job more complex. sales promotion.

For some help with fashion issues Consult WWW.com There are videos on how to solve fashion issues in your life.fashion.about. .

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