Why Fashion Matters
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By Vail Ann Maria Forbeck

Before you understand why fashion matters, you must understand what it is. Fashion is best defined simply as the style or styles of clothing and accessories worn at any given time by groups of people. Before the modern era of fashion, style was mainly practical. Instead of taking fashion and making it their own, the common people used clothing for a functional purpose; either to identify their gender, age, and social rank or to serve a purpose in their trade. Modern man turned fashions into an art for everyone and created fashion into a multibillion dollar industry. Fashion is more important to people than ever before, just look at the fashion blogs, instagram accounts, and websites of today. Rather than being limited by your clothing, the possibilities are endless as to what you express. 

The fashion industry gives the power to choose a style you like and express your individuality. People can find common ground on what trends they gravitate towards, but at the same time each person has a distinct style. Your sense of style develops as you grow and just as each individual's style, taste is distinct to that person, so are their reasons for why fashion matters to them. A lot of people gravitate towards fashion due to the positive effects. 

Fashion is empowering.

Fashion boosts confidence and promotes self love. This in everything you wear, from your girls night out dress to your gym outfit. Not hiding behind what other people think you should wear proves you have confidence. Expressing security in who you are is empowering. Fashion also gives you the opportunity to make a statement and stand by it, even if others are against what you stand for. 

Fashion is self-expression. 

Caring about how you dress and present yourself is important and fashion is an opportunity to show what you value; especially in culture and religion. Fashion should never mask who you are; it is an opportunity for your individual beauty to shine through. Style goes beyond what others perceive in the outside, your style is an outlet for your internal creative energy just as an art piece. Fashion makes you unique and embraces your individuality. 

Fashion builds connections.

We can connect with people through what we wear. People connect with each other through trends and fads. Teammates from a sports team can bond over their team jerseys. Mother and daughters bond over their matching dresses. Seeing people for who they are and as their unique self is empowering and gives us the confidence to seek out new relationships and strengthen the bond between friends and family. 

There is so much rich history behind the style and behind the continually developing industry. This is why fashion is difficult to pin down, it is constantly changing. Fashion is not just practical, but an art. Just as each individual's style and taste is distinct to that person, so are some of the reasons for why fashion matters to them. At the same time, fashion is empowering and gives you the power to express yourself and connect with others.