Teenagers are extremely conscious about how they look and often obsess over details that adults disregard as important. They do not dress up in the same way that we do. Some teenagers’ self-consciousness generates a horror of drawing too much attention to themselves. As a result, they go for the “not-looking-very-dressed-up” look. Others enjoy getting all the attention they get and will wear just about anything to get it.
The clothes we choose reflect our mood and style. They, in some way, also reflect one’s overall confidence. A person’s confidence level significantly affect how other people perceive and respond to them.
Self-expression through Fashion
Teenagers are probably the most fashion-conscious humans on earth. Fashion and image go hand in hand and both have a huge impact on a teenager’s lifestyle. To them, fashion is incredibly important because it’s a way of showing the world who they are or who they want to be. Different teenagers have different personalities and for this reason, there exist clothes in different styles, sizes, colors, and fabrics. While some people would rather shop around in malls, others prefer to shop online on websites such as Teenage Clothing Online UK
for more variety.
As people grow up, they form their sense of self through the clothes that they wear. Teenagers use fashion as a route to express themselves as well as their affiliations, gain social status and bond with their peers.
The adolescence phase is marked by the search for a personal identity and what adolescents wear plays a huge role in forging that identity. Teenagers express themselves through clothes and hairstyles. What a teenager chooses to wear is a way of individuating themselves and demonstrating how they want the world to see them.
Research has also proven that when teenagers put on a piece of clothing, they cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with the clothes. For example, teenagers who prefer wearing gothic outfits tend to have some associated traits like getting tattoos, piercings and applying dark make up.
Factors Affecting Teenagers Sense of Fashion
The young generation tends to imitate anything they see others wear as long as it looks “hip” or “in style”. Teenagers are quick to follow fashionable trends in order for them to fit in. Fashion changes with seasons and so do most teenagers’ wardrobes. Let’s look at the factors affecting their sense of fashion:
1. Peer Pressure
Peer pressure largely affects a teenager’s daily choices on matters like alcohol and drug abuse, fashion and style, the kind of friends one has, as well as academic performance. Peer pressure can either be good or bad.
Research has shown that teenagers will dress in a particular way to stave off mocking and humiliation from peers. They feel that if they dress in inappropriate clothes they could end up losing their friends. You will notice that teenagers will go shopping together or ask for advice on how to dress up for an event, say, a birthday party.
A majority of teenagers are influenced by people around them because they feel that they somehow need to fit in. Duplicating the fashion around them gives them a sense of belonging in today’s world. Teenagers use fashion to keep friendships and bolster their self-esteem by “mirroring”. More often than not, adolescents will dress alike because this provides a sense of affirmation and a sense of belonging to a peer group.
2. Body Image
This issue mostly affects teenage girls. The media and magazines influence, in some way, on a girl’s physical look. For instance, when a skinny model is on the cover of a magazine, the teen will do whatever it takes just to look like them. This has resulted in many lifestyle changes amongst teenage girls and unhealthy approaches such as eating disorders.
Along with their peers, the internet also influences a teenager’s body image issues. Comparing oneself to what you see on the internet can negatively impact body image which is closely related to fashion and style.
3. Media and Magazines
Teenagers use magazines and media to evaluate what the upcoming trends are so that they may know exactly what to buy and what not to buy. Fashion shows/ magazines play a huge role in affecting a teenager’s lifestyle and sense of style as most of them buy clothes after looking through the latest magazines. These magazines affect, in a large way, the selection of a teenager’s clothes.
Most fashion magazines target teenagers, particularly girls. The magazines will put popular celebrities dressed in fancy clothes on the cover to attract the young girls. You will hear her say, “Oh look who it is. I totally have to get that outfit”. These magazines then endorse the stores and companies there the celebrities buy their trendy and latest styles.
Teenagers will idolize the celebrities that they love. They look up to them for some fashion inspiration. When the teenager sees their favorite celebrity dressed in something that they love, they will go and buy the exact same outfit just to look like them. They will then show off the clothes to their friends.
Teenagers watch all types of reality shows to try and keep up with favorite celebrities’ style. They will even look up to the celebrities for hairstyle ideas. Basically, teenagers discover themselves through external stimuli. Celebrities provide the external basis from which the teenagers will benchmark their opinions, thoughts, and associations.
Even though celebrities may not explicitly try to persuade their audience to go with a particular flow, they subconsciously alter their audience’s ideologies. Once a celebrity publicly endorses a piece of clothing, this creates societal acceptance and has a positive impact on the overall brand image.
5. Designer Brands
The adolescents are preoccupied with social acceptance and coolness associated with the clothes they wear. For this reason, teenagers will exhibit a more brand-oriented decision when they go shopping. Most teenagers will go shopping at stores where they sell quality high-end designer clothes.
When teenagers do not have the money to shop at the high-end stores for designer clothes, they get stressed up. They feel that since they cannot afford the clothes they will not look good, and they will not fit in.