Travelling in fashion


Photo credit: Gerald Rich

Throughout history, clothing has been known, along with food and shelter, to be primary for survival. But the fabrics we put on our backs, and the fashion that has evolved around them, have come to mean much more than just survival. Clothing creates statements and become fashion with identities particular to certain cultures and create identities within those cultures.

Styles are typical of certain cultures for reasons that include climate, ethics, religion, tradition and personal preference.

While fashion in some cultures are similar, others are vastly different.

If a foreigner travels to a particular country and pays close enough attention, they can start to pick up on particular trends.

“Britons are hipsters. They wanted to look good, they were all clean cut,” Michelle Rew said when asked what different cultural styles she had noticed while travelling. “When you see them in the street you know that person is English.”

The British are known for their posh style for many reasons. Icons like Kate Middleton, Twiggy and The Beatles have influenced UK fashion tremendously.

Australians, on the other hand, live in the outback, where nonchalance to poisonous bugs is as common to them as snow is foreign.

“When I see they are Australian, they are wearing shorts and flip flips and you just know they are Australian,” said Rew.

Fashion is a tool by which members of society can display individuality. Tattoos are a perfect example of fashion trends in cultures that allow people to express themselves. What better way to express yourself than permanently inking your skin with art that holds specific meaning to you or your culture?

Social status in society can also be expressed through fashion. Expensive, well-known brand names may suggest wealth and importance while ripped jeans may suggest rebellion or portray an I-don’t-care attitude.

The fabrics we wear or choose not to wear are no longer used just for protection against the elements. They convey specific meaning to other members of society and can be symbols of religious beliefs, cultures or traditions. Fashion lets an individual express themselves or can hold significant meaning that only the owner recognizes.

Fashion is primarily governed by the society and culture in which one lives. The influence of society may be formal due to rules and regulations or may be informal as result of customs and fashion. Culture changes with time and social situation and by individuals who add their personal touches to make that style their own. One thing is for sure, however, no matter where you travel in the world, fashion will always be there.

Kyanna Claybrook

I am a 21 year old aspiring journalist who enjoys culture, and travelling.

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