FASHION VS. FAD – A Guide in Choosing the Right Clothing

You would agree with me that Social Media has made fashion come to life more than ever before in the history of fashion. With its influence speedily gaining dominance, fashion enthusiasts or fashionistas are quick to follow new trends and will do just about anything if that means emptying their pockets to grab the trending fashion styles.

Granted, following fashion in itself is not wrong. It can help us better improve our outward appearance as well as improve our self-confidence, and nearly all of us are affected one way or the other by fashion trends.This is because the decisions we make daily as to what we wear is shaped to an extent by fashion.

The fashion industry is well aware of our natural desire to look attractive and distinctive. That is why it manipulates and exploits our need to fit in by creating and selling clothes that are hyped up, short-lived, and quickly disappear like a fading cloud. However, most people do not realize that some of the trends they follow are not really fashion, but fad.

It is therefore vital for us to know the difference between these two terms and the article will do just that – delve into the guiding principles we must reflect on, to help us choose the right clothes.

What then is the difference between fashion and fad?

How can you identify, fashion from fad?

Which do you actually follow?

Let us begin by understanding the difference.

What is the difference between Fashion and Fad?

Though fashion and fad are terms that are closely linked and often used interchangeably, they have different meanings as well as different effects on the consumer or any ardent follower of both.

Fashion is a general term that refers to the prevailing style in a specific context of clothing, footwear, accessories, behaviour or lifestyle, hairstyle, makeup or even body posture that is popular at a given time or place.

Fad, on the other hand, is the term used to refer to a temporary craze or frenzy for a particular style, item, or behaviour that is quick-spreading but is short-lived.

Let’s break these two definitions down. We all love to wear new clothes, don’t we? We love to wear new clothes, not because our old clothes have to be discarded, but because we feel the urge for a change – a change that will see us stand out and not out of place among our peers, family, friends and people in a nutshell. This is a healthy sense of using fashion to satisfy a particular need at a particular time or place. Fad then comes into play when an unwary consumer feels obligated to always buy new clothes just to keep up to date with trending styles. Those who fall into this latter category might feel trapped in an endless circle of replenishing their wardrobes only to find out all too soon, that these styles that were in vogue are no longer trendy. Sadly, though, they repeat the circle all over again.

To this point, one can clearly see that while Fashion, as I will describe it in this context, is a style of clothing used as a form of self expression at a particular period or place, Fad however, can be said to be a fashion trend that comes with the hype but loses its steam and passes into oblivion. The question then is, how Can You Identify Fashion From Fad?

Today’s fashion power houses are always eager to either help you, or to confuse you with their latest trending styles. It is also vital to know that customers decide whether a fashion trend becomes classic or remains a fad based on their acceptance or rejection of these styles.

It is only fitting, as designer Gabriel Chanel put it, “fashion is made to become unfashionable. ”

While some fashion trends come and stay for a very long time, we also need to know factors that make them go out of fashion quickly to become a fad.

Here is how to identify fashion from fads:

Know the factors that influence Fashion and Fad

Fashion evolves over time as new ideas and innovations emerges. Various factors such as geography, climate, age and personal preferences can all influence fashion. So use these factors in choosing the clothing that suits you most and that falls within your budget. If the clothing you are selecting is as a result of extreme popularity generated by the mass media, celebrities, fashion influencers or marketing campaigns that over hype these styles – factors that affect fad fashion, then know, that you might just be going in for a clothing that will soon pass for a fad.

Know Your Personal Style

Another guiding principle to help you choose the right clothing is to know your personal style. Body shapes and personal preferences with regards to style do differ from one individual to the other. It will therefore, be wise to select clothing that suits your body shape and best suits your personal style. This will make you standout as you aim to create your own body image. On the contrary, if novelty, curiosity, peer pressure or the extreme desire to fit in is the driving force for choosing a particular outfit, again, just know that soon after purchasing, you might feel a dissatisfaction with the item of clothing, then follows the urge to discard it for a new one that is also being hyped. At this point you’ve purchased a fad and likely might purchase another one.

Does the clothing make you comfortable and confident?

The most important thing to help you know if you’re choosing the right clothing is to ask yourself the above question. An honest self-examination when choosing clothing is vital to help you stay clear of items that will soon fade away and which will pass for a fad.

No matter how fashionable or trendy a piece of clothing is, if it does not fit you well or makes you feel good about yourself, then, it is not worth your wearing, much more buying. It is vital to choose clothes that flatter your body shape, blend well with your skin tone and hair colour, and even suit your lifestyle, activities, and the environment. Basically,  choose clothes that compliment your personality.

On the other hand, if you allow yourself to be influenced by others with their own personal preferences with regards to style and different body shapes, you might be following their whims and caprices and by extension, following fad.

Finally, ask yourself this:

Which Do I follow – Fashion or Fad?

Though both fashion and fad can be exciting, the key to choosing the right clothing is to follow fashion not fad. Fashion will help you create a versatile and timeless wardrobe that can be mixed and matched for different occasions.

Fads will only clutter your closet with clothes you will soon regret buying and which you might even not wear again.

In conclusion, if you are to take a second look at your wardrobe after reading this article, which will you say dictates your wardrobe –  Fashion or Fad? I’ll leave that for you to answer.

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