The Internet's Influence on Fashion: A Look at the Past 15 Years
We live in an interesting time.
The same thing was also said amidst the boom of print media, especially when haute couture glossies first hit the market and the whole fashion industry became more of an “event” as opposed to a utilitarian means to an end (read: being clothed).
I’d argue that when online blogging hit the scene roughly 15 years ago — the late ’90s — fashion underwent a notable shift. Once “the people” received a megaphone (in this case, the Internet), their amplified voices slowly began competing with the opinions of fashion designers and magazines across the globe. Don’t get me wrong, to this day designers and glossies certainly have a huge say regarding what we wear, but the whole social aspect of the Internet indubitably turned the style world on its head.
Fast forward another five-ish years or so — into the early 2000s — when “all about me” social media websites such as MySpace were at their height. The early 2000s also marked the dawn of the Facebook era, a website which has a bigger influence on the world than most even realize. It was also around this time when deep and thought provoking online diaries shared between close friends (hello, LiveJournal) lost their luster and lifestyle blogs gained momentum.
Today, you can’t go anywhere on the web without running into a blogger or a niche website that focuses specifically on fashion/style or beauty. And with the prevalence of smart phones and Apps (fashion-focused and otherwise, including Instagram), we can’t even pick up the phone without seeing what other people are wearing or buying.
This social media/Internet whirlwind frenzy makes me wonder: Are we better dressed now compared to 10 years ago?
The Stylish City’s own founder, Mirela, says: “Everybody — stores, bloggers, fashion magazines, etc — has “looks” to draw inspiration from. There are literally thousands of bloggers, personal stylists, celebrities and reality shows we are exposed to every day.”
This undoubtedly affects our decisions when we walk into a store or peer into our closet. With the potential for more people to see how we’re dressed, are many of us less apt to throw on scroungy sweats even while sauntering around the house? And do we make better fashion choices now as a result of being exposed to the more fashionable who want to put themselves out there for the world to see?
Another question I have, in regard to the Internet/social media influence: Do we approach fashion on a more “individual” level these days? Or does the influx of online/media inspiration cause us to all sort of look like each other?
Personally, I think cities such as NYC, where there a lot of people coming from all walks of life, are more likely to dress individually, but there’s still this “NYC vibe” that permeates all fashion in the city.
Perhaps the boom of social media has made us dress better as a collective whole, but with that have we lost a sense of individuality when it comes to fashion choices?
What do you think? Have your wardrobe decisions changed over the past 10 to 15 years as a direct result of the Internet and social media? Has it gotten worse? Or have you sort of shrugged your shoulders and not changed much at all? Share your comments below!
By Wendy Rose Gould
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