Music’s effect on fashion trends

Catherine S.

Staff Writer                                  

Throughout the decades music has inspired various aspects of life. It has been the center of inspiration for sculptures, drawings, and paintings. Music has been incorporated into movies, television shows, and short videos. It is evident in today’s society that music holds an important role in numerous art styles, but has anyone ever considered how music plays a role in personal fashion styles?

Peace and love, sister.

Looking back at the 60’s, society believed music was something promoting love and peace. The fashion was hippie style, consisting of flowing dresses and bell-bottom pants. Then in the 70’s there was the disco era with polyester suits, silk shirts, and elevator shoes, like those expressed in the movie Saturday Night Fever. The 80’s brought the punk rock music phase; the common fashion style for women of that era was dressing in colorful clothes with fishnet stockings on their legs, arms, and in their hair. The common fashion style for men of the 80’s included big hair, spandex, and more make-up than the women wore. As the decades transitioned, music and fashion trends changed with them. There was a great deal to learn about these transitions after hearing from some students and faculty members of Woodstock High School.

The youths of the world go through numerous phases of fashion styles. A majority of those fashions fit together with different music styles. Sydney Saylors, a junior at Woodstock High School, shares how her fashion style has been influenced by her preferred music choice, saying, “My style has become more relaxed like the music I listen to. Now that I don’t listen to pop anymore, I don’t wear bright colors that often.  Listening to alternative has relaxed my style and made it more casual.” Ms. Christine Lauer, an environmental science teacher at WHS, elucidated her view of how she sees music influencing the styles of teens and young adults by commenting, “I believe that teens, especially the girls, are likely to see a favored musician wearing something they like and then incorporate it into their own style of clothing.” Supporting Ms. Lauer’s view, Mrs. Laura Colvin, a WHS algebra teacher, stated, “I feel teens see how their favorite musicians dress, and they try to emulate it. For example, when Lady GaGa became big, I saw lots of girls starting to dress really crazy.”

Although fashion choices receive much influence from music, people of today are not as heavily influenced as previous generations had been. Exploring the past relations of the two opened a view of vivid creations. Ms. Lauer helped put an image on the past fashion trends after commenting, “At one time I went through a phase where I only dressed like Annie Hall. I also went through a hippie phase, and there was a time when I dressed like Tommy Tutone. I remember going through a punk rock phase as well and wearing safety pins in my ears.” Trying to shed some light on how her fashion choices had been influenced by music, Mrs. Colvin noted, “I tried to dress with the 90’s trends, but I think I failed.” Some common fashion trends of the 90’s included flare jeans, overalls, crop tops, and tube socks. These trends were often mused by the pop music culture.

Music cultures influence an individual’s fashion trends to an extent, and after collecting these views, it was easy to conclude that a majority of people believe music has a role in helping them determine their own fashion style. However, there are times when music does not have anything to do with what the people of today’s society wear. They could wake up one morning and say, “Who cares?” or they could have such differential musical tastes and feel it is too difficult to incorporate it into their own fashion style. Evidence of this very occurrence was able to be provided after listening to the views of Woodstock High School junior, Victoria Weatherly, who asserted her view by claiming, “I don’t usually follow any specific music or fashion trends. I listen to lots of different types of music and dress in a lot of varying styles, so when it comes to the two, they never really relate.” Weatherly did however, express, “There are times I’ll listen to a more up-beat song when I’m in a bad mood, and it’ll encourage me to dress in brighter, more positive colors.”

Music does seems to affect what some people wear, but not to an excessive extent. Regarding the views of the faculty and students of WHS helped prove that though music does not play as big of a role in helping individuals determine their fashion trends as it once had, it does still hold some influence over style.  Whether the music influences color, mood, or the overall article of clothing does not matter. What matters is the fact that music is incorporated into the world’s personal fashion trends of the past, present, and the future.

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