Fashion and lifestyle are two words that are often used together. In order to understand the relationship between these two words, it is important to understand the meaning of these two words. Fashion is an esoteric concept and there are many definitions for it. It can however be defined very simply as a ‘current popular style’. As simple as the phrase may be, it conveys what fashion is. It is ‘current’, as in pertaining to its relevance to a particular time span. It is ‘popular’, as in, well accepted by the society. When something is current and popular it quite naturally is adopted as a ‘style’. Style is nothing but the outward expression of what one essentially is within.
Lifestyle on the other hand is ‘the way of living’. It is in a way the outcome of the decisions that an individual makes with regards to how one wants to live one’s life. These include food, clothing and the various other decisions that have an impact on the life of an individual. There are many factors that have a bearing on the lifestyle of an individual. Physical fitness plays a very important part in determining the lifestyle of an individual. Financial standing of an individual also is a deciding factor. People who are rich can afford to have an opulent lifestyle whereas those who have difficulty in making ends meet will not be able to splurge as much as affluent people.
Fashion does have an impact on lifestyle of a society. But it is also important to note that it is usually the urban lifestyle that is affected by fashion. Fashion is not only about the clothes that one wears or the car that one drives around. For instance, there are cuisines that are fashionable. It is fashionable to be seen at certain restaurants that serve a particular kind of cuisine. These can clearly only be afforded by a group of people that attribute a lot of importance to being fashionable. There are people who may not even think of spending a large amount of money on a meal. But for fashionable people it gives them a lot of satisfaction because it is not just about a meal. It is about a statement that they are trying to make. This makes fashion a part of their lifestyle.
Fashion and lifestyle are therefore definitely related to each other. But there are many factors that need to be considered. Physical ability of a person, financial capability and the social milieu all play a major part in the influence of fashion on a person’s lifestyle.
When studying the influence of fashion in human lifestyle one has to take into account the contrasting social milieus. Fashion may be relatively unknown to a bushman from Africa and it may have practically no influence on his lifestyle. On the other hand a Hollywood actress or a fashion model will have to incorporate the latest trends in fashion into their lifestyles and be fashionable as it is a matter of their survival in their profession. The relationship between fashion and lifestyle is rather complicated and is dependent on many factors
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