How You’re Probably Choosing Your Clothing Based On Who You’re With

Stephanie Cornwell
I am a 19-year-old student at the University of Florida. I'm studying Journalism with the hopes of one day traveling the world to call attention to serious situations and give people a voice who may otherwise don’t have one. My interests include human and animal rights, education, nutrition, the environment, art, philosophy and adventure/travel. These are often common themes throughout my writing. I grew up in South Florida but currently reside in Gainesville.

The thing about fashion trends is that they’re always changing. What was once trending will one day be shunned and vise-versa.

The one thing that has stayed consistent with fashion is that differing social groups tend to hold their own stereotypes for how they dress and accessorize.

People base their outfit choices on their surroundings. What you put on in the morning will depend on the weather, the places you’re going that day, and the people you will be around.

But why do so many of us change what we put on based on the people that will interact with us?

The answer is simple: conformity.

It doesn’t matter how self-confident and independent you are, your mind simply wants to fit in. Yes, some people jump on bandwagons to feel like they belong with a certain group of people, but most of us are just victim to a fickle mind, and that’s OK!

For example, you hate Birkenstocks, you always thought they looked like Jesus sandals and you never understood why people wore them in public. Then you changed and became a bit more of a hippie. You realized that a lot of your new minimalistic friends don’t believe in giving money to a lot of big brand name companies, so they only wear Birkenstocks. You think to yourself “Well that makes sense, plus these are pretty comfy.”

BOOM. Opinion changed. In this random example, it’s not that you wanted to look like a hippie, it’s just that you surrounded yourself with people who enjoy that particular trend, and your opinion started to conform to theirs.

This is kind of amazing, how we learn behavior from one another.

Of course there are people who are insecure and gain a superficial form of confidence by emulating the people they admire. (Why do you think celebrities endorse so many brands?)

This unfortunate pattern of mimicking what everyone else does and not forming your own opinions is dangerous, but common, especially with younger crowds. Most people do grow out of this, as it becomes exhausting trying to copy everyone around you.

So yes, we all notice the pattern. My sporty friends wear way more Lululemon pants than my preppy Vineyard Vines-loving neighbors. There is a connection with interests and fashion. What you do and whom you surround yourself is going to affect your fashion sense.

I say embrace these changes, and embrace the real you.

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