Fashion’s Significance to Teenagers

Ever looked at the majority of teenagers in America and instantly spot the same Nike Blazer or Yeezy Slide on a large percentage of their feet? Or see countless different styles and clothing pieces and wondered, why is fashion SO important to teenagers?

I interviewed one of my friends recently and asked her if fashion is important to her. She dresses casually but said yes. Why? Well despite not caring too much about the clothes she is wearing, she does care about her appearance and the image she puts forth to surrounding teenagers. When asked if other teens influence her sense of style she replied, “Yes sometimes. Especially seeing others with better fashion taste. I always think about what I’m wearing and how I look when I choose an outfit.” She also stated that if people didn’t judge others based on what they were wearing, she would care less about how she dresses. It is obvious that there is an emotional aspect to teen fashion choice. They don’t want to feel inferior to others because of their clothing and they do not want to be judged by “bad” style.

I have to say that I feel the same way. No matter how much I use fashion for personal expression and to aid my confidence, there will always be a part of me that tries to perfect my outfits because of other teen opinions. It’s not always a matter of “will they judge me?” but more of “will this make me blend in too much?” As a person who enjoys being original, I must admit that when I do want to be comfortable for a day at school and wear sweats, I question myself and admit that I will look like the majority of students. As such, I choose another pair of pants. Same with hairstyles. I’d love to throw my hair in a messy bun some days, but I see many other girls doing the same and do not want to be marked as basic.

What about teens who do “fit in”? Well, there is also some judgement to being out of place, so dressing like the majority of teens and following trends is common. If you don’t wear crop tops as a girl, you are considered less cool. If you dress like a supermodel to school, you are judged for being overdressed. As such, there isn’t much of a balance. Each individual’s style depends on their opinion on other people’s opinion of them.

So… is there really an answer to why fashion is so important to teens? Well, it’s a combination of things, but a common reason teens choose to wear what they do is so that they aren’t judged by others. It may be sad, but it’s the truth. Other people’s opinions affect teenage fashion expression majorly.


37 responses to “Fashion’s Significance to Teenagers”

  1. GrandmaA Avatar

    I have teenage grand daughters and I support their individualities and I always incourage them to be themselves and not follow “trends” just because they want others to accept them.

    Real friends are the ones who accept a person for their personality not how they dress.

    There is nothing wrong with dressing feminine and NOT showing your belly, behind etc. (“leave some for the imagination” as us older folks would say)

    1. I definitely agree that true friends accept you despite the way you dress! However, some teens aren’t just worried about what their friends think, but how they look in the public eye (and to people they don’t know as well). Thank you for your insightful comment!

  2. I definitely believe that social media is influencing the way teenagers dress. It is important to be original and not follow these “herds” of people that call something so basic “fashion”. I also want to dress comfortably sometimes, but then I realize that if I wear something “comfy” then I will look like all the other people in sweats and hoodies. I think that fashion is important as long as people wear what makes them feel good and not copy others for the sake of it. We need more original people out there!

    1. One should definitely stay true to themselves and wear what makes them comfortable!

  3. leighlee Avatar

    i think fashion is so influential but honestly we should just wear what we want because what people think about how you dress shouldn’t matter. just as long as you are happy and confident. i liked this post.

    1. Fashion is an expressive outlet, so I agree that people should choose to wear what makes them feel good. Thanks for the comment.

  4. i think clothes are one of the many ways people can express their individuality and that’s why people may take choosing their clothes so seriously. i also think from personal experience there is a tendency to pick clothes based on what other people may think about them. but my clothes are definitely a very important part of who i am.

    1. That’s very true, they are a great form of expression and say a lot about you which is why people tend to be selective with what they wear- because that’s the image they share of themselves to the public.

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  7. fashion = art for all ages

  8. RobertClaic Avatar

    Fashion is important for expression definitely

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