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Random notes on fashion Random notes on fashion
by Joseph Gatt
2021-02-13 11:49:07
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Notes on fashion, in no particular order.

-Depending on the country, city, budgets and fashion trends, an individual will purchase around 5 to 50 outfits a year on average, and will own 20 to 100 outfits or more.

-The main thing about fashion designers is that they have to work with all shapes and sizes. For some reason, modeling usually involves tall and slender women, and tall and sturdy men. But the truth is, the way fashion design works in real life is you need to work with tall people, short people, thin and heavier people, people with shorter and longer legs, flatter and larger chests, shorter and longer shoulders and so on.

fash00001_400-Colors. Aside from size, as a fashion designer you have to work with colors. The general consensus is that darker colors are more conservative, because... they are less visible. So if your Japanese boss insists that you wear a dark suit, that's because he doesn't want to notice you.

Lighter colors are more visible. Then you have colors like yellow and red which are very visible. Light green and light blue are less visible than yellow and red, but will still draw and attract stares. White is the color of visible fragility.

In China wedding dresses are usually red and yellow, to make the bride very visible. In Western countries, white is preferred, to make the bride visible, but also to denote fragility, and to make sure the bride is careful. Because one clumsy gesture and you could stain that dress.

-Fashion, aside from sizes and colors, is also about the weather. Some clothes are a good fit for the hot weather, usually large clothes. Larger clothes also help fight the humidity. For mild weather, clothes get a little tighter. Even tighter in cool weather. Very tight in cold weather. Sleeves and hems also need to be adjusted for rainy and snowy weather.

Note that body built and body temperature affects the way clothes affect the body. So larger builds and those with higher body temperatures will tend to wear larger clothes. Those with thin builds or low body temperatures will usually wear tighter clothes.

-Important factor in fashion: ambitions. Fashion says a lot about our ambitions. The richer you want to become, the more outfits you'll tend to possess, and you'll tend to wear novelty almost every day, and will avoid wearing any outfit twice to the same location.

Those stuck in minimum wage jobs and who don't mind life with minimum wage will usually posses two or three outfits and wear those same outfits almost every day.

Those teenagers who aspire to careers in sports will tend to dress up like their favorite athletes, or wear brands worn by their favorite athletes. Those who aim for careers in music will dress up like their favorite musicians.

This is also true of the professional world. Those who aspire to get a promotion will tend to prime the CEO or higher-ranking staff with their dress code.

-The geographic factor. Fashion in Idaho is the not quite the same as fashion in Alaska, in Hawai'i or in New York or Florida. Nor is it the same in Mexico, Cuba, France, Greece or Sudan.

Weather factors play a big role. But local trends also play a big role. Conservative states or countries are more likely to opt for conservative colors. The more liberal states will tend to wear eye-catching clothes.

-Fashion as a mating and sexual statement. Of course, in addition to professional ambitions, sexual ambitions tend to play out in fashion.

Men and women open to dating will tend to wear more eye-catching clothes and colors. The more conservative men and women will tend to wear conservative colors.

-Age and fashion. Any fashion designer will need to consider the following before designing clothes for kids and teenagers:

a) Does the city or town have a formal school dress code? Or a casual school dress code?

b) Do the kids and teenagers in the city spend a lot of time at home after school? Or do they go out in the streets after school.

c) Do the kids and teenagers in the city attend a lot of formal events. Or do they just hang out casually with friends? Or do they tend to stay home?

d)Do the kids and teenagers have formal rituals at home and need special clothes for the indoors and for bed-time? Or do they improvise their clothing when they go to bed?

e) Do kids and teenagers play a lot of sports and need special sports outfits? Or do they stay home and play video games?

f) Do teenagers tend to get part-time jobs and work part-time (in which case they would need semi-professional clothes). Or do they just stay home or hang out with friends.

-Age and fashion. Adults. Any fashion designer will need to consider the following before designing clothes for adults.
a) Do young adults need to dress up formally for higher-education institutions? Or do they dress up casually?

b) Is there night life in town? Or do people stay home at night and watch TV?

c)Do adults hang out in the streets a lot? Or do they mostly go from home to work?

d) What sectors do people hold jobs in? “Cheap” service-sector jobs? Agricultural jobs? Factory jobs? Or high-end luxury service-sector, retail and business jobs?

e) Do adults practice sports? Or do they tend not to exercise?

f) Do adults have conservative lives inside their homes and require formal bed-time clothing or kitchen clothing? Or do they dress very casually?

g) Do adults attend a lot of formal events? Or is the formal events scene dead?  

h) Very important one: is the town crime-infested and drug-infested? Or is it safe?

-Final notes: so these are a lot of factors you need to consider in the fashion world. But they are also factors that you could consider for accessories as well.

Either way, the fashion sector has been hit hard by COVID-19. But before COVID, there was a bit of a crisis as well. Because high-end fashion, which tended to be confined to Honk Kong and Paris and Milan and New York City, started investing in places like Utah or New Mexico or Burkina Faso, in sum, places where fashion trends tend not to follow big names, but the local clothing store. And where fashion tastes tend to be more conservative and traditional.

So I hope the big fashion names will take local aspects into account. Fashion isn't just about rich, thin, tall, liberal men and women. It's men and women of all budgets, shapes and sizes and philosophies.

Final very important point: shopping trends. In a lot of smaller towns, men and women will probably go out shopping once every three months or so. In those bigger towns like New York City or Monte Carlo or Hong Kong SAR, every Friday night is shopping night, and so are Saturdays and Sundays.

I rarely dedicate articles. But this one is dedicated to the loving memory of fashion designer André Kim, a Korean fashion designer I bumped into dozens of times, who would always greet me with a warm tight hug, and unfortunately the language barrier prevented me from ever chatting with him and trading tips.

So this way Yossi Gatt's perspective on fashion that is a straight man's perspective on fashion. I'm sure I missed a thing or two.

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