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Fashion: Influenced by Geography
Geography, which includes climate, topography, and landscape, influences fashion collectively. Geography’s role in guiding fashion or dresses is very important, as it covers many aspects, some of them are essential one and some are merely styles. For example, camouflage prints used by military or para-military personnel and light dresses in Rajasthan’s desert region, etc., are essential aspects. On the other hand, making designs on such dresses, like trendy woollen clothes in temperate regions, is a style-cum necessity.
How Does Geography Influence Fashion?
Geography has different elements that affect fashion collectively as well as separately. For example, temperature, depending upon low and high, affects fashion accordingly; similarly, rainfall, sunlight, etc. affect fashion. So, let’s check all these geographical factors and their influence on clothing and fashion.
Climate defines the weather conditions prevailing in a specific geographic region over a long period. For example, climate of Jammu & Kashmiri is sub-tropical-cum temperate in which winter is very cold and summer is relative warm. In this region, people need warm or woollen clothes. Their fashion is carved largely on woollen cloth. On the other hand, the climate of South India is tropic, in which winter is mild and summer is warm and sometimes even hot. So, the dresses in this region, are largely of cotton or of any such light fabric, which remain comfortable in summer season.
Temperature is one of the elements of climate, but it varies frequently. For example, in Rajasthan (the western state of India), the temperature usually remains high during the daytime and falls during the night time. Therefore, people dress themselves accordingly.
Topography defines the relief features of a region. For example, is this region plane or hilly, plateau, riverine. So, fundamentally, topography decides the agricultural produce in the region. It is not only the food grains but also the raw materials for making the fabrics. And, that ultimately decides the dresses of the people directly or indirectly. For example, in Maharashtra, which has a plateau feature along with black soil, largely produces cotton. So, the clothes of the people of this region are largely made of cotton.
This is another geographic factor that guides fashion in a given region. Landscape, which means the settlement is located around the mountainous region, or plane region, or along the banks of river. These factors also decide the population density of the region.
Rainfall is a very important geographical factor that influences the choice of clothing and fashion. For example, most of the countries, which are located in the equatorial region (e.g., Singapore) receive rainfall almost every day; therefore, people design their dresses accordingly and always keep umbrella with them.
Last but not the least, different geographical regions, which have different climates and landscapes, have different cultures and traditions. Their choices and dressing style are quite different from each other. So, based on their cultural practices, they prefer to wear dresses. For example, people in Rajasthan prefer to wear dhoti and kurta, and females prefer saris, but people in their neighboring states, for example, in Gujarat, have different choices and dressing sense.
Likewise, fashion is not an independent thing, but rather it is dependent on various factors; and geography is one of them. Geography has various elements that influence fashion and clothing choices directly or indirectly.
1. Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Concept of Fashion (URL - https://www.subhartidde.com)
2. Mr. Aqif Yunus Kavathekar & Mr. Irfan Shafik Mujawar. Factors Affecting for Clothing Selection (URL - https://textilelearner.net)
3. Kaylor Akseli, How Geography Influences Clothing Choices (URL - https://infashionboutique.com)
4. Chapter 1. Overview of Fashion. Fashion Studies - Class XI, NCERT.
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