Social Factor Influencing Fashion

Fashion is the product of societal influence specially during the period when people start noticing their self-identity and group identity. There are many evidences in history that characterize the different periods of fashion. Some of the most visible examples are the Hippie culture of the 1960s; during this period, frayed jeans, tie-dye shirts, and T-shirts were trending globally; the 1980s women's broad-shouldered suits; and the 1990s Grunge look were an unforgettable fashion trend.

How Does Social Factor Influence Fashion?

Social factor in itself a comprehensive term that includes the following factors:

  • The place where a person is born and brought up;

  • Family’s environment;

  • Culture & tradition of the native place;

  • Gender;

  • Profession;

  • Occasion; and

  • Social status.

Let’s discuss each one of them separately:

The Place Where a Person Born and Brought Up

Though because of liberalization and globalization, everything is available everywhere. If a person wearing a Van Heusen shirt and Levi's jeans in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, then may be of a different brand or local brand, but a person in a remote village also wearing same designed shirts and jeans. In spite of wearing same style, still there is much difference in fashion between people living in urban areas and rural areas in terms of style, language, way of appearance, etc.

Family’s Environment

Every family has their own cultural practices that definitely vary from the neighbors’ culture. Whether a family is orthodox, liberal, democratic, modern, nuclear, or joint, all these factors have an influence on the individual’s fashion. For example, in an orthodox family, a girl child is not allowed to wear jeans, but in a neighboring family, which is liberal, there is no such restriction to a girl child. She can wear whatever she likes to wear.

Culture & Tradition of The Native Place

In addition to family culture, society culture also plays an important role in a person’s life. In urban areas, societal culture does not keep much importance, but in rural areas, culture and tradition keep importance.


Males and females have different lifestyles and cultural practices. In the same family, both are raised with different guidelines. Therefore, their likeness or dis-likeness are different. Not only this, one can have the choice of typical traditional fashion or, at the same time, one can have a modern choice. So, gender does play an important role in influencing fashion.


There are certain professions in which a uniform is mandatory. For example, doctors’ uniforms, police uniforms, military uniforms, etc. Such professions and professional dresses influence people's fashion extensively.


Along with regular fashion, occasion-based fashion is equally important. For example, dresses during a marriage, festivals, parties, etc. All these occasions have different sets of fashion design. Not only this, even when people are going for jogging, gym, evening walk, these small and routine works have also influence on fashion.

Social Status

Maintaining social status is a very significant aspect in today’s life, as people judge people based on their dresses and dressing sense. So sometimes, it is societal pressure to follow the trendy and most expensive fashion.


So, social factors, which have several elements, influence fashion in different ways. In addition to this, social factors influence so strongly that it is a two-way influence, which means fashion influences society at large and, in return, society also influences fashion vice-versa.


1. Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Concept of Fashion (URL -

2. Mr. Aqif Yunus Kavathekar & Mr. Irfan Shafik Mujawar. Factors Affecting for Clothing Selection (URL -

3. Chapter 1. Overview of Fashion. Fashion Studies - Class XI, NCERT.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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