Being a member of Generation Z means turning to the Internet way before considering a book or magazine. It’s as if many think books and magazines are immediately out of date the second they’re printed, especially when it comes to constantly changing subjects like fashion.
Traditionally, aspiring fashionistas would turn to “Vogue,” “Elle,” “GQ” or “Details” for fashion inspiration. But today, people flock to Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social media websites for the latest outfit ideas – from friends posting pictures of their daily outfits, to professional bloggers promoting their photography, makeup tips and personal styling.
Utilizing low posting costs, some blogs specialize in street style that focuses exclusively on looks found in public, usually a city. Rather than focusing exclusively on high fashion from the latest and greatest designers, street style shows outfits worn and created by the average person. The street style bloggers are constantly on the prowl for a chic outfit assembled by the person wearing it.
While some fashion magazines do incorporate some candid on-the-street photos, they’re usually a celebrity running off the set of their latest movie to grab a latte, not your average Joe sporting a dapper look. As a result, we turn to social media because we can find a wide array of styles that could be easily integrated into a wardrobe. Still, many don’t do their shopping exclusively online and prefer to shop in person because it allows shoppers to see what works with their figure and budget.
College students are notoriously broke, and we can’t always buy the latest and greatest high fashion from Neiman Marcus. Even though we can’t spend a month’s rent on a pair of pants, we still want to wear our favorite trends on a college-friendly budget. Fortunately, trends usually involve incorporating unique pieces into an outfit, so it may entail buying a new pair of pants to wear with an old blazer.
In addition to replacing fashion magazines, social media serves as a supplement to catalogs and other forms of traditional advertising. Pinterest, the latest reblogging social media site, allows their “pinners” to upload outfit ideas under the men’s apparel, women’s apparel or hair and beauty categories, and the pins almost always link users back to the content’s original source.
When one of my friends posts an outfit that I can’t possibly live without, I can easily track down the store that sells the outfit’s pieces and order them.
Overall, I think social media is making fashion significantly more accessible to the average person through a familiar vehicle and a comfortable dialect.
I love to read “Vogue,” “Details,” “GQ” and a host of other fashion related blogs, but if you’re not familiar with designer names or designer terms, traditional fashion magazines are incredibly intimidating. Reading an editor write fashion descriptions like, “the vintage Dior drop-waist princess dress is so Madonna meets South Korea with a hint of the 1930s,” can make your head spin.
On the other hand, looking at a picture of an outfit with links to purchase it makes integrating fashion into daily life easy and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for fashion in regards to social media.
The Internet revolution has given average people with the gift of style a vehicle to exhibit their ideas without spending years climbing to the top of a magazine’s editorial staff. As more stylish consumers integrate their love of fashion into the rest of their online lives, it creates an informal forum to discuss fashion without having to know everything about last season’s drop-crotch tweed pants.
Mark Longacre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.