Our fashion choices are a part of our identity. This also means that the way we dress on a larger scale is a part of our culture. At one time, our clothing choices would have identified us by the country that we call home. Now, for many countries, this is no longer the case.
Global fashion has changed a lot in recent decades. Lines between nations and fashion choices are blurred in many ways while being upheld in others.
To learn more about the trends influencing global fashion, keep reading.
Stereotypes can be a major issue when they lead us to assume things about individuals or entire nations. For instance, many countries have fashion stereotypes for which they are widely known. But while this doesn’t mean every person in that country wears specific pieces of clothing, it’s likely those items are either widely worn or otherwise rooted in tradition in that nation.
While some traditional clothing items are used mainly for ceremonial purposes, they continue to be worn and celebrated and even adopted by other cultures in many nations. In India, the sari is widely recognized as a traditional choice for women, while men traditionally wear kilts in Scotland. Meantime, in Paris, the Chanel suit may even be recognized as iconic and uniquely French.
Another trend that can vary widely from one country to the next is considered “intimate” clothing that shouldn’t be worn outside the bedroom. In highly conservative, authoritarian countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, laws prevent women from bearing too much skin. Wearing lingerie as clothing, even when layered under a jacket, could lead to jail time.
But in many Western countries, sexy tanks, bodysuits, and other lingerie are not just accepted as everyday wear but are also seen as trendy, polished, and chic. For many, this moves away from conservative dress codes is an important part of women declaring their freedom to wear what they choose.
Conservative or open-minded, some fashion trends span many different cultures and countries. Usually, these global trends involve color schemes, patterns, or styles that can be easily adapted across many different types and cuts of clothing.
For instance, in 2020, floral prints, sporty looks, and oversized pieces were all seen worldwide. Different cultures adapted these trends to fit their own unique styles and dress codes. For instance, floral prints might have been chosen for headscarves, while oversized tops were paired with long, flowing skirts in countries where men traditionally wear pants and leggings are a big no.
Our fashion choices are part of our national culture, but the boundaries of clothing and culture are constantly shifting and evolving. Some style choices were once limited to single nations, and today they are widely worn throughout the world. From tartan plaid that was once found only in Scotland to the patterns and textures of the Japanese kimono that now adorn various clothing items, worldwide fashion is constantly breaking boundaries.
There was a time when a person’s clothing might make it easy to determine their country of origin. While this still may be the case for countries that still embrace traditional clothing choices, fashion boundaries have blurred too much for that to be true for many countries. The same stylish looks loved in one country may also be popular in many other countries worldwide.