Posted: February 16th, 2022

National identity, popular culture, and everyday life.










Identity is amongst the most contentious concepts applying in social sciences and humanities. Fashion also connects widely with identity.  Fashion therefore is   clearly drawn in reconstructions and reconstructions of identity.  Through various forms, people explain who they are and what they aspire or want to be. That is interpretable through peoples’ styles and resistances towards fashion.  In the same way people interpret who they want to be and who they are, they also announce what they do not want to be. Therefore, one’s appearance style is a major metaphor for the identity. Such metaphor entails several issues amongst them the physical features. Examples of physical features may include hair texture, bodily shapes and skin. Clothing and glooming styles is also another important feature that means a lot for one’s appearance hence explaining a lot about them. However, it is important to note that one’s clothing and glooming styles may change because these are things prone to fluctuations.  Such fluctuations may be as a result of one’s understanding or interpretation of things as they continue to change (fashion change).  It is also important to recognize that identities are several and overlapping (Lee, 2018). They include gender, national identity, age, sexuality, personal interests, and ethnicity among others.  However, not all those identities are present at every moment. Some identities also influence the awareness of another. Identities also have a future and even a history. They also originate from somewhere whereas they are contradictory and complex.   Thus, that brings the question of what is identity and how it connects with fashion, clothing and style. 

With the above information, it is therefore important to know how fashion influences one’s identity.  Thus, relying on fashion for dressing and style, it is therefore important to realize that clothing is a vital enhancement of one’s individuality. People use clothes for various reasons and one of them is to distinguish themselves from the rest. Thus, it means that the impact of clothing on an individual’s identity is vast because of the distinction that they form on a person, depending on the way they clad.  Clothes are also vital in explaining a person’s social class. That is easy because they will reveal the type or level of a person. Some clothes will give one the identity of a rich person while others may portray them as ordinary or some other interpretation. Clothes are also a symbol of connection to people onto others. Different professions use different clothes which they use to identify themselves. With clothes such as uniform, it is easier to distinguish one profession with another.  That also make it easier to know whom one is interacting with and if such people can give the expected help or not.  Fashion plays also a major role in communicating one’s economic and social status. The type of clothes one wears can communicate of their economic superiority. Thus, it means one being associated with the rich or poor depending on clothes and the accessories those clothes have. That also lead to the interpretation or perception that one belongs to the high or low social class. 

Fashion also is crucial for the gender identity (Kraamer and Brames, 2018).Normally; there are common styles for different gender and which also may apply to both. Clothes and fashion also applies significantly on gender (AppleFord, 2016).  Today issues of sexuality and gender are even more complicated, unlike in the ancient times. Things have today changed that one’s sex is not important to tell about their gender. With the rise of transgender, homosexuals and lesbians, things are even more complicated. Such people therefore will clad in the manner of their preferred gender or sex. Thus, their different clothes will reveal them as different from their real gender or sex. They may also adopt different other styles that complicate their real known gender. Therefore, despite their real biological sex being male or female, they will appear different from that. With such styles being on fashion and people accepting them, then that affects their identity (Kodzman, 2020). That implies to fashion being a significant determinant for one’s identity. 

Nationality, race and ethnicity are also important factors affecting one’s identity.  People get attracted to people whom they share some common issue with or some interests. For instance, it is not uncommon to see people belonging to the same group relating well to one another. Thus, it is the reason that some identify themselves as Whites, Black, and African Americans among other groups. Thus, by belonging to the same group, that brings in some other attributes that lead to people uniting or being attracted to each other.  Also, for people identifying themselves as same people connects to one another because of their history, beliefs and many other issues relating to them or they believe to have undergone before.  Thus, because of their common practices and beliefs, they tend to do things in the same manner for most of them.  Thus, such uniformity of practices and behaviors become their key style which identifies them.  Various religions and ethnic groups have their common styles of wearing clothes, and other practices. Their uniqueness in those styles is what leads to their identity as a particular group or religion. People will identify them without even requiring asking them about themselves. 

Fashion and identity are inseparable for several other many other reasons.  That is evident through many issues as evident through human’s interactions and decisions each day (Zacher et al. 2019). For instance, it is only bare truth that people make decisions on each day on the manner to present themselves. Any other person including those who claim to be fashion insensitive, they also buy clothes based on some reasons. Such reasons include the type of cloth, how it will make them appear among other impacting issues (Gazzola eta l. 2020). Thus, it is because of the identity such clothes will cause to them.  Thus, it means that such people also contribute to fashion trends, despite claiming that they do not recognize it. It is because the clothes they acquire relates to a specific fashion, or it may mean a fashion for a certain group of people.  That implies that nobody buys clothes for no reason. Thus, there are issue behind their buying or influencing them to buy certain clothes and others. So, amongst those issue, identity is one of the most influencing because it affect the perception that other will have on them because of their styles and clothes fashion. 

Everyone wants to gain the best identity on earth (Woodward, 2018). It is the reason the cloth making industries are keen to make the best for each group of people. Thus, it is evident of the cloth manufacturing industries trying to imagine the best clothes fashion to produce to attract high sales. Thus, such companies understand that money is a big hindrance to access of the best clothes and fashion by the members of the lower class. They therefore develop clothes like replicas of those in the upper echelon to ensure the lower class buy them because they will also feel themselves as important. Such clothes will come with affordable and therefore many low earning people will afford them.  A clear example is that of the clothes for players. Companies such H & M realized the demand for such clothes among many people in the society and therefore had to design such clothes but which are affordable to the lower social class group. If to buy the real design and type as that of the footballers, not many people will afford. Thus, that also bring the idea of money as important factor in determining one’s identity because of the fashion or types of clothes they will always buy. That also affects their other styles as certain fashions will connect to certain groups that behave in particular ways. 

 More also money is a major obstacle into which the result is one settling to certain clothes, fashions, and styles. It is never clear when one may opt out to such styles, clothes and fashions because it is not easy to when one may improve financially or economically. Also, factors such as weather and occupation may also affect one to certain styles of fashion and clothes (Cooper et al.2017). For instance, for an environment that is always rainy, one will always have to wear heavy clothes and some boots to bear with the situation. That will also apply the same as to occupations as athletes will have to wear clothes in a manner that reflect their occupation and involvements.  It is also not easy to change the habits because one may require remaining relevant in their field or practices and therefore wearing clothes in their recognized particular ways (Dittmer and Boss, 2019). With that the styles and clothing habits remain their identity and it is not easy to change because they also become glued to act or behave as that (Donnan and Wilson, 2021). Therefore, it implies that one’s occupations may result to their identity because most likely they will be spending most of their time on their preferred duties or disciplines. 

Locations also affect one’s style of clothes and so they may consider deviating from their styles. Each religion people have specific culture and mostly different from others.  Therefore, if one considers from that other place different from theirs, they may require changing on certain styles including that of the clothes they wear.  If they do not change to rhyme with the rest, they will appear as aliens (Ariely, 2019). Therefore, if one changes to live in the new place for long that will affect their identity (Verkuyten, 2018) .People will recognize different from the real persons they are and that implies disguised identities.  For instance, if one is a Christian and relocates to a place dominated by Islam, they may have to act like them. That would apply to clothes and fashions, eating styles and the manner of worship. For a long stay in the new place will therefore affect such people to adopt to the new ways they find. That will result to a different identity different from one they consider or initially considered theirs. 

 One’s need for recognition may also play a major role in revealing their identity. People always have what they admire and that forces them to shape their appearance towards that direction. Thus, that affect their many issues which include the clothes they wear, the food they eat, the places they visit and the people they mingle with among several other issues. Thus, persistence in their habits leads to their identity which differentiate them from other people. it is not uncommon to see people wear many bangles and necklaces which are cosmetics aimed at changing their styles. Others also adapt to habits and styles that other people may not think of doing. Thus, all those issues play a major role in one’s identity for people will classify a person through their different ways of life.  It is also apparent that people who clinch to their preferred identity they are more comfortable unlike those who continue to attain a certain identity they prefer. thus, that can also affect their self esteem, where they become unmotivated if they do not live as per the standards and identity they like.

In conclusion, identity emanate from several different issues surrounding the life of human being. One’s identity is therefore prone to fluctuations depending on issues that come along their way as they live.  The need to connect to people as evident through and beliefs is an eminent thing that affects people’s behavior. Fashion also speaks a lot about one’s identity. Whether they recognize a certain style of life or not, the fashion people adapts speak a lot about them.  That means they may change from their known identity to a new one.  The choice of fashion is also dependent on several other factors. Money is one such factor. A people economical level leads them to clinching to certain styles and clothing fashions. The wealth can buy expensive clothes which are enough to portray them as rich. The same way, clothes may reveal one as an average or low social class person. Thus, that leads to one’s identity as of that social class and not that other. Different places have different cultures and people have to live in the way they believe (Edensor, 2020). That also applies to religion in that people of a certain religious group must subscribe to their accepted ways of living. Thus, anybody who joins such people has to change their style to become accommodated in the new group of people. by accepting that, their identity changes. Several other issues affect one’s identity in which it means that it is something prone to change. Thus, a person’s identity does not remain constant and so may change with time because of the several factors that affect one’s life. 


Woodward, Kathryn. Concepts of identity and difference. Routledge, 2018.

Kraamer, M. and Barnes, A.J., 2018. Un-placed heritage: making identity through fashion. In A Museum Studies Approach to Heritage (pp. 598-618). Routledge.

Edensor, T., 2020. National identity, popular culture, and everyday life. Routledge.

Cooper, J., Giousmpasoglou, C. and Marinakou, E., 2017. Occupational identity and culture: the case of Michelin-starred chefs. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Donnan, H. and Wilson, T.M., 2021. Borders: Frontiers of identity, nation and state. Routledge.

Dittmer, J. and Bos, D., 2019. Popular culture, geopolitics, and identity. Rowman & Littlefield.

Verkuyten, M., 2018. The social psychology of ethnic identity. Routledge.

Ariely, G., 2019. The nexus between globalization and ethnic identity: A view from below. Ethnicities19(5), pp.763-783.

Lee, J.H., 2018. Dynamics of ethnic identity: Three Asian American communities in Philadelphia. Routledge.

Zacher, H., Esser, L., Bohlmann, C. and Rudolph, C.W., 2019. Age, social identity and identification, and work outcomes: a conceptual model, literature review, and future research directions. Work, Aging and Retirement5(1), pp.24-43.


Appleford, K., 2016. Being seen in your pyjamas: the relationship between fashion, class, gender and space. Gender, Place & Culture23(2), pp.162-180.

Gazzola, P., Pavione, E., Pezzetti, R. and Grechi, D., 2020. Trends in the fashion industry. The perception of sustainability and circular economy: A gender/generation quantitative approach. Sustainability12(7), p.2809.

Kodžoman, D., 2019. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CLOTHING: Meaning of Colors, Body Image and Gender Expression in Fashion. Textile & Leather Review2(2), pp.90-103.

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