A passion for fashion: why we dress to impress

Our style matters – and here are some of the main reasons.

Would you wear somebody else’s sweat as a perfume? Probably not. But what would you say if I told you it was pretty standard practice in ancient Rome?

The roles of fashion through history were pretty diverse. You wore different things depending on your gender, financial status, role in society, political affiliation... Many of these practices are still going strong today, with celebrities endorsing certain pieces of clothing and accessories.

However, we have also gone beyond classical reasons for fashion diversity. We use what we wear to make statements about our place in the world. Sportswear, for instance, means an active lifestyle – or at least the appearance of one. It’s not uncommon to put on some leggings and a T-shirt in order to lie around the house.

Please don’t think that fashion was a static presence in the past. Actually, it might have even been a bit more aggressive than the modern version – it was common for clothing or accessories to make a traditional or ritual statement, like having to wear your hair braided if you are married or being allowed to wear a certain color according to your status. During the time of Henry the VIII of England, men shaved their heads and grew beards in order to look more like the king. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, after all.

Women fashion history - CLARA blog

An overview of women's fashion through history

These types of fashion “rules” are actually pretty present today, as well. They may not be enforced by law (unless you’re indecent in public), but the fact remains that we often dress like our favorite celebrities, follow brands and adjust our dress code according to our situation.

It’s also a matter of stating your status. Some, like the nobility of the middle ages, try to sow their wealth and uniqueness by having custom-made everything, sparing no expense on fabric and tailoring. Personalized fashion is actually on the rise – lots of people order it online, and a few are capable enough to make it themselves. We also do the opposite by dressing like others, forming a sense of community through uniform.

Dress to work out and fit in - CLARA blog

Know your team by their colors!

Comfort isn’t always a role fashion plays. High heels make you look taller, but they are definitely not a friend to your feet. Tight clothing constricts blood flow, but at least the tightness is no longer obligatory by law. In the Victorian era, women often had terrible health issues because their corsets crushed their organs or weakened their spines. A lot of them actually couldn’t sit up without one – wearing them since childhood had made their backs incapable of holding the weight of their head and shoulders. Luckily, most women no longer need to follow such health-defying rules.

For CLARA, the role of fashion goes beyond just status or diversity. We believe every accessory and piece of clothing serves a purpose, and we are proud our vest provides the wearer with more than just a statement piece – we are supporting safety through visibility without compromising style. Be a part of our community! CLARA is lighting the way for road-awareness of pedestrians and cyclists, and we would love to have you here with us.

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