It is very important to teach children not only the curriculum, but also life lessons that will prepare them for a successful future. There are many avenues that are available to us to enhance our children’s futures; fashion is one avenue, which is very important in each child’s current and future success.
Fashion can be trendy, and in the past was used primarily for function. In the current years, it has become a primary form of expressive equipment to assist a performer in defining the expectancies of an audience. As a parent, there are many ways that we can educate our children to use this equipment to enhance their success in the future, by providing examples on the relevance of fashion, educating on proper grooming and clothing choices, providing an example, and holding each child to high expectations on personal appearance.
In the 21st Century we need parents that are willing to teach beyond the curriculum and provide encouragement and guidance to help them create positive habits that will improve their success in the workplace and in life. In the past fashion was used as practical protection, and style to be functional based on the individuals needs. In present day, fashion is used more as an expression. In todays over population, individuals feel the need to “stand out” from the crowd, with their own personal style. It is impossible to wear clothes without transmitting social signals. In the current workplace “perception is reality”. People around you can perceive your economic level, education level, trustworthiness, social position, level of success and moral character based on the way you dress. If you dress for a lower level of success, then you are likely to remain in that position, as it is perceived you are a fit for that position. Although the styles continue to change, rules for workplace fashion remain constant.
It is impossible to wear clothes without transmitting social signals. Comfort, protection, and modesty concerns might be overridden by a desire to look good, “fit in,” or acquire status authority. Dress is largely interpreted as a function of personal choice. Many people believe that what parents choose to wear in the home does influence the perceptions of their children.
Clothing is a primary impression management tool. Clothing is an important aspect of a “personal front”, one of the forms of expressive equipment that assist a performer in defining the expectancies of an audience. There are several decisions people make about each other based on clothing alone: economic level, educational level, trustworthiness, social position, level of sophistication, economic background, social background, educational background, level of success and moral character. Clothing also affects four kinds of judgments: credibility, likability, interpersonal attractiveness, and dominance.
For students to be successful in the 21st Century, we also need to be aware of the opportunities that are available to us to teach our children about fashion in the work place. Opportunities would be to explain examples on how individuals have been successful or unsuccessful based on their personal experience. Another way to teach is to show our children ways to improve their appearance, clothes to wear and providing ideas for dressing neater and cleaning up their appearance. When teaching this, it would also be encouraging to provide positive feedback and recognition for our children that adopt these positive habits. Providing opportunities for our children to model professional fashion, by requesting them to dress workplace professional on days they are presenting a project, or if you plan to have guests from outside of the home, this will build confidence and give them a first-hand experience using fashion as a tool to be recognized in a positive manner.