University of Leicester
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Fashion in Britain in the 1960s. A study of attitudes.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 08:54 authored by Ruth Tamara. Horowitz
This study analyses the role played by fashion in the clothing market in Britain in the 60's and relates this analysis to different theories about fashion. The study is based on interviews with fashion designers and fashion Journalists, and on the answers of a sample of several hundred consumers to close-ended questionnaires, with few open-ended questions, on statistical data about the clothing market in Britain, on market research data and on the available literature about the development of fashion as a mode of clothing behaviour. The point of departure of the study is the distinction between Mass Fashion and Elite Fashion as two different modes of clothing behaviour, both reflecting responsiveness to innovations in style and design. In this sense they differ from a third mode of clothing behaviour - Non-Fashion, which reflects indifference to such changes. The findings of the study are roughly consistent with the hypotheses (a) that clothing behaviour in Britain in the 60's tended to be fashion oriented, (b) that fashion in Britain in the 60's was age group directed more than class directed, (c) that Mass Fashion is disposed towards uniformity and the consumer's response is not primarily oriented towards the presentation of his individuality, (d) that Mass Fashion tends to be anonymous and unpredictable as to the response of the consumers to each individual innovation, (e) and that the interaction between different participants in the process of the diffusion of fashion is conditioned by differences in their respective perception of their part in the processes and by the patterns of communication among them. In the light of the prevalence of Mass Fashion and its implications some modifications are suggested to the existing theoretical approaches to fashion, the diffusion of innovation approach, the social differentiation and stratification approach, the collective behaviour approach and the approach which deals with the meaning of fashion to the individual. These modifications cast light on both individual attitudes towards fashion and the interaction between buyers and sellers in the clothing market, as well as the symbolic expression of status differences through external appearance.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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