Fashion Anthropology

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 Different fashions can be found all around the world. This article will explore the differences of fashion between the UK, South Africa, Northern, and Sub-Saharan Africa, Malaysia and China. To some people, fashion is about expressing their identity, showing someone who they are through their fashion choices and using their clothes to say something about who they are. For others, it is just about comfort or utility. Additionally, there is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style with which people present themselves.  Fashion in general also means a popular style, especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body.

Fashion in the UK

Pastel colors are pretty significant this year but the color yellow is more dominant, defining fashion in the UK for 2018. There is also evidence that the color yellow is significant this year because most of the colors that are seen on the site are yellow and it is dominant in the UK, where it is not seen as common in the rest of the world. Yellow is usually associated with freshness and positivity which could be why the UK is seen heavily in yellow. Yellow does not go well with everybody, however, those with really pale or olive skin will work well as adding primary and secondary looks will give a total look. Different hues and shades of yellow will make your look more sophisticated.  More polished yellow looks look amazing with posh white slides or black minimal details but don’t get me wrong, yellow does look amazing against other colors.

Thick-heeled boots are a recurring style this year as well. The most popular Doc Martens that everyone in Britain seems to own however it is also commonly seen in the US.  Are you even considered a British girl if you don’t own these iconic black army boots? Doc Martens are back in style not only because of the band The Who, but also because they have become the staple of the cool London kids, like Agyness Deyn and Daisy Lowe, who have both fronted campaigns for the legendary brand, and their friends, Pixie Geldof and Alexa Chung, are also big fans of the boots. Gwen Stefani has always also been a Dr. Marten enthusiast. she often rocked the stage wearing her signature, 1460 studded Dr. Martens. As a way of being on-trend while still embracing the rebellious part of their youth, the Doc brings a sense of nostalgia to modern dressing. They were the kids of the 1990s. Today’s teenagers can now put their own take on Doc Martens, as though they are the first to wear them, just as every generation did before them. This is why I think you’re a British girl if you’re own these.

Alternatively, Adidas Superstars are also the most common among female British teenagers aged 13 to 18,

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but British teenage boys tend to wear Old Skool Vans. The sneaker’s simple yet instantly recognizable design: a low-top shoe with traditional laces, done in suede and canvas with clean white outsoles makes it the perfect show to throw on as your run out the house, no matter where your day may take you. There’s also a sense of nostalgia for the shoes because it was the first design to feature the brand’s iconic side stripe, which has become a hallmark design characteristic for the brand. Little has been changed about the design over the years, though it is now offered in countless colors and prints the black-and-white style prevails as the most popular design 40 years later.

  For Northern British guys, who are usually perceived or called “Chavs” according to British TV shows like Skins and Jeremy Kyle, they are usually seen wearing Adidas or Nike windbreakers with different patterns and designs. Tracksuits are the most common pieces of clothing seen of these said chavs and in my opinion, it is a mark of the working class and is all an identity like the dialect. It shows loud an clear where you’re from and who you’d likely associate with. This contrast with Oxford shirts can be usually be associated with those from the South, like those from London or Kent, or anywhere in the nearby regions. Those that wear this, look very presentable, hence why my friend believes that London is considered the “smartest looking county.”

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In terms of shoes, it is similar to the different parts of the UK, Chavs would wear trainers or sports trainers as their outfits usually consist of only sportswear. On the other hand, in the South of England, the average male can be seen wearing penny loafers – they are a classic shoe that everyone can wear. When it comes to the loafers, males have an endless choice. The horse bit loafer will work for anyone at any occasion as it is favored by politicians, businessmen and the young and trendy men on the street, they’re perfect. Or, if you’re more casually inclined then go for a suede pair in brown or navy for those warmer days when you still want to look smart whilst being stylish. Either way, the loafer is here to stay.

I think that the reason the fashion is separated like this is that of their cultural differences, for instance, even though there are some rough areas down in the South, from overhearing conversations, and occasionally speaking to people from the UK, the younger generations generally seem to have a more enlightened, open-minded, educated view of things. In the South, it is also more industrialized and there are more job opportunities and it is generally richer than the North and which is why their clothes are mostly smart-looking. However, it is also just is a norm in both the north and the south as to how they wear and if one person wears it, almost everyone follows as it fashion there is quite influential and they would follow everybody else.


Fashion in Asia

Shanghai fashion week has been a complete success at the seams because of the different kind of crazy designs that actually turned out more than okay as people seemed to pull it right off. In the article, we can see traditional Chinese incorporating into the fashion week different colors and patterns all merging together to actually fitting in and making the outfit seem somewhat wholesome. Black and white colors are seen quite commonly within the slideshow but also so are some neon colors. Black can be counted as the dominant color of the fashion week as the majority of the outfits are in that color. Oversized shirts or outerwear, in particular, are prevalent because a lot of the clothing seems to be oversized. Also, it is known that China is KNOWN for pulling off crazy designs and patterns that aren’t usually nice on anybody else but people in China seem to pull off these clothes really well! We can see much more color variety in the article, however, the theme of oversized jackets remains the same as there are still a couple in there. The reason why oversized clothing is so in style is that they’re unfussy – easy to put on and style but also because it gives people confidence as they are able to wear oversized hoodies or oversized shirts because it is really comfortable and allows you to be freely active. You can also simply just buy a “free-size” outfit rather than going to a store and looking for the right size and wasting time. A Maxi dress is a great option when someone wants to be casual yet look stylish at the same time. Maxi dresses are a loose fit and are not only limited to casual wear, but they are also for party wear giving an elegant look which is why it is mentioned on the site and extremely baggy harem pants can also be seen here because with these pants, you just need to have a few changes for shoes and accessories and they’d be perfect for anything. They can be good for the office or even just lounging around the house. Jumpsuits for both males in a solid plain blue color (as well as a blue suit!) and females with a green pattern are also seen on David’s siteChina is worldwide famous for selling lower cost items and clothes and although sometimes the quality isn’t so great, you could still buy more than a bundle of clothes for the same price of a top in stores.

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You could even buy dukes of the same outfit of most similar high-end brands and best of all, most of the time, people won’t even notice. We usually associate China as being the “clothing factory of the world” and this is because in 2014, the clothing exports are worth $288 billion. In China, I think that it is no longer the land of just fast, cheap and large quantities. There is a large range of quality, talent, worker’s rights and environmental protection available and producing in China means higher profitability for brands. China produces what companies and consumers demand, whether it be low-quality clothes or high-quality clothes.

Malaysia’s sense of style is very cozy as you can see a lot of Malaysians still really comfortable in t-shirts and jeans. If traveling in October to Langkawi, foreigners are usually seen around wearing maxi dresses because Langkawi is, after all, a beautiful island. The main thing to bare in mind is the humidity. Mornings can be hot, with a spot of rain in the afternoon, followed by a slight drop in temperature in the evening. In terms of Malaysian girls, or more specifically Chinese girls, they are usually seen wearing shorts however Malay girls would sometimes wear something more modest or long sleeved, or below the knee.

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Islam is seen as the predominant religion in Malaysia so girls who are, do cover their heads and wear the hijab, however, some choose to wear long-sleeved tops but with tight jeans whereas they might wear loose pants but with a short-sleeved top so it does vary according to personal style. Some of my friend’s family, for instance, they wear short-sleeved shirts with tailored pants while still wearing the hijab while others wear loose-fitting clothing and wear just a scarf. It really does differ from person-to-person and the mass amounts of different style being available and catered to every Malaysian is more varied nowadays. Zalora is the best site for clothes in Malaysia because there are just over 200 brands featured here, allowing different styles to be merged together. Different colors and different patterns from chevron to just plain designs can be found here. Culture plays a huge part in Malaysia’s sense of fashion because of the different religions and nationalities and the range of it available, making it not easy to pin a typical day-to-day look.


To conclude, fashion is evidently varied around the world. Culture and religion play a part in it however, it seems that wherever you look, people continue to express themselves through fashion. This can also be seen within Kuala Lumpur and ISKL itself. Both ISKL and Kuala Lumpur take pride in knowing that we have an extreme amount of variety of nationalities present. Both have tens of nationalities and are bound to be getting more different ones from other countries we have not even heard in the years to come. 

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