Impact of Fashion on the Sexuality

Subject: Design
Pages: 20
Words: 5511
Reading time:
19 min
Study level: Undergraduate


There has always been a strong relation between fashion and sexuality. For a long time, this has been evident because different genders have always had an idea of what constitutes acceptable clothing (Crane 2000, p. 1). For instance, during the medieval times, women were always perceived to be respectable if they dressed conservatively. Different occasions also had different types of clothing. For instance, there was an acceptable code of dressing for funerals, weddings, dinners and the likes. Sometimes, fashion was constrained within certain age groups, whereby, people were often required to wear clothing that was appropriate for their age. Also, in the medieval times, fashion was normally perceived to be a mirror of one’s inward personality. For instance, in Europe, people who committed adultery were required to wear certain types of clothing, failure to which they would be whipped in public (Davis 1994). Fashion therefore served different purposes in the society.

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Fashion has therefore been largely perceived to be closely linked to be determinants of human characteristics, personalities and traits such as indecency and shame. However, some of these attributes have significantly changed over the decades. For instance, the public wearing of underwear in today’s society is evidence of the transformation which fashion has undergone. In the past, human underwear was perceived to be a very discrete and intimate clothing item because it was deemed to be too revealing or private. For example, underwear was a reserve of paparazzi who took snapshots of celebrities or individuals whenever they alighted from cars or sat in revealing positions (Crane 2000). Underwear was therefore perceived to be associated with the indiscretion of young starlets. Currently, this perception does not hold true.

Regarding the same observation, it is crucial to note that, underwear was not part of human clothing until the 1830s when it became customary clothing (Davis 1994). However, even from this analysis, the influence of fashion on sexuality is evident because in the 1830s, underwear was designed with a crotch. This is an attribute that is associated with fetish wear. Nonetheless, underwear is now perceived to be an acceptable clothing item in the fashion industry. In fact, there have been specific shows which showcase underwear as an exclusive fashion item. However, there has been debate that the impact of this revolution may have affected the common view of sexuality. For example, there has been a growing debate regarding male Olympic uniforms, with a certain section of the population perceiving the entire debate as a feminist issue (Davis 1994, p. 32). Another section of the population perceives Olympic uniforms to be highly under-sexualized, with a majority perceiving Olympic uniforms to be a great smoke-screen for beautiful human physiques.

This debate has further stretched into general fashion between genders. Currently, there is a strong view among some experts that the use of too much fabric in men’s fashion makes it dumpy and frumpy (Crane 2000). In this regard, some people perceive men’s fashion to be boring and a smoke-screen of male sexuality because it conceals the uniqueness of male physique. This debate has seen the re-invention of men’s fashion to correct areas where people perceive to be “weak-points” in male sexuality. This re-invention has seen the emergence of relatively fitting male clothing which reveals the male physique. However, this re-invention has also elicited new debate regarding male sexuality or human sexuality in general because some people perceive the re-invention of male clothing as an intrusion into female sexuality. This is part of the society’s endless debate regarding what constitutes male and female sexuality. However, the debate is further complicated by a lack of common framework to define what male or female sexuality is. These are only some of the ongoing debates about fashion and sexuality.

This paper is a thesis to determine if fashion has changed the definition of sexuality. Recommendations from this analysis will be useful in providing the correct understanding of sexuality in today’s society. They will also be used to provide a correct understanding of the extent fashion affects sexuality in today’s society and how it has revolutionized cross-dressing across the gender divide. Fashion experts and companies will benefit most from the recommendations of this paper because they will be able to tailor their designs to reflect different interpretations of human sexuality. This will be a contribution to the existing debate regarding various influences of fashion on human sexuality. To arrive at the best conclusions in this analysis, several literature excerpts will be analyzed to come up with the best recommendations of the study. Expert views will also be sought to provide a special insight into the debate (which would ordinarily not be found in existing literature excerpts). This analysis constitutes the paper’s methodology, but it will be critically explained in subsequent sections of this paper. However, the biggest constraint or limitation to this analysis will be the subjection of research analysis to varied opinions and perceptions about fashion, across different cultures. These factors withstanding, this paper will be aimed at understanding the extent fashion influences human sexuality; investigating if fashion affects human sexuality; investigating the influence of fashion in defining human sexuality across various cultures and investigating the revolution of human sexuality, viz-a-viz the influence of fashion. In investigating these objectives, this paper establishes that, fashion has significantly changed the definition of sexuality.

Research Aims

  • Understanding the extent fashion influences human sexuality
  • Investigating if fashion affects human sexuality
  • Investigating the influence of fashion in defining human sexuality across various cultures
  • Investigating the revolution of human sexuality, viz-a-viz the influence of fashion

Review of Literature

There has been no doubt among sociologists that sexuality encompasses several aspects of human sexual experiences (Crane 2000). For instance, there is consensus that sexuality is mainly driven by the desire for a partner, to attain sexual gratification. This can be achieved through several ways, depending on one’s sexuality. There has also been no controversy to affirm that fashion has been at the centre of human sexual experiences because fashion has been used to draw attraction, between males and females, males and males, or females and females. Fashion has also been at the centre of physical and emotional intimacy because it plays a crucial role in human imagination and human sexuality. For instance, certain types of fashion have been used for sexual arousal and sexual access, while other types of fashion have been used as strategies for seduction, flirting, foreplay and other functions. Contrary to popular belief, fashion has a profound impact on the physical, biological and emotional aspects of human sexuality because of its psychological, physiological and emotive effect on people (Davis 1994, p. 32). For instance, prostitutes have been known to wear revealing clothing that makes them attract clients, while in recent times, bisexuals have been known to wear clothing that is essentially feminine. This observation may vary across cultures.

However, it is crucial to understand that, from this explanation, fashion finds its foothold in defining human sexuality. A person’s sexual orientation therefore determines which type of fashion would be best suited for them. It is also for this reason that there has been a strong sense of stereotyping in the society regarding what constitutes the appropriate fashion for the appropriate sexual representation. More so, this stereotyping has been based on people’s dressing and adornment of hair. Both features are deeply enshrined in fashion. Nonetheless, most observers note that the relationship between sexuality and fashion has become increasingly complex and it is changing by the day (Davis 1994, p. 13). Initially fashion did not have very many variations; it was very simplistic and straightforward. The same can also be said of human sexuality.

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However, for a long time, historians in the fashion industry have affirmed that fashion is the definition of human sexuality, with a clear-cut distinction between what was acceptable for various sexes (Crane 2000). Somewhat, these people affirmed that there was no controversy regarding what was to be termed “male fashion” and “female fashion”. For instance, as explained in earlier sections of this study, the underwear was an important fashion item. However, there was a strong distinction between male underwear and female underwear. The open crotch feature in the underwear was one such distinction between male and female underwear, although it was added to facilitate bathroom etiquette in an age of outhouses and restrictive corsets. Lynch (2007) establishes that, in comparison to present-day underwear, the 1910 underwear was relatively large. However, with the growing empowerment of women and the vocal advocacy of birth control rights (among other female issues), female underwear became smaller in size. This is the main reason the underwear became closed-crotch (Lynch 2007, p. 54). The shift occurred across decades and it was further fueled by the changing skirt sizes among women.

Lynch (2007) further affirms that, fashion has not been a stranger to the economic and political developments of the society because it has always been subject to various rights movements. For instance, women rights movements have completely changed female fashion and sexuality because it has been expressive of the emancipation of women. This transition in women fashion and sexuality has been termed by many people as disturbing and somewhat threatening to the entire concept of sexuality. Lynch (2007) explains that “When women began speaking up for political rights, economic independence, and sexual liberation, their struggle translated into the potential for intimate apparel to express a newly independent, sexual—and for many people, threatening or disturbing—identity” (Lynch 2007, p. 49). The closed- crotch underwear was an example of the new sexual identity which women dawned because it was able to facilitate the wearing of shockingly short dresses. As time went by, human perceptions about fashion greatly took a sexual twist, with various aspects of fashion analyzed along sexual contexts. For instance, in the 1930s, the open crotch underwear was no longer perceived to be a fashion item of convenience in bathroom use; it was perceived to be a fashion item of sexual convenience and access (Crane 2000). Since then, fashion experts have noted that, women undergarments have strongly been perceived as powerful sexual symbols. This can evident from the significant upsurge in college party raids that happened in the 50s and 60s (Lynch 2007, p. 54).

Fashion has also been perceived to be a powerful facilitator of crossing the gender divide, especially in present-day society of sexual liberalization. Fashion has also been at the center of sexual liberalization because it is deemed to be the symbol of sexual liberalization as various sexual groups seek to establish new identities among themselves. Lynch (2007) explains that, “In director Billy Wilder’s comedy Some like It Hot (1959), stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women to hide from the mob, but had some fun with switching gender roles in the process” (Lynch 2007, p. 54). Also, various film stars of the 50s and 60s were able to achieve a strong sexual ambiguity in their on-screen roles, with the inclusion of male pants in their dressing. Such were the strategies used by film stars such as Andy Warhol (in the 60s and the 70s) to achieve sexual ambiguity that enabled them to switch sexual roles in their films. Vinken (2005) reiterates that:

“Many cross-dressers experimented in private or during their spare time, and led perfectly routine lives as seemingly conventional—or even conservative—members of society. J. Edgar Hoover, the intimidating head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for much of the twentieth century, was rumored to be a cross-dresser, but this was never conclusively proven” (Vinken 2005, p. 32).

Among gay people, there has been a common observation among experts to suggest that some gay personalities such as the drag queens exaggerate female sexuality for their own amusement and play, but this has increasingly gained public popularity, and in some respects, public acceptance, as true female sexuality. This representation is mainly done through fashion. Some drag queens such as Ru paul have often participated in female fashion shows and showed up in restaurants wearing exceptional clothing such as bras, corsets and garter belts (Lynch 2007, p. 54). This portrayal inclines towards the representation that male gays are predominantly obsessed with female fashion. Though this interpretation may be crafted from the perspective of only a few individuals, it has quickly gained public acceptance as the true representation of gays. Here, fashion has played a significant role in defining human sexuality because it is the symbol of certain sexual preferences (such as gays).

Some analysts view fashion as a subjection of the ability to be sexy, as opposed to the subjection of current trends (Vinken 2005, p. 32). In this regard, they paint a new paradigm of fashion by explaining that, today, many men and women choose different fashion clothing to express their sexuality or to express their sexual moods. This is a new perspective of analyzing fashion because fashion has always been perceived to be subject to ongoing trends in the clothing industry. In this regard, these experts note that, people choose fashion because they want to feel adored or wanted by the opposite gender (or the same gender) (Vinken 2005, p. 45). Close to this perspective is the revolution that, fashion has made on human personalities and traits. This revolution has been greatly supported by a new statement of sexual climate which is supported by sexual liberalization. For instance, certain dressing styles or fashion were associated with prostitutes, but the same is not true for current fashion. For instance, knee-high boots have become an acceptable fashion accessory in today’s society, though it has been historically associated with prostitutes. The same is also true for thigh-high stockings which were associated with prostitutes and indecent women.

In as much as fashion is deemed to be part of sexual liberation and the outright definition of sexuality, there are some authors who propose that fashion has done little to change the definition of sexuality. Hollander (1994) is one such author who notes that fashion has maintained its authentic sexual form. Here, she makes reference to the predominantly male suits which have over the decades been associated with masculinity. She says that though male suits have changed over the decades, the fundamentals of the designs have remained the same. In the same context, she notes that, male suits have never been undermined or eliminated in the revolution of fashion. In support of her view of minimal fashion roles in defining human sexuality, Hollander (1994) explains that fashion first seeks to address individual personalities and points of view, before it expresses society’s beliefs or points of views. She also notes that there is a strong inclination among fashion experts to change the overall view of fashion, viz-a-viz human sexuality, but in her view, male and female fashion is very similar to one another. She perceives women’s skirts as a melting point of male and female clothing because symbolically, she explains that skirts are like a common arena for men and women (Hollander 1994, p. 6). For a long time, she explains that fashion has struggled to explain what male and female relationships should be. Nonetheless, she also explains that, it is very easy for someone to understand what female fashion entails, just by understanding male fashion. However, she also notes that, fashion has been strongly used to define sexuality, though there will be a time when sexuality will be independent from fashion. However, she acknowledges that currently, it is difficult to disassociate sexuality from fashion (Hollander 1994, p. 6).

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Many authors share this view because they agree that fashion and clothing have a strong influence on human sexuality. For instance, reference has been made to army or police uniforms which have redefined male and female sexuality (Hollander 1994, p. 6). For women, the uniform has always been perceived to be a statement that they can be queer and not feminine (at the same time). For men, the same uniform has been perceived to be a statement that, they can be queer, while being more masculine than other men. The army uniform has also been seen to be a statement among women that they are less feminine than other women. Though these statements may not necessarily represent individualistic views of army officers, they have been developed as a result of societal views of human sexuality.

Bolton (2003) notes that, there was no time where fashion defined sexuality more than it did in the 19th century. It is during this period that male and female clothing was strongly differentiated from one another because masculinity meant “unmarked gender” while feminism meant “sexuality”. The 19th century fashion represented various views such as, men were real and authentic but women were artificial and unreal. These views also propagated the perception that, women were producers while women were consumers and symbols of idleness.

In present-day society, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the role of fashion in male sexuality because the interest in fashion itself is partly considered to be inappropriate for males. This is true because the mere interest in fashion is perceived to be a feminine issue in some cultures. Highly stereotyped cultures have therefore perceived the interest in fashion to be an exclusively feminine issue and males who show interest in fashion have often been branded “gay” or “feminine”. In this regard, fashion is seen to define human sexuality because it represents various feminine attributes. Though this analysis may vary from one society to another, its genesis can be attributed to the ancient attribution of fashion as an exclusively female field of interest because men were not required to be critical about clothing. Moreover, it was considered masculine to be ragged and poorly groomed. Men were therefore not required to pay much attention to the details of their dressing because this was considered “feminine”. However, with the growth of the corporate field, many men started paying attention to their personal grooming, hence the increased interest in fashion and change in male fashion (Bolton 2003). Nonetheless, the 21st century has seen a twist in this perspective, with the liberalization of sexuality to constitute gays. The perception of male interests in fashion has therefore changed from, men who pay attention to their personal grooming and sense of style, to gays. In some societies, men who are considered to have a keen interest in fashion are therefore deemed to be gays. From this analysis, the mere interest in fashion can be partially seen as a statement of sexuality because male interest in fashion is generally perceived to be feminist or gay. These insights expose the deep influence which fashion has on human sexuality.

Research Methodology

This research is qualitative in nature. The major type of research data used in this study was secondary research data. In this regard, there was widespread consultation of people who have knowledge about fashion and its effects on sexuality. This included interviewing fashion editors, gurus, experts and the likes. However, it is crucial to note that, among the experts consulted; sociological perspectives were also sought from sociology experts. The two groups of experts constituted the population sample. Including sociology experts in the study was important because sexuality is a critical sociological issue which also rates highly in terms of human sophistication. Moreover, sexuality is subject to societal developments and therefore, this issue compounds the understanding of the concept. Based on these technicalities, this paper was inclined to seek sociological views on the topic. In the same regard, there was extensive research done to ascertain information about the effects of fashion in defining human sexuality through existing documents like textbooks, journals and the likes. Mainly, the secondary research data used, involved research information from various sources of information including historical databases, fashion reports and the likes.

Semi-structured interviews were used as the main data collection technique. However, the interview was first done by asking unstructured questions to have the background information about the research topic. Thirty interviews were done on 30 personalities. Fifteen of these personalities were fashion experts, while the rest were sociology experts. This was done to gather information about the influence of fashion in defining human sexuality. Focus was made on fashion and sexuality in equal measure. These interviews were qualitative interviews.

When analyzing the sourced data, the business intelligence software was used as a computer-based technique. In addition, the ethnographer was used to analyze the information obtained by categorizing it into various groups. The ethnographer is a computer software built to use a coding system that analyzes data in different groups (using number and letters). Nonetheless, business intelligence as a data analysis tool has often been used with a high level of efficacy and reliability. Its reliability is traced to its past reliance by multinational companies to assess information obtained from various markets (regarding market expansion). It has also been used to identify existing business opportunities and areas of cost cutting. In addition, the software has also been used to identify areas of key organizational metrics so that, companies can be able to predict future business performance. These characteristics of the business intelligence software (for data analysis) are tailored towards ensuring this paper provides the most relevant information in the analysis of how fashion has changed the definition of sexuality. For instance, the fact that the software is keen on sieving useful information is helpful in determining the most appropriate information to include in the paper, considering there are tones of information from secondary sources, trying to explain the influence of fashion in defining sexuality across various cultures.

The above research methodology is unique to most research studies done in the fashion industry because it is specific to understanding the impact of fashion in defining sexuality. Therefore, as opposed to several research studies done to explain the relationship of fashion, power and consumerism, this paper was specifically designed to expose modern-day influences of fashion in defining sexuality. Also, contrary to most research studies which have strived to explain the role of fashion in differentiating gender attributes between males and females, this paper strived to explain the role of fashion in defining sexuality, based on new sexual preferences such as lesbianism, and fetish. Moreover, this paper was specific to explain the role which fashion has played in defining new sexual identities and preferences such as present-day fetish designs (among similar designs).

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The methodological approach for this study is also more comprehensive and broader than the methodological approaches used by many researchers in the past. This methodology is skewed to collect data from all stakeholders in the fashion industry and within sociology circles. Furthermore, it is not biased in estimating the relevance of information according to specific time periods. Historical and current information is collected and analyzed according to how it affects the interpretation of how fashion changes the definition of sexuality. This is obtained from analyzing published materials from national libraries and making use of historical and current perspectives, to have a proper understanding of how fashion changes the definition of sexuality. From the above information, it is therefore crucial to note that the methodological approach for this study is poised to give credible, relevant and reliable information.

The main ethical concern experienced in this study was obtaining consent form research participants when taking part in the study. Consent was however obtained freely. Nonetheless, confidentiality issues also surfaced as part of the ethical issues considered in the study. To ensure the confidentiality of information which is given in this study, the researcher and the participants had to sign a confidentiality document stipulating that all information obtained from the participants will strictly be used for purposes of the study alone. Moreover, the names of the participants were not disclosed during the research.

Presentation of Findings

Summaries of Individual studies

From the individual studies done, it was clear that most experts affirmed that, fashion has a profound impact in the definition of sexuality. Only one expert noted that fashion has significantly remained steady over the centuries, but even in the same context, he agreed that it is difficult to separate the concept of sexuality from fashion. Sociology experts agree that the concept of sexuality is a complex one because nowadays people express themselves in conflicting sexual contexts. In this analysis, they agree that fashion has been used to define sexuality through a spectrum of heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and asexuality. Here, they also explained that, people are complex in their definition of sexuality because human beings do not perceive sexuality to be part of the copulation process, but rather, an expression of individualism. However, sociologists also explained that human sexuality is also inclusive of elements such as culture, politics, legalities, and philosophies. In the same context, they also explained that, sexuality is also defined in the context of ethics, morality, theology and spirituality because all these aspects have an influence in defining all things sexual. Sociologists also view fashion as an expression of the dynamics of human sexuality because it is able to define people in their respective sexual identities.

Fourteen of the fashion experts interviewed concurred with this idea because they agreed that fashion has been used as a common language among people of similar sexuality. As a result, fashion stands out as a benchmark of various shades of sexuality. It is not strange to think of someone as belonging to a specific sexual orientation, purely based on their dressing or fashion identity.

Space-Time Summaries

This space-time summary is based on the collection and analysis of data which cuts across several decades. It was evident that across a broad spectrum of research studies dating back to the 18th century and beyond, an affirmation was made of the fact that, fashion was a strong determinant of male and female sexuality. Also, past sources consistently referred to the distinction which fashion made in defining male and female genders. However, recent information suggests strong sexual undertones to fashion, with many sources suggesting that fashion has been largely affected by the liberal nature of today’s sexual climate. Moreover, the same sources explained that, fashion is part of the sexually charged climate that is characteristic of today’s society. This sexual atmosphere can be evidenced from the intense portrayal of sex in music and films. Nonetheless, it is also crucial to understand that, present-day literature, dating from the 90s (to date) tend to perceive fashion’s definition of culture along the lines of sexual dynamics, including heterosexuality, bisexuality and the likes. As evidenced in later sections of this study, this observation is perceived to be part of human’s sophistication in sexuality. Current literatures explained this.

Discussion, Analysis and Presentation of Data

From the above analysis, it became evidently clear that fashion has often been used by many women as a sign of their liberalization and empowerment. It is also from this liberalization that human sexuality has evolved. Based on past roles of fashion in the society, it is clear that fashion played an important role in defining male and female sexuality. Also, from this understanding, we see that, fashion played a significant role in defining human sexuality based on a narrow spectrum of males and female genders. This is the point of departure between previous roles of fashion in defining human sexuality and current roles of fashion in defining the same. The current role of fashion in defining human sexuality has significantly changed the latter concept because nowadays, sexuality is a sophisticated concept. The current society is not only defined by male and female sexuality, there have been new sexual preferences such as bisexuals, homosexuals, lesbians and the likes. Though these sexual categories may have existed in the past, there is very little evidence to suggest that fashion played any role in exposing such sexual preferences. Considering the social climate in the previous decades or centuries, there was also very little hope that such sexual groups could come to the fore. Nonetheless, recent decades have been characterized by sexual liberalization and acceptance. Fashion has played a central role in this revolution because it is part of the sexual liberalization and it is also an important tool of emancipation for various people professing different sexual identities. For instance, through fashion, the gay community has been able to stand out from the rest of the population and entrench themselves as a legitimate entity of the society. There is also a strong role that fashion has played in eliminating social stereotypes about different genders and among various societies. This fact is supported by the observation that the transformation of fashion has changed people’s perspectives about personal grooming (or the antecedents of human characteristics associated with certain fashions). For instance, as evidenced in earlier sections of this paper, we have established that, knee-high boots and thigh-high stockings are no longer associated with prostitution. They are nowadays commonly worn by decent women because of the change in sexual definition as is defined by fashion.

Also, from this paper’s findings, we can establish that fashion’s definition of sexuality emanates from its representation of individual personalities. Here, fashion seems to be nothing more than a mirror of the society. It is also nothing more than a tool which is meant to portray individual preferences and attitudes regarding sexuality. However, it is also important to note that, fashion has increased the intensity of today’s sexual climate by being more bold and liberal. It is for this reason, that today’s fashion trends have been criticized as immoral and supportive of unconventional human behavior. Never in the history of mankind has fashion been more expressive of human sexuality as it is today. For instance, gays have been more expressive than any time in human history through fashion. It is for this reason that there are several music and movie productions which portray gays through fashion and behavior. Fashion has therefore defined what is gay and what is not. For instance, skinny jeans in male clothing, tight-fitting shirts and “cute” shirts are predominantly perceived to be gay clothing. Any person who dawns such fashion can easily be perceived to be gay because fashion has defined sexuality in this way. Such trends have been seen in present-day musical icons such as Pharell and Kanye West, who dawn tight-legged jeans and tight shirts which are perceived to be gay. The debate regarding if fashion essentially determined sexuality, or if sexuality determined fashion is a complicated one, but present-day society has seen the definition of sexuality through fashion.


This paper advances the opinion that, fashion has significantly changed the definition of human sexuality. This fact is supported by expert opinions from fashion gurus and sociologists. The fashion experts interviewed affirmed that fashion has indeed been perceived as a unifying factor among individuals identifying with one sexuality. In this regard, people who identify with a specific fashion are regarding as part of a specific sexual group. Gays have been shown as an example of a sexual group which is characterized by tight-fighting clothing (which is only part of their fashion). Sociologists however paint a cautionary picture of the entire debate by explaining that, human sexuality is very sophisticated because of the fact that human beings are an advanced animal group and they do not necessarily perceive sexuality as part of reproduction. More so, they deem it part of procreation.

Nonetheless, from the analysis done in this paper, it is correct to observe that most experts and authors agree that it is difficult to separate the concept of fashion when defining human sexuality. It is also from this perspective that several authors agree that fashion has been used to define various sexual groups. Fashion has been referred to a statement of sexual dominance and identity among several sexual groups. Nonetheless, they agree that ongoing sexual liberalization of the 21st century has played a great role in defining human sexuality through fashion. It is therefore no surprise that these authors and experts agree that fashion has played a significant role in defining sexuality.

However, this topic provides a platform for undertaking further research, especially in ascertaining if the relationship between sexuality and fashion is two-way. Here, the influence of fashion on sexuality should be analyzed to establish if fashion is also affected by sexuality or if sexuality is primarily determined by fashion. This debate is rooted in the research findings exposed in this paper which suggest that fashion is merely a mirror of individual sexual preferences in the society. Already, we have seen several references to the fact that, fashion is a mirror of individual personalities, first, then the societal mirror of its values and beliefs.

Comprehensively, based on the findings of this paper, it is crucial to understand that fashion and sexuality cannot be analyzed in different contexts. Both concepts are rooted in one another’s definition but the former is a reflection of the latter. Fashion experts and designers would therefore be better placed to develop new fashion from the understanding that it mirrors certain sexual elements of the human self. Since fashion is also a commercial venture, it is crucial to incorporate the findings of this study by noting that different fashion trends and designs should appeal to their respective audiences (sexual groups). This way, optimum sales can be achieved.


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Crane, D. (2000) Fashion and its social agendas: class, gender, and identity in clothing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Davis, F. (1994) Fashion, culture, and identity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hollander, A. (1994) Sex and suits, London: Anne Hollander.

Lynch, A. (2007) Changing Fashion: a Critical Introduction to Trend Analysis and Meaning, New York: Berg.

Vinken, B. (2005) Fashion zeitgeist: trends and cycles in the fashion system, New York: Berg.