Stereotypes in Clothing Different styles and brands of clothing can be linked to different groups or cliques of people. It seems that the stereotypes related to the groups or cliques, have become a stereotype of the clothing. Styles ranging from baggy to preppy, to relaxed fit can be found all over the place, and stereotypes have found their way into just about every style of clothing worn. For example, the hippy's from the 60 s wore their tie-die shirts, bell bottom pants and were thought to be druggie losers. These hippies are the same people holding high positions in major corporations today.
Where did the stereotypes of the hippies during the 60 s come from Ive spoken to people who say they had their hippy days, and most point to the same source. The stereotypes came because the style was different from the norm. Just because they didnt fit in with the definition of what was thought to be someone on their way to success. So if theyre not on their way to success, they must losers.
Stereotypes have even been pinned to certain brand names. In most clubs on the west coast, certain brands arent aloud to be worn due to possible gang relation. Some of the brands that found their stereotypes to be gang related are, Car hart, blue or red Nike, and even Nautica. Brands that Im sure a lot of people not involved with gangs have in their closets; However, large signs in front of the entrance explain you wont be let in the club if wearing any of these brands. These stereotypes have also affected some high schools in California, where some brands are banned from campus.
Stereotypes seem to start out as opinions of a large portion of the group that wear the style, and then get labeled to anyone else who is seen wearing the same style. Stereotypes in clothing have also attached to ones race. Ive had people ask me from one group if I thought I was black, and had another group ask me if I thought I was white al while wearing the same thing. When I asked why asked they asked that question, both groups brought up the brand. A friend explained how this works.
Well take FuBu for this example. FuBu came out in early 96 being mainly sold in small hip-hop shops, not in major clothing stores like Macys or any other store in the mall, this is when FuBu was a black brand. When the popularity started to soar, and the brand was now being found in major stores, this is when it became a white brand. This race related clothing stereotype has also been in the Asian community, mainly in the San Francisco bay area.
Ive seen personally why certain brands have been stereotyped as Asian brands, and understand how a brand can be stereotyped to someones race. Its not right to do, but origins of this stereotype are easy to see. In my opinion, stereotypes in clothing start to effect people around Jr. high School.
Thats when I have the first memories of actually looking at what someone was wearing. I remember being able to see the difference in clothing from one group to another, and how certain groups wore certain brands. For example, you take the kid who prided himself with his new expensive jacket, then there was the kid who didnt care what he dressed like, and parents didnt have the money to buy the nice jacket even if he wants it. Now who do you think is going to be looked at like a loser I must admit kids are heartless, and when the teasing starts it doesnt stop.
Now you have a 12 yr old boy being teased because his low budget clothes, and stereotyped as a loser. Next I would like to talk about the stereotype of being able to tell someones intellectual capacity through clothing. This is one of the biggest and most common stereotypes ever. Examples from Bob Marley to Dennis Rodman, should open everyones eyes to the fact that jus because someone chooses to dress in a way that doesnt conform to what is thought to be someone with intelligence, doesnt mean anything.