How Music Influences Your Teen's Fashion
Support of the music industry and the individual artists and bands can be seen everywhere, one chest at a time. Music related or influenced fashion accounts for nearly a quarter of all clothing sales to teenagers ages 12 to 19. However, clothing is just the beginning of the influence.
"The reason I'm in a band is because of [my favorite band]," says James Hatterfield of Greensboro, N.C. There are many teens like Hatterfield who have allowed their favorite band or artist to influence their activities and interests. In addition, ask any successful band how they got started, and they are sure to mention someone who influenced them – another musical artist.
"I think teens identify with music and always have," says Marc O. Gould, lead vocalist and guitarist for rock band, Off By One, from San Diego, Calif. "I think it's possible that it reflects how they feel, but it's probably not reflective of who [the kid] is entirely. Music is a great energy release. I can see how people identify with how an artist feels. It's like, 'Hey, I'm feelin' ya!'"
Cause and Effect
Many areas are influenced by music and the music industry. While this influence may not always be dominate, it is always there. "Many kids keep their likes and dislikes under their hat," says Margaret Sagarese, tween expert and author. "Kids can be cruel. So if a teen likes things that are not as popular – such as classical, jazz or blues music – they often keep it confined within the walls of their own home or their room to avoid any ridicule. So just because someone doesn't wear their music likes on their chest doesn't mean that their favorite performing artist doesn't influence them greatly."
Ready to Wear
What the music celebrities wear has a big influence on teens' choices. Pop, rock and rap star fashion sense is mimicked and duplicated in high schools all over the world. One such example is jewelry.
"Celebrities – especially music celebrities – are very influential," says Heather Askinosie co-founder of Energy Muse Jewelry. "All it takes is one or more of the stars to find a unique item, and it then becomes a trend or a fashion."
All in the Attitude
Musicians are known for expressing their thoughts, feelings and attitudes through their lyrics. It only makes sense then that the teens who listen to these lyrics share in the attitudes. "What I put into my songs reflects a big part of me and what is happening at that time," says Gould. "This may change, but what usually accompanies a change in my taste of music is a change in my own thoughts, feelings, attitude – which is reflected in my writing more than anything else. [These changes] may influence me to try something new or go in a direction I haven't tried before. Hopefully people think I have a pretty good attitude."
The Friend Factor
One of the most common aspects of musical interest is the "grouping" of teens that like the same type of music. "Teens are going to find their own cliques regardless of the reasons that bring them together," says Sagarese. "In fact, most parents want their child to choose their friends based on a common interest – a positive common interest – and music is definitely that."
In Search of Individuality
Teens are often on a quest to learn who they are. As they grow and develop, they learn things about themselves that help them define their personality, style, attitude, etc. Music is one of the factors that creates this definition.
"There are many ways that teens express themselves as individuals," says Sagarese. "There are so many different types and genres of music that it allows teens to really be different if they wish to be or to follow the crowd (so to speak) if that is where their likes lie. Whether country, folk, classical, rock or R&B, music offers lots of options for the taking."
Music "soothes the savage beast," and the same can be said for some teens. Teens use music for a variety of reasons: to have fun, study, relax, set a mood, etc. Regardless of the why and who, there is no denying that the influence of music is there – and isn't going anywhere soon.
"Music has always been here," says Gould. "From the beginning of time, someone has been playing for someone else, and that playing left an impression on the listener in some way. Don't think music influences you? Try staying upset when a hip, upbeat tune comes on the radio."