Erin Wilson

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Not Listed

Honors Reader

Not Listed

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Arts Management | Marketing


The purpose of this thesis is to answer the research question, does living in a more fashion-forward culture divergent from one’s own for an extended period of time cause that individual to emulate the style of dress of the divergent, more avant-garde culture? More specifically, this thesis embodies a review of literature that delves into two topical areas, sociology of dress and the history of London as a fashion capital to decipher if these areas under review can explain the transformation observed.

The primary research design was the use of descriptive research in the form of a self-administered, convenience, non-probability survey. The respondents were female students between the ages of 18 and 21 years old studying abroad inLondon,Englandfor the spring semester at the London College of Fashion.

Through analysis of the research conducted, it was found that 56.9% of those surveyed changed their style of dress after studying abroad in Londonfor three to four months, while 43.1% didn’t change at all. The data collected and analyzed indicates that 86.2% of those surveyed perceived their style of dress to be more avant-garde or \British at the completion of their semester abroad.

Conclusively, the majority of subjects who answered the research questions changed their style of dress. Scrutiny of the data also determined that the number of subjects who changed their style of dress compared to those whose did not equated to 13.7% more subjects proving that being in an avant-garde culture different from America has a considerable impact on style of dress.

Based on the research and the review of literature conducted by the author there are numerous theoretical reasons for the subjects’ drastic change in style of dress. One reason involves the role, the environment and in turn conformity plays in an individual’s style of dress and self perception. Another delves into the idea of self-monitoring in relation to ones’ self-confidence. Alternatively, the significance and rigidity of social class historically and its effect on dress in Americacompared to that of Great Britaincould have contributed to the shift in style of dress. Lastly, the fashionable image and the history of Londonand New Yorkas fashion capitals could have strongly impacted the dress and self-perception of the students surveyed. However, all of these plausible reasons require further research and added detail to the survey conducted to prove if they, in fact contributed to the drastic transformation in dress under discussion.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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