Force of Fashion.
In his 1928 study Economics of Fashion Columbia University marketing professor Paul H. Nystrom declared, "Fashion is one of the greatest forces in present-day life. It pervades every field and reaches every class.… It has always been a factor in human life but never more forceful, never more influential and never wider in scope than in the last decade, and it gives every indication of growing still more important." For Nystrom fashion included men's and women's clothing, of course, but also their cosmetic and hygiene products, their automobiles, and their household appliances and furnishings. Fashion, Nystrom said, was more than an expression of individual taste; it was instead a statement of group membership, of involvement in the currents of one's time. "To be out of fashion," he wrote, "is, indeed, to be out of the world."
At no time before the 1920s had fashion been so widely disseminated. During the decade technology vastly improved communication and thus began an actual uniting of the United States. By 1925 about 50 million Americans had access to radios, and smaller but still significant numbers regularly attended movies. Both radio and movies helped spread the word about what people were wearing and driving and how they were decorating their homes or designing their public buildings....
(The entire section is 1217 words.)
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