slave to fashion: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘slave to fashion’ mean?

The idiom "slave to fashion" means someone who is excessively or unquestioningly devoted to following the latest trends in clothing and style.

Idiom Explorer

Sartorial Servitude

The idiomatic expression "slave to fashion" is a phrase commonly used to describe individuals who are excessively influenced by the latest trends and styles in clothing and appearance. It is often used with a negative connotation, implying that the person in question has surrendered their autonomy and critical thinking, choosing to blindly follow what is considered fashionable rather than making independent choices based on personal preferences or practicality.

The word "slave" in this idiom emphasizes the idea of being under the control or power of fashion, similar to being enslaved to a master. It underscores the notion that the individual has become so enamored with fashion that they have lost sight of their own identity and values. The idiom specifically refers to clothing trends and general aesthetic preferences, including accessories, hairstyles, and other elements related to personal appearance.

The idiom "slave to fashion" encapsulates the negative consequences of unquestioningly conforming to societal expectations in relation to style. Those who are considered "slaves to fashion" prioritize fitting in with their peers and adhering to current trends over their own individuality and personal comfort. They are so consumed by the desire to keep up with the latest fashion fads that they may sacrifice their own judgment and financial stability in the pursuit of fleeting trends.

Fashion obsession fuels the latest clothing trends.

One related idiom is "fashion plate," which refers to someone who is always impeccably dressed and serves as a source of fashion inspiration for others. These individuals are seen as trendsetters who have a keen eye for style and are always up-to-date with the latest fashion trends. They serve as a benchmark for others to emulate in terms of impeccable dressing and fashion-forward choices. However, unlike those who are "slaves to fashion," fashion plates are seen as influential figures who are able to discern and selectively adopt fashion trends without being blindly influenced by them.

Another idiom associated with the concept of being a "slave to fashion" is "dressed to the nines." This phrase describes someone who is dressed in a manner that is considered exceptionally stylish or elegant. It implies that the person has put a great deal of effort and attention into their appearance, ensuring that every aspect of their outfit is well-coordinated and fashionable. While being "dressed to the nines" may be seen as a positive attribute, it can also signify an obsession with achieving visual perfection and conforming to societal standards of beauty and style.

Similarly, the idiom "fashionably late" is relevant to the concept of being a "slave to fashion." This phrase refers to the practice of intentionally arriving late to social events or gatherings in order to make a fashionable entrance. It suggests that the individual places a high value on appearances and seeks to create an impression of importance or significance by arriving after others. Being "fashionably late" may be seen as a way of asserting one's social status or belonging to an elite group, but it also reflects a certain level of superficiality and a preoccupation with external validation.

Lastly, the idiom "dress to kill" relates to the idea of being a "slave to fashion" by highlighting the desire to make a striking and powerful impression through one's attire. It suggests that the person dresses in a manner that is intended to turn heads and attract attention, often adopting bold and provocative fashion choices. While this idiom can be seen as embodying confidence and a strong sense of personal style, it can also reflect a hyperfocus on outer appearances and a willingness to prioritize attention-seeking over individuality and comfort.

Overall, the idiom "slave to fashion" serves as a critique of individuals who are excessively influenced by current fashion trends, prioritizing conformity over personal expression and independent thought. It sparks conversations about personal identity, societal pressures, and the impact of popular culture. As we navigate the complexities of fashion and style, it is essential to strike a balance between embracing trends and maintaining authenticity, while recognizing the potential consequences of mindlessly conforming to fleeting fads.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom slave to fashion can be used in a sentence are:

  • She is a slave to fashion and always follows the latest trends.
  • He spends most of his paycheck on designer clothing, truly a slave to fashion.
  • Even when she doesn't find a particular style flattering, she still wears it because she is a slave to fashion.

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