In search of a common thread revisited: What content does fashion communicate?

Sharron J. Lennon, Kim K.P. Johnson, Mijeong Noh, Zhiying Zheng, Yoori Chae, Yumin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Fashion is the way we wear our clothes, adorn our bodies, and train our bodies to move [Craik (1994). The face of fashion: Cultural studies in fashion. New York, NY: Routledge]. To assess the state of knowledge about the communicative nature of fashion, the goal of this research was to conduct a content analysis of research published after 1986, identifying fashion's effect on perceptions. Articles for analysis (N=115) were identified from online database searches. Coding categories developed by Burns and Lennon [1993. The effect of clothing on the use of person information categories in first impressions. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 12(1), 9-15] and Damhorst [1990. In search of a common thread: Classification of information communicated through dress. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 8(2), 1-12] were used to code dependent variables. Results found that information communicated by fashion was related to potency (35.3%), evaluation (32.1%), physiological and biological traits (11.8%), demographic characteristics (8.3%), miscellaneous (5.3%), dynamism (5.7%), and quality of thought (1.5%). To further analyse information communicated by fashion, we recommend more research on effective coding taxonomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-178
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 25 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor and Francis.


  • Communication
  • Dependent variable
  • Fashion
  • Person perception
  • Research trends


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