Impact Of Social Media On Fashion Choices Of Young Adults

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Impact Of Social Media On Fashion Choices Of Young Adults


The research examines the impact of social media on fashion choices of young adults a case study of Wesley University of Science and Tech. (WUSTO) and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). Social media has remained a platform for interaction, communication, and buying and selling especially in this era where advertisers are targeting youth everywhere including on social media and other online platforms to facilitate online shopping and change of attitude including pattern of fashion. Survey research method was adopted in which 120 copies of questionnaires were administered and 100 were retrieved and analysed using frequency and percentage. Findings show that 98% of the respondents use social media with many of them have at least 3 to 5years experience.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Historically, fashion plays a significant role and has greatly influenced the “fabrics” of societies all over the world. What people wear often depicts the social life of the people across the world (Anyakoha, Eluwa, 2008). The quest to cover the nakedness of mankind plays a significant role in defining the original purpose and intent of dressing. Thus, dressing is not just for clothing purposes but for adornments (Schall & Appiah., 2016). Clothing can be described as something worn on the body and this includes materials such as garments, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics, and others. It is also a form of cultural expression that depicts every aspect of human life (Kiran, Malik, Riaz, 2010).

The human dress is a kind of “symbolic” way of communication and is usually the basis on which immediate impressions are formed (Uwakwe, 2010). The style of clothing that people wear, the fabrics, designs and colours can speak largely, the way an individual thinks and lives (Uwakwe, 2010). Ibrahim (2013) opined that the display of fashion designer’s products via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc. often inspire and influence changes in the clothing of the people.

Similarly, clothing choice and practices are an important human activity that constitutes the selection, acquisition and utilization of clothes. These activities are affected by social reasons, values, goals and self-concept (Wole, Ibrahim, Shehu, John, et al, 2001). The way we dress is a significant way of revealing our culture and its differences in other societies. Unfortunately, the value of dressing and its purposes have been defeated by the current generation of youths in Nigeria (Omede, 2011). Over the years, there have been trends at which fashion and dressing have changed and evolved so to say. There is a new trend in dressing among young ladies which is in vogue at the moment, especially among students of the tertiary institution. This involves dressing in provocative or see-through outfits that expose the inner parts of the female body such as bare breast, tummy or the waistline among others (Azu, 2005). Currently, dressing to expose the sacred part of the body has become a modern dressing style (Mohammed, 2015). Culture, foreign influence, institutions, peer pressure and the media are the major factors, which influence the recent trend of dressing (Mohammed, et al., 2015).

In Nigeria, for example, young girls, particularly students of tertiary institutions wish to be classy. Thus, they purchase any dress that is in vogue, these they get through social media and the social personalities they choose as role models, (Chukwudi & Gbakorun, 2011). On social media, celebrities are well-known personalities who are famous because of their achievements. According to Schlecht (2003), Celebrities are individuals who are recognized publicly by a great number of people. This recognition and achievements are usually known both locally and internationally. These celebrities and their display of fashion statements influence the dress culture of youth and the fashion industry, which is evident in specific fashion replications (La Ferla, 2009). Local and international celebrities, with a mode of dressing, which is usually that of Western wears often take pictures, record videos and published them on social media. The youth observe the celebrities closely and imitate every aspect of their social life, particularly dressing style. The youth pay attention to their advice even more than their parents, teachers and well- wishers (Norton, 2006).

Communication is a veritable instrument that helps in creating and sustaining a conducive atmosphere in any society. Michael & Michael (1978:18) define communication as: symbolic behaviour that occurs between two or more participating individuals .It has the characteristics of being a process, it is transactional in nature, and it is effective. It is purposive, goal directed behavior that can have instrumental or consumatory ends In essence, communication takes place between two or more people. It is a system of transmission of ideas which affect those concerned towards achieving a set goal or objective. It is germane and its effectiveness can be measured through the feedback. Information is an essential ingredient that makes human beings survive and interact meaningfully with one another. They communicate with one another to share, to inform, to persuade, to influence relationships, to discover and uncover information. The use of social media Web sites among today’s children and adolescents has become very rampant and trite. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, gaming sites, and blogs are frequented by the youths. Social networks are Web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, a view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system (Boyd, & Ellison, 2007).

Anderson (2009) describes social networks as the networked tools that allow people to meet, interact and share ideas, artifacts and interests with each other. Shirky, (2008) succinctly says that social networks facilitate the creation of groups and the exploration of new ways of gathering and getting things done. In the past decade, social media has redefined the world we are living in. What began as a means to communicate, maintain contact, or reconnect with old friends, has slowly but surely evolved into a crucial part of our daily lives; severely altering the way business is done. One specific area of business that has been particularly affected by the social media revolution is the fashion industry. Through the institution of social media, what was once only available to elite insiders is now accessible by the masses. For example, because of a designer’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Instagram account, those previously unconnected to high fashion can now watch live footage from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week taking place in Lagos capital City, an opportunity that was once only limited to industry insiders, celebrities, and socialites.

Before the existence of these social media outlets, sales, store traffic, and financial records were conceivably the only way to gauge consumers’ opinions. Today though, “the cliché that ‘the customer is king’ has taken on a whole new definition. Customer feedback today not only reaches the companies much faster, but can also spread out to a much broader audience through ‘friends’ of the customer commenting on social media” (Savitz). Companies are now forced to listen and pay attention to customer opinions because failure to do so could cause a demise of their reputation by means of social media slander.

This being said, there is no way to communicate that is more cost effective or time efficient than social media. In order to remain a market fixture, bricks and mortar retailers must adapt and begin utilizing social media as a cornerstone in their business structure. While the adaptation to changing technologies is vital to all types of retailers, Fashion retailers should take special notice. In some sense, fashion is a product of our environment. That is to say, trends constantly come and go and fashion is largely ever changing. From the consumer’s perspective, it is easy to see how social media could be a vehicle to expedite communication of these trends. However, from a retailer’s perspective it is vital to remain not only completely informed, but also very connected, in order to better serve customers’ needs Social media has also placed fashion designers on the spot light. It’s now easier for designers to exhibit their works online and have their numerous followers contact them via direct messages. Everything is faster now, even ordering of clothes from social media fashion retail pages.

Dress to kill has become a common phenomenon in the school of higher learning as students strive to look sexy or classy, forgetting that they ought to look responsible (Antonia and Bridget, 2015). Most Nigerian girls have dropped their traditional dressing styles for foreign styles as their dress patterns are most times against African culture (Omede, 2010). This form of dressing is provocative, according to Olori, (2003). Improper and unacceptable dress patterns are morally offensive and reveal the high rate of moral decadence in the society. Oji (2007) noted that the use of internet unscrupulously for anti-social activities other than academic activities has become a growing concern in Nigerian institutions. Universities in Nigeria are seriously struggling with incessant indecent dressing particularly among female students (Obilo and Okugo 2013). Many parents and institutions are worried about the students’ habits on Facebook and other social media sites because they believe that the students now hardly have time for their studies and other responsibilities.

We are in the age where people are constantly dressing up not just to look good but to impress. Social media is one place new looks are showed off as most people are very particular about the image they share with the public online, and unconsciously have social media in mind when shopping for a new dress African fashion style is fast becoming popular in different countries around the world. Foreigners are beginning to feel more comfortable with identifying with African outfits like the adire, iro and buba, akwete, asoeke, gele, agbada and more This has been made possible due to the fashion trends they see on social media. Also, shows like the GTBank Fashion Weekend, the Nigerian Fashion Week, etc., continue to impact greatly on fashion in Nigeria, using social media as one of its major showcase tools. Basically, any non-Nigerian who follows a Nigerian on social media knows about the popular aseobi, slay queens, Yoruba demons, and other Nigerian fashion trends. Before the social media era, there were no jobs like social media fashion influencers, social media fashion retailer, digital fashion critic, online fashion writer, etc., but today these are terms that people can relate with. Hopefully, Nigerian Fashion will continue to grow, not just on social media but everywhere fashion is mentioned.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is no secret that social media dominates many facets of life as we know it. As stated prior, in the past decade particularly, social networking has grown exponentially. To say that the industry has skyrocketed would be an understatement—it has completely revolutionized the world we live in. While there are a number of different media sites, Facebook, Twitter, and most recently Instagram and Pinterest have soared and become part of the day-to-day life for many. One could say these four sites dominate the market and embody the ideas and things one associates with “social media” in conversation. It is in view of the above that the researcher intends to investigate the impact of social media on fashion choices of young adults.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to ascertain the impact of social media on fashion choices of young adults, but to aid the completion of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective;

  1. To investigate the influence of social media on the fashion choices of undergraduate student
  2. To ascertain the effect of instagram on the fashion choices of student
  3. To evaluate the role of Facebook in modeling the fashion choices of undergraduate student
  4. To access the relationship between social media and fashion choices of undergraduate students

1.4 Research Question

The study will provide answers to the following research question

  1. Does social media have influence on the fashion choices of young adults ?
  2. Does instagram have any effect on the fashion choices of young adults ?
  3. Does Facebook play any role in modeling the fashion choices of young adults?
  4. Is there any relationship between social media and fashion choices of young adults?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher

  1. H0: social media does not influence the fashion choices of young adults in Nigeria
    H1: social media does influence the fashion choices of young adults in Nigeria
  2. H02: there is no significant relationship between social media and fashion choices of young adults in Nigeria
    H2: there is a significant relationship between social media and fashion choices of young adults in Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to undergraduate students of higher institution, as the findings will help them to take advantage of the tremendous benefit of social media, the study will also educate the fashion designers on the need to advertised their product and services on these social media outlet. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point to other researchers, finally the study will be of great importance to students, teachers, lecturers, and academia as the study will contribute to the pool of existing literature in the subject matter.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study covers the influence of social media on Nigeria young adults fashion choice using undergraduate students as a case study,

1.8 Limitation of the Study

But in the cause of the study, there were some factors which limited the scope of the study;

(a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c) Finance:

The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Social Media

Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and network


A covering or enhanced construction method to improve an object’s appearance


A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the influence of social media on fashion choices of young adults.In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of social media usage by undergraduate student.

5.2 Summary

It was observed that the popular types of social media sites mostly visited in Nigeria were typically not different from those visited in other regions across the globe by the youths. These were facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They had served and still serving as vehicles for news, information, opinion sharing, entertainment, business development, and even cultural production. But the youths also were aware of the potential dangers of these media in the society. Some scholars had found out that social networking could be a bit more effective than traditional old media of communication with respect to dressing pattern, interactivity, an advantage which some corporations can utilize in acting upon complaints almost immediately. (Faraidooi, 2011). According to Internet World Statistics 2012, Nigeria constitutes 48.4% of Internet users in Africa with 6,630,200 facebook subscribers as at 31st December, 2012. This was quite reflected that social networking had been regularly and frequently used by Nigerian youths to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions with others.

5.3 Conclusion

The purpose of this research was to explore the ways social media affects fashion consumption, specifically in an area dominated by the college-age demographic and small boutique vendors. In order to accomplish this, I performed general exploratory research regarding fashion consumption and social media usage. I used my findings to tailor interview questions to gain further understanding regarding how the two are connected through qualitative measures. Finally, I administered a survey to achieve quantitative statistics and draw significant conclusions regarding the effects of social media on fashion consumption.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that:

Social Media Sites (SMS) as veritable sources of socialization, communication, entertainment, motivation, learning opportunity and dressing pattern

Social Media Sites (SMS) can also be used for negative things such as texting, cyberbullying, sharing of obscene images, therefore the Nigerian youths should be properly guided in the way they use these media. They should equally be mindful of the fact that writing makes an exact person, therefore, they must not allow codes and abbreviations hamper the knowledge of good spelling skills expected of them in their writing skills.

Parents and guardians should as well exercise some control on what their children and wards engage in online as a form of check when they are at home

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does social media use affect body image and food choice in young adults?

Most studies (n = 17) controlled for some confounding variables (age, gender, BMI, ethnicity). Conclusions: Social media engagement or exposure to image-related content may negatively impact body image and food choice in some healthy young adults.

Does social media influence current fashion trends?

This study is an attempt to investigate the impact of social media on current fashion trends as social media is getting very much in and within the past decade a notable development has been witnessed. Businesses are using social media as a promotional tool.

How do students in the fashion industry use social media?

The fashion industry is one of the businesses where frequent changes occur and social media is the most convenient and economical mean to communicate. Based on convenience a sample of 100 respondents was selected. Results indicated that student’s fall under the age 18-24 is using social networking sites profusely.

What are the negative effects of social media on teenagers?

But frequent use of social media among teenagers and young adults has many less positive consequences. These include cyberbullying, negative self-image and body image, social media addiction, and less time spent doing healthy, real-world activities. The Effect of Social Media on Teenagers. 

Does social media influence body image?

Negative body image increases the risk of engaging in unhealthy dieting and disordered eating patterns. This review evaluated the impact of habitual social media engagement or exposure to image‐related content on body image and food choices in healthy young adults (18‐30 years).

How does social media use affect our eating habits?

Quantitative analysis (n = 26) identified social media engagement or exposure to image-related content was associated with higher body dissatisfaction, dieting/restricting food, overeating, and choosing healthy foods.

Can social media help with eating disorders?

As a result, “body image advocacy on social media can make a huge impact on individuals actively struggling with eating disorders.” Further, social media can help some users navigate the heavily stigmatized topic of body image with different support groups available across different platforms.

Should health professionals design social media campaigns for young adults?

Health professionals designing social media campaigns for young adults should consider image‐related content, to not heighten body dissatisfaction. Keywords: body image, disordered eating, self‐objectification, social comparison, social media, social networking sites

How social media is transforming the fashion industry?

“The luxury sector of the fashion industry was slow to adapt to shifts to e-commerce and social media. But the current metaverse trend of high-end house name brands like Balenciaga, D …

What impact has social media had on the fashion industry?

The most important impact that social media has had on the fashion industry is perhaps the job opportunities it has added to the field, whether that be with New York retail agencies or working with designers. Social media has become a standard part of a resume, in virtually every industry.

How does social media effects the fashion industry?

The popular social media star, dancer and influencer feels … Here’s a recent conversation with the young guy on his journey, the fashion industry and more: Sanket Mehta How did you get into …

How is the fashion industry embracing social media?

The Saint Louis Fashion Fund calculates clothing as a $3.9 billion industry locally, and hopes that doubles in the next decade. The 2019 opening of a $5 million robotic knitting factory, Evolution St. Louis, marked the return of clothing manufacturing to Washington Avenue, where factories closed in the 1950s.

How fashion industry is using social media to study trends?

The fashion Industry is using social media to study trends and anticipate fashion behaviors. It is embracing social media which has enabled it to emerge in the forefront as a phenomenon. The development of social networking website such as Face book, Twitter has created a new muse among the Factionists.

Which industries are suited to social media?

One industry which is considered to be perfectly suited and naturally fit for social media is Fashion. When we talk about social media for the fashion industry it refers to the social networking websites and other online platforms that enable the fashion industry to connect with their customers using the latest social networking technology.

How social media influencer marketing is changing the fashion industry?

Overall, social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have introduced a new and modern way of approaching the fashion industry and has shown how important it is to build a relationship with consumers by using influencers to make a brand more desirable and be something that is a necessity.

Does social media have a positive or negative impact on fashion?

However, for the most social media has had a positive impact on the fashion industry and has allowed it to progress with technology and develop with the modern times. If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows: Essay Sauce, How has social media impacted the fashion industry?.

What is the worst social media impact on teenagers?

Instagram was found to have the most negative overall effect on young people’s mental health. The popular photo sharing app negatively impacts body image and sleep, increases bullying and “FOMO” (fear of missing out), and leads to greater feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Does social media affect teens positive or negatively?

Social networks can create peer motivation, inspiring young people to try something new, follow their dreams, and speak up about things that matter to them. Teens can also find positive role models online. Hence, social media’s effect on teens might actually result in more unplugged time and increased self-care behaviors.

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