An analytical study on the influence of western celebrities' dressing styles on the dress code of students at Makerere University.
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The purpose of this report was to analyze the influence of western celebrities’ dressing styles on the dress code of students at Makerere University. The report examined the impact of copying these dressing styles in relationship to morals of the students and to find out possible solutions. Purposive sampling was employed to target fashion students and other students with interest in fashion and all were full time undergraduate students from Makerere University. Respondents were preferred according to sex (male or female) and age (below and above 20) since members of a given sex respond differently to fashion, and age facilitated experience plus time of exposure of the respondents. (More information discovered in chapter two). A total sample size of 30 students who were selected were 20 to 25 years of age and they did one of the following courses; a bachelor of Industrial and fine Art, bachelor of Commerce, bachelor of Agriculture and Rural Innovation, electrical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, education or law. All respondents were single. The study used a descriptive research design with help of a mixed research approach that was more qualitative than quantitative. Interviews with a questionnaire containing a maximum of 10 similar questions were organized to collect data from respondents. Ethnography was also instrumental to further understand and relate with the respondents. The questionnaire used during the interviews had questions that captured; general information (name, age, sex, marital status, course and year of study), open ended questions (what criteria do you use when selecting what to wear everyday?, which celebrities influence your dress code?, what challenges do you face when adopting to your favorite western celebrities’ dressing styles?, comment on the impact of copying of the western celebrities dressing styles in relationship to the moral degeneration of Makerere University students, what solutions could you suggest to reduce on the moral decay resulting copying of western celebrities’ dressing styles by Makerere students). Results from the data collected using the mixed research method indicated that most students’ dress codes were influenced by western celebrities’ dressing styles. These celebrities included to mention but a few; Jay Z, Beyonce, Harry Styles, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Idris Alba, Bradley Cooper… Results revealed that most of the dressing styles of these western celebrities is observed from media especially social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok where students were able to copy and even mimic their favorite celebrities. Even though color was a great determinant on what to wear, respondents spelled out how compelling these celebrities fashion visuals over internet were very compelling and that they faced several challenges trying to look like their favorite celebrities. some of the challenges were; costs involved as most of these stylish outfits are very pricey, customized designs were also very difficult to make by most Ugandan tailors, negativity associated with the clothes as most of them revealed a lot of skin, low self-esteem and more. Results showed that copying was on the rise due to need to follow the latest trends and was also highly associated with moral degeneration however some respondents specified that moral decay also depended on which western celebrity’s dressing style was being copied take for example Nicki Minaj vs Selena Gomez specifying the latter being a lot decent. On the other hand, results showed that copying of the western celebrities dressing styles has also positively impacted students at Makerere university by exposing them to the latest trends, improving the way they appear, enhancing their confidence and more. Results confirm that Makerere university students dress code is highly influenced by western celebrities’ dressing styles that are consumed mainly through social media and for students to achieve these looks, they pay quite handsomely yet again most of these styles come with a lot of negative impacts that affect morals and culture. Cultural galas were highly recommended to remind students of their true identity. Other recommendations were; Fashion design challenges with prizes to motivate students to even get more creative, keep originality and avoid copying. A platform should be given to art students to be able to expose their original fashion creations on national media. Findings also reveal dire need for fashion sensitization programs and also need to link students to already established fashion resources. African fashion documentaries, journals, podcasts and other talk shows would also be instrumental.