The obvious self-satisfaction of the individual with his own form stimulates imitation and gradually produces the form of the many—that is, fashion. Through fashion, the many strive towards and even achieve that very same comforting self-satisfaction with their form.—When you consider how many reasons each person has for anxiety and timid self-concealment, and how three-quarters of his energy and goodwill can be paralyzed and rendered fruitless by these reasons, you have to be very grateful to fashion to the extent that it sets that three-quarters free and communicates self-confidence and a mutual and cheerful cooperation to those who realize that they are all bound by its law. Even foolish laws confer freedom and emotional tranquility so long as enough people submit to them.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 468, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Mixed Opinions and Maxims, aphorism 130, "The Origin and Utility of Fashion," (1879).