Social and Psychological Aspects

Exploring the Prime Aesthetic Across Generational Cohorts

  • Jeremy M . Bernardoni orcid logo (University of North Texas)
  • Mary Ruppert-Stroescu (Washington University in St. Louis)


      The purpose of this research was to explore the influence of generational cohort membership on Aesthetic Dress Preferences (ADP) during the sensitive period of emerging adulthood, within the Prime Aesthetic theoretical framework. Applying a qualitative approach, 30 semi-structured interviews were conducted on U.S. female participants, born between 1924 and 1992. Participants were divide into two cohorts: modern (born in or before 1945) and postmodern (born in or after 1946).

     Data, analyzed using the constant comparison method, revealed six themes illustrative of the generational impact on the Prime Aesthetic: identity formation and the Prime Aesthetic, body image, consistencies and inconsistencies of ADP over time, conformity and cultural/societal trends on the Prime Aesthetic, shopping habits and sustainability, and the influence of career. Key findings include the crucial role of fashion in identity expression and the consistent influence of the Prime Aesthetic over time. Differences emerged between cohorts in terms of societal conformity, attitudes towards shopping modalities, and sustainability.

Keywords: Aesthetic Science, Generational Cohorts, Emerging Adulthood, Dress Preferences

How to Cite:

Bernardoni, J. M. & Ruppert-Stroescu, M., (2024) “Exploring the Prime Aesthetic Across Generational Cohorts”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi:



Published on
24 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed