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).


Celebrities seen on television and other relevant social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook are all powerful tools for communicating dressing and clothing styles to students (Kiran, Malik, Riaz, 2010). The act of copying celebrity’s dressing style evolving among students often leads to over-exposure of the inner body and this has implications such as rape, sexual harassment, being tagged as prostitutes, molestation and poor academic performance and other vices (Folagbade, 2009). The causes of indecent dressing among female students can be traced to several forces such as fashion, value system, civilization and infiltration of Western dresses, the effect of the media, peer pressure, family orientation and poor parentage (Omede & Odiba, 2000).


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.


It is on this premise that this research intends to examine the influence of social media on dressing patterns among female undergraduate students at the University of Ilorin. Studies have been conducted on related issues; nonetheless, not much empirical work has yet addressed the issue thoroughly.

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