“Second adopters, in turn, reduce the risks of the look for those with less commitment to a particular meaning. (Later adopters may also drop some of a style’s more extreme or costly elements, creating neater dreadlocks or eliminating gargoyles.) Over time, as more and more people embrace the style, the cost of using it falls, while the pleasurable benefits remain. Remnants of the original symbolisms may survive, creating confusion in some cases, adding value in others, but meaning becomes primarily personal and particular.”
The Substance of Style; How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is Remaking Commerce, Culture & Consciousness. Virginia Postrel.