What Is Fashion?


Fashion is a prevailing mode of expression that manifests itself in clothing, hairstyles, decoration and even behaviour. Changes in fashion are usually influenced by societal change and the financial interests of fashion designers and manufacturers. However, research shows that there are other internal taste mechanisms that influence changes in fashion even without these external influences.

What is considered fashionable can be as simple as a certain color or the style of a dress to something as complex as a lifestyle or an idea. As long as it is followed by a significant proportion of the population and is perceived to be socially appropriate, then it can be considered a fashion.

The earliest appearance of the term “fashion” dates back to the late medieval times when European clothing styles began changing at an accelerating pace. Historians have also identified a number of key events that led to this rapid and continuous change in clothing trends. The first fashions were largely related to textiles, but later on, they became more closely associated with specific periods in history and with the general social and political climate.

While some fashions are designed specifically for an individual (such as haute couture or bespoke tailoring), most clothes are geared towards the mass market. As such, they are often inspired by societal changes, social movements and events, as well as by music, art and books. Some styles are easily traceable, such as the bare mid-riffs and baggy pants of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air or the oversized shirts worn by the hip-hop generation, but many others are nearly impossible to pin down: it is hard to tell how a style makes the leap from a teenager wearing denim cutoffs in the streets of London to the runways of Paris.

Fashions have also been used as a way to show solidarity with other people or to demonstrate a particular culture. For example, Roman senators wore garments dyed with Tyrian purple and Hawaiian high-ranking officials wore feather cloaks and carved whale teeth.

Modern Westerners have a wide choice of clothes available to them, and as a result, it is unlikely that they will ever wear the same thing as someone else. That said, when celebrities or other people in the public eye start wearing new or different clothes, other people often follow suit and a new fashion develops.

The multifaceted nature of fashion makes it a powerful tool that has the potential to positively impact individuals, society, and the economy. Its ability to shape identities, inspire creativity, and promote self-expression helps people find their true essence and boost confidence. The industry’s commitment to sustainability encourages eco-friendly practices and fosters an attitude of responsibility toward the planet. In this way, fashion can play a role in the global conversation around important issues, empowering individuals to become agents of change and contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate world.