What Is Fashion?


Fashion is the prevailing style, or manner of dress in a particular culture, period or region. It can also be seen as a way of life and is influenced by cultural, economic and social factors. It is considered a type of art that expresses individuality. Fashion is not limited to clothing; it can encompass a person’s hairstyle, makeup, and other personal aesthetic choices.

The origin of continuous and accelerating changes in Western fashions can be traced back to late medieval times. These developments can be credited to a combination of factors including the increasing availability of raw materials and the rise of mercantile and capitalistic economies.

Changing fashions are often based on popular culture. Musicians and actors influence what people wear, for example, bare midriffs in the 1970s and baggy pants in the 1980s were inspired by popular sitcoms. Similarly, the styles of politicians and royalty can influence what is worn.

A great deal of fashion is also based on what sells. Companies produce clothes that people are more likely to buy, so they can maximize profits. Many consumers enjoy the variety of changing fashions; however, some feel that this fast-paced industry promotes waste and encourages consumption of products that are not essential.

The process of developing a personal style can be fun and rewarding. A stylist can help you to discover your signature look and how it can be applied to your wardrobe. If you have curves, you will be most flattering in clothing that flows and hugs your body shape. Straighter bodies are enhanced by a more tailored, structured style.