Fashion is an expression of a person’s personal tastes and preferences in the selection and wearing of clothing, footwear, and accessories. It may also include makeup, hairstyle, body piercing, and furniture. It is a cultural phenomenon that varies from society to society and across time and space, as determined by social class, age, generation, occupation, and geography.
In modern Western society, people have a great many choices in the types of clothes they can purchase and wear. What a person chooses to wear can reflect their personality and interests, or they may follow trends inspired by celebrities or other influential people.
The term “fashion” can also be used to describe the latest creations of textile designers, and it is often a synonym for costume, which is used for more special purposes. The word is related to the French verb faire, meaning “to make,” and can be traced back to the 16th century when cloth was woven on looms in order to create costumes for masquerades and other forms of entertainment.
Clothes reveal a lot about who we are as individuals, but they can also be a source of social anxiety and stereotypes. For example, a boy with green hair and multiple piercings might look very strange to a businessman, while a skater or prep might be seen as a rebel and outsider by that same businessman.
There are a large number of styles designated as “in fashion” at any given time. Usually these are the latest or most popular styles, though some fashions cyclically come and go and stay “in fashion” for periods of time.
Styles change from year to year, and the colors and patterns of textiles also do so. However, the cut of a gentleman’s coat, his waistcoat, or his lady’s dress tends to remain the same over time.
Fashion can be influenced by events, such as a new discovery of exotic, lesser-known parts of the world or by social movements. For instance, in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was common to favor Turkish, Chinese, or Japanese goods and styles at one point in history, or to adopt a Japanese style of dress at another.
This is why it’s a good idea to be cautious about buying clothes that are too trendy. Ideally, you should try on a few pieces before making a purchase to see how they fit and whether or not they will hold up after several washings.
You can also get an idea of what’s trendy by watching the collections in Paris, London, New York, and Milan. These shows typically set the stage for upcoming trends about a year in advance.
Having your own sense of style is important for building self-esteem and confidence, which will enable you to feel comfortable in your own skin. This is the most fundamental principle of fashion: to identify yourself through your clothes and express yourself in the way you want.
The world of fashion is a big, global industry that is fueled by advertising and a number of other media outlets. It is a highly competitive industry, with competition between designers, manufacturers, and retailers for the attention of shoppers.