What Is Fashion?


Fashion is a cultural phenomenon that encompasses a wide range of styles and aesthetics. The term is generally used to describe the creation of clothing, footwear and accessories, but can also refer to the way in which these items are worn or the social meanings associated with them. The way in which we dress is a reflection of our identity and culture. It is an ever-changing language of style, with trends and fads that can change dramatically in short periods of time.

People can dress for many reasons: to show status, to fit in, or to express their individuality. A person’s choice of clothes can reflect their attitudes or beliefs; for example, the miniskirt became a symbol of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, while cassocks and nuns’ robes are traditional attire for judges and other people in positions of authority. Clothes may be designed to evoke specific emotions or moods, such as sexiness or prudishness.

Fashion is widely influenced by popular culture, including music, movies and television shows. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that includes designers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers. It is a global business, with clothing often designed in one country, made in another and sold in the United States or Europe. Changing demographics, economic factors and technological advances are driving new fashion trends. Fashion can also be viewed as a form of art, with designers creating pieces that incorporate elements of nature and culture, or that reference historical events or social movements.