What Is Fashion?


Fashion is a term that has been used to describe the prevailing mode of expression, whether it be clothing, behaviour or other culturally defined customs. The concept of fashion is characterized by change.

To be considered as a fashion, a style must be adopted by and embraced by multiple individuals in a group. It also implies that there is an element of conformity. A popular fad, for example, is not necessarily fashion; it could be an isolated trend that doesn’t fit into the larger culture.

Generally speaking, fashion is based on current taste and reflects social values, beliefs and attitudes. It is often a form of self-expression and can also act as a way to communicate status, wealth or belonging to a particular social group. High-end designer brands, expensive materials and unique pieces are commonly seen as symbols of status and prestige while casual, alternative styles may signal a desire for nonconformity.

In the context of clothes, a garment must be designed and produced for it to be considered as fashion. In order to create a new style, designers will typically work from existing patterns or samples. They will also take into consideration the fabric, texture and colour as well as the intended function of the piece. Lastly, the design will go through a process known as “finishing”. This includes stitching and seams, adding decorative elements (embroidery, beading, etc), buttonholes, snaps and buttons, and hemming. A label will then be added indicating fibre content, laundering instructions and country of manufacture (if different).

The word ‘fashion’ comes from the Latin verb meaning to shape or model. It refers to a way of doing something and was first used in the 17th Century to describe an artistic or aesthetic style that is temporary. It is a concept that combines creativity, taste and social norms to produce a new look that is deemed desirable for a period of time.

Fashion is such an influential aspect of human society that whole magazines are dedicated to it, TV shows dedicate hours of transmission time to discussing the latest trends and people constantly discuss the topic among themselves. The ever-changing nature of fashion and the powerful hold it has on humans has led to numerous theories that attempt to explain how and why trends occur. The trickle-down theory, for example, argues that individuals of higher socioeconomic status set the trends that others follow. Then, these trends become progressively more commonplace until they finally reach the lower socioeconomic groups. In addition, fashion can also reflect historical and political events and can act as a form of social activism or protest. Consequently, it is important to understand the symbolic meaning behind a fashion when writing an article about it. This is a key element that helps readers identify with the writer and better connect with the subject matter. The more the reader can identify with and relate to an article the more likely they are to share it.