What Is Fashion?

Fashion is a multifaceted term that refers to the creation of clothing, footwear, accessories and cosmetics that depict distinctive styles of dressing as signifiers of social status, self-expression and group belonging. It also suggests a style of life that is often reflected in the media, music and art. Fashion is often a trend that is followed by many, but it can also be created by individuals who create their own distinct styles.

Fashions have always been subject to change. They can be created by the emergence of new technologies, the discovery of new materials or simply because they become popular with people to whom they appeal. They can also be created by the reaction of people to events, whether a political coup or the death of a celebrity.

The most visible of these changes are in the clothes that people wear, but they can also affect hairstyles, makeup and even jewelry. They can also be influenced by the way in which movies and music are made. For example, the roaring 20s influenced women to dress in more extravagant and elaborate fashions.

Because it is so closely associated with social status, fashions can be a signal to other members of a community that one has wealth and power. Keeping up with the latest fashions can make it easy to spot prospective business partners or potential romantic interests, especially if those trends are adopted by a group with high cultural status.

However, fashion can be a victim of its own popularity: once a style becomes commonplace and worn by everyone, it loses its cachet and is quickly “out of fashion.” In addition, fashions can change rapidly due to the impact of the media (e.g., a new movie star wearing an outfit that quickly becomes the new standard for beauty).

People have always been interested in seeing what others are wearing. In the past, people pored over magazines and newspapers to see what was in style. Today, fashion blogs and internet stores are a major part of the industry. They can help individuals keep up with the latest trends and find the right clothes to fit their own tastes. In addition, some large fashion houses have established their own websites to show off their products and advertise directly to consumers. Others have set up a network of small, independent fashion stores to sell their products.