What is Fashion?

Fashion is a term that refers to a style of clothing. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, covering everything from haute couture and custom designed clothing to street wear and the mass production of standardised sizes and designs. It reflects cultural and social trends and is often influenced by political, economic and environmental factors.

Changes in fashion often occur rapidly, with new trends developing and old ones fading away quickly. Fashion can also be used as a tool for social engineering, with some groups embracing certain styles to create stereotypes and distance between others (such as goths, skaters or preps).

Ultimately, fashion is about expressing one’s own style, and while it may seem trivial, it plays an important role in society. The influence of the fashion industry can be seen in everything from music to art, with some forms of expression becoming popular through this channel and then being adopted by mainstream culture.

Some people find the changing nature of fashion frustrating, arguing that it is a form of superficiality or even materialism. Others enjoy the variety and the ability to express themselves creatively through their choice of clothing. Many fashion trends repeat themselves over time, with some styles disappearing then reappearing in a different form. For example, bell-bottom jeans disappeared as they were replaced with the baggy styles of the 1980s, but have now made a comeback in the form of high-fashion designer jeans. However, some critics of the fashion industry have argued that the fast pace of changes in fashion often reflects the speed of consumer capitalism and encourages wasteful spending.