The Importance of Fashion

Fashion is a way of expressing one’s style and creativity. It’s more than just a trend, it is fulfilling, mood-boosting and imperative for self-esteem. Fashion has evolved over the centuries to respond to cultural changes and it influences how people dress and perceive themselves.

While some fashion trends may be based on personal preference and desire, many are created by the fashion industry in response to societal or economic changes. While the opportunity to express creativity is a positive aspect of changing fashions, the tendency of business people to promote these trends for profit, exploiting and encouraging materialistic consumerism can be detrimental to society.

A fashion is a distinctive and often changing style of clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and accessories. It can also refer to a particular period in time, such as the 1970s (“long hair, no cares”) or the 1990s (“grunge, hip-hop”). Fashions may vary by age group, social class, generation, occupation, and geography. Fashions can also be influenced by current events and by the media.

For a fashion to be considered a trend, it must be adopted and followed by a significant number of individuals within a culture. This can happen through direct contact (such as when a celebrity wears a new outfit and is immediately copied by his or her fans) or indirectly, such as when a particular style becomes popular through music or film and then is incorporated into mainstream culture.

Depending on the situation, a fashion can also be a means of social control. For example, judges and members of the military typically wear uniforms. People who choose to eschew or disregard a fashion can be perceived as rebellious, eccentric, or outsiders. Some people follow fashions consciously, while others merely mirror the clothing worn by their friends and families.

While there are fashions in furniture, automobiles and other objects, the most visible and influential of these is clothing. Almost everyone wears clothes, and fashion influences the way we dress, from the fabric to the color palette. Those who design clothes—whether they are haute couture designers or people working in department stores—are aware of the importance of the trends they create.

There is also a strong link between fashion and identity. For instance, wearing a certain type of clothing can signal that someone is gay, is a member of the military, or is a fashionable teenager. Similarly, some types of clothing are gendered: a male wearing women’s clothing is a clear sign that he is attempting to be feminine. This can have political implications, for example, in nineteenth century England laws prohibited men from wearing dresses. In more modern times, it has become common to dress in a gender-neutral style, which is often considered fashionable. This has helped to blur the boundaries between the sexes and increase equality in the workplace. In addition, the ability to mix and match clothing in order to make a statement has become increasingly common. Moreover, the fashion industry is very much driven by pop culture.