What Is Fashion and How Does It Affect Culture?


Fashion is a multibillion-dollar global industry that encompasses clothing, accessories and footwear. It also includes the way people wear and carry themselves, such as their hairstyles, make-up and facial expressions. Fashion is constantly changing and influenced by new trends, technologies, and social changes.

The term fashion is often used synonymously with style, but there are distinct differences between the two. A style is a general look or approach to dressing that can be applied to many types of clothes and can include different trimmings, textures and decorations. In contrast, a fashion is the overall trend or style that is popular at any given time.

There are many ways that fashion is influenced, including by the media and celebrity endorsements. Celebrities often set the trends and are considered “fashion icons.” They can influence what people think is fashionable by what they wear, which can have a profound impact on culture. A person’s sense of style is often a reflection of their personality, beliefs and values. People often experiment with different styles in their lives and can go through a number of “style phases” before they find what best suits them. This is particularly common during adolescence when people are trying to figure out who they are and what their place is in the world.

In the past, most clothing was handmade for individual customers by dressmakers and tailors. This changed with the advent of industrialization, which allowed clothing to be mass-produced and sold at fixed prices. Today, there are many people in the fashion business who are considered “fashion designers” and who design for specific brands or companies. They may also work in other areas of the fashion business, such as marketing or retailing.

Some theories of fashion are based on the idea that people of higher socioeconomic status set the trends and lower-status people follow them. This is known as the “trickle-down” theory of fashion (Simmel, 1904).

Other theories of fashion are based on the idea of gatekeepers, who are individuals with great influence over the aesthetics, styles and fashions that appear in communities or cultures. These individuals are sometimes called “fashion critics” and can be influential in the success or failure of a fashion. They can influence what is considered hip or stylish, and they can also help define the boundaries of what is unacceptable in a society. This is why some fashions seem to be recycled – for example, the miniskirt became fashionable in the 1960s after it was worn by women who were protesting against sexism and discrimination. The same could be said for the baggy pants that were worn by hip-hop artists in the 1990s and again in the early 2000’s. Other fashions are more ephemeral, such as the glitter eyeshadow of the 1990s that quickly went out of style.