Fashion is the prevailing style of clothing and other accessories worn at any given time by people of a society. It is a multibillion-dollar global industry that includes the design, production and marketing of clothes and related products. There is a distinction between so-called high fashion designed by famous couturiers and mass market styles. It is also considered a form of self-expression and the way people present their personal image. Fashions change over time and largely depend on the socio-economic status of the wearer.
The word ‘fashion’ has many connotations and it is a subject of wide-ranging debate and speculation. It can mean the latest trend that everyone is following, the way a person dresses up or the style of hair and makeup they use. It can also be a socially stratified way of dressing that separates the rich from the poor by their choice of clothes.
There is also the notion of gendered fashions – women wearing men’s clothing, for example, which is called cross-dressing. This kind of clothing is regarded as unfeminine by some and overly masculine by others. It is also the case that some types of clothing are more comfortable for certain groups of people, so they choose to wear them even if they are not fashionable.
The way someone dresses can have a huge impact on their life and career. The clothes they wear give a first impression of them to their parents, employers, friends and colleagues. Some fashions are fads that quickly go out of style and other trends take a long time to establish themselves. It is therefore important for the person choosing what to wear to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options.