What Is Fashion?

Fashion is a global industry that includes designers, manufacturers, and retailers of clothing, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics. It encompasses a wide range of aesthetic choices, from the highly stylized runway looks seen on high-fashion magazines to the more casual everyday wear. Fashion is not just about style, however; it also reflects culture, social status, and personal choice. It is often used to express one’s mood or individuality, and can serve as a form of self-expression or a way to fit in with the crowd.

There are many theories regarding the ebb and flow of popular fashion trends. The trickle-down theory, for example, suggests that people of higher socioeconomic status set the fashion trends, which are then followed by those with lower statuses. Other theories point to cultural influences from around the world, with different styles coming and going as they evolve and change.

To be considered fashionable, a style must be adopted by multiple individuals and exhibited in a collective behavior. This is why it is so difficult to pinpoint exactly when a particular trend becomes “fashionable.” It can be hard for consumers to understand what makes something fashionable or not, since most styles will reappear in a new incarnation – just think back to the baggy jeans of the 1980s or the qipao adorned with stand collars, trumpet sleeves, and short side slits that came into fashion in the 1920s.

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