What is Fashion?

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Fashion is a style, a way of dressing that often changes in line with the latest trends. But it can be much more than just a way of looking good, it’s an expression of one’s personal identity. It can be an understated whisper or a high energy scream, but if done right it can say everything about you.

Fashion often has political and social underpinnings, and what people choose to wear can be a reflection of their beliefs or attitudes. For example, some designers have taken a stand on the environment by using sustainable materials. Fashion also has a strong link with the economy, and a downturn in an industry can affect what people want to buy.

What is interesting about the word Fashion is that it can be used as both a noun and a verb. The noun form refers to a popular or the latest style of dress, hair, decoration or behaviour, while the verb form means to shape something into a particular form.

It’s believed that the word fashion has its origins in the French word for modernite, as the nineteenth century saw a rise in democratic values and industrialization, including the development of mass-production clothing and the emergence of haute couture in Paris. Today, modern Westerners have a wide choice of clothes available to them, so what they wear is less likely to be influenced by what’s in fashion and more about expressing their own personality and character. However, when celebrities or public figures start wearing a certain style of clothing, it can influence the wider population.