Fashion is a general term for prevailing style in manners, customs and dress. It also encompasses an attitude toward life and a sense of personal expression. Fashion is a constant state of flux, driven by the desire for novelty and change. The emergence of new trends is dependent on social, economic and cultural influences. Fashion reflects the moods of people in their daily lives and is influenced by global events, such as wars, political movements and social changes.
Clothes can reveal many things about a person, including their age, gender, race and social class. Historically, special garments were worn to signify social distance, such as the garments of Roman senators dyed with Tyrian purple and those of Hawaiian high-ranking individuals wearing feather cloaks or carved whale teeth. Today, fashion is a massive industry with a variety of sub-sectors such as clothing, footwear and accessories, which all display a certain style.
It is very hard to pinpoint exactly when a trend becomes “in fashion” and when it is destined to become “out of fashion.” The styles of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example, could be said to have reverted back into style at different times. New discoveries in exotic regions of the world have sometimes triggered change, such as when Europe began to favor Turkic and Chinese styles in place of earlier Western designs.
Fashion can also be determined by public taste, which is reflected in the media and by popular culture. Musical artists, movie stars and other celebrities often set trends. People who follow these trends are called “fashionistas.” Fashion has become a massive business in which large conglomerates control production, marketing and distribution of clothing and accessories.