Fashion is a societal phenomenon involving a prevailing style of dress, grooming, and lifestyle. This style is usually dictated by popular culture, and it can be found in everything from music to television shows to hair styles. It is also a form of self-expression, as people use their clothing to communicate who they are and what they think about the world around them.
The earliest fashion trends can be traced back to late medieval times. It is believed that the first fashion was a sudden and dramatic shortening of over-garments in men’s wear, accompanied by tightening of the chest – known as “coifs”. This lasted for about a century until it was replaced by the long-lined and fitted shirt which is now the foundation of modern western dress.
Throughout history, fashion has been used to distinguish people into groups. For example, certain types of clothes – particularly designer specific handbags footwear and jewellery and accessories – are often seen as status symbols. Some styles of dress are gendered, and deviations from these – such as wearing women’s clothes by males or vice versa – can be seen as socially inappropriate.
The popularity of a particular fashion can be determined by its status as a trendsetting icon or by how easily the new look is copied by others. This can be accomplished via the traditional methods of word-of-mouth and through media coverage (such as newspapers, magazines, television shows, or fashion blogs). Fashion can also change rapidly, with designers often creating a line of clothing, and then producing it in mass quantities to lower the cost to consumers.