What Is Fashion?


Fashion is a rich, complex system of signs that communicates a wide range of personal, cultural and social meanings. Different elements of clothing, including style, color, pattern and materials, can symbolise personal identity, social status, cultural norms and values, historical and political context, gender roles, mood and emotion, group membership, seasonal changes, lifestyle and milestones, fantasy and imagination. Fashion can also be a form of self-expression or a way to experiment with and express one’s unique personality and style.

Fashion trends are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with them all. However, knowing what is currently “in” can help you stay on top of your game and look fashionable at all times. Trends can be as simple as a new pair of shoes or as extravagant as a designer gown. Regardless of the trend, it is important to remember that fashion is an expression of your personal taste and should always be done in your own way.

The word “fashion” is derived from the Latin word for fit, and it refers to an ever-changing mode of dressing, behaving, writing or performing that is favored at a given time. Early Western travellers[when?] to India, Persia, Turkey or China remarked on the lack of change in the fashion of local dress. The English word fashion is also closely related to the French words mode, vogue and fad. Vogue and fad suggest the usage accepted by those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated, while mode implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste.