The Term Fashion – What it Really Means


The Term Fashion – What it Really Means

Fashion is a kind of self-direction and autonomy in a certain time and context, both in terms of clothes, footwear, life, cosmetics, hairstyle, body posture, and style. The word also implies a style defined by the fashion industry with what is currently trending. So, in one way, it also denotes the current state of our cultural evolution. Yet, the meaning of fashion changes often and radically. Just like everything else in our world, fashion is forever changing and evolving.

In this column, I would like to give you an idea of some of the major transformations of fashion trends. One of the most significant transformations has been the move from wearing clothing to wearing clothing designed for the purpose of style. This shift began roughly during the First World War. Fashion designers started to experiment with new materials, colors, and prints. The results were impressive and this paved the way for the modern design concepts we know today.

The next major transformation was the movement away from using gaudy or very loud colors and prints in clothing. The use of such loud colors and prints were considered to be a nuisance. The “No Print” concept came into fashion and soon clothing designers could freely express themselves without being forced into a dress with sleeves, buttons, or cuffs. The term fashion became associated with unique, individual fashion instead of dressing that was dictated by the demands of the masses.

The third transformation is the extension of the concept of fashion to include the elements of style. The days of clothes that simply accentuated the person wearing them have come and gone. People’s attitudes towards clothing and the kinds of people they are attracted to have also changed tremendously over time. People used to be more interested in what kind of clothes other people wore. Those days are gone, although there are still some who adhere to this narrow mindedness. However, today people are more concerned about how clothes will fit them and how they look in them than whether or not they are fashionable.

Another important aspect of the subject of fashion is influenced by money. Some cultures value certain types of clothing more than others. In developed countries, for example, women tend to wear dresses that are more expensive and fashionable as a symbol of wealth. In less developed countries, the opposite is more common. Thus, when we speak of the term fashion, we usually envision stylish or trendy clothing that is associated with higher income levels.

Dressing trends also depend on social class. Different fashions may be appropriate for different social classes. Rich businessmen and women wear high end and expensive fashions to signify status. Those who belong to the lower tiers of the economic ladder tend to wear simpler and cheaper fashions to make a style statement. Thus, fashions may sometimes be determined by class alone.

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