Fashion is a way of expressing one’s personality by choosing what clothing to wear. Fashion also includes a style of hairdo and other frills. Fashion is constantly changing, and the latest clothing styles are influenced by a wide range of factors. A major influence is the media, which gives a wide range of consumers constant exposure to the latest trends in clothing.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, creating clothing was a time-consuming process. The materials had to be sourced, processed, and woven to create the clothes. Then the garments had to be sewn together by hand or on a sewing machine. After the invention of the sewing machine, the production process became much faster, and dressmaking shops began to appear. As a result, the newest trends in clothing could quickly become the norm.
Today, modern Westerners have a huge array of clothing choices. They are less likely to imitate what others wear than in the past, but a person’s choice of clothing often reflects their personality. A fashion trend may start when celebrities or people in the public eye begin wearing new or different clothes. Other influences include new discoveries in other parts of the world, which might prompt a change in what is worn in Europe at one time, and in Asia at another.
Shifts in fashion can be good or bad for society. For example, a trend that encourages materialism can lead to excessive spending. However, a shift that promotes creativity by designers and consumers can have a positive impact.