Fashion is the style of clothing, footwear and accessories. It is a form of self-expression and autonomy in a particular period and place, influenced by social, economic and cultural factors.
A style can have an individual or group origin; however, it is typically a trend that is popular at some point in time and place. A specific style can be defined by the combination of lines, shapes and forms. A fabric or pattern may also be a component of the style.
The term fashion implies difference, as in “the new fashions of the season.” It can also suggest sameness, such as “the fashions of the 1960s.” Vogue indicates that something is popular, while fad, rage and craze indicate that something is temporary or has lost popularity.
Fashions change rapidly, affecting society in both negative and positive ways. The rapid changes can make people waste money on things they do not need, a common effect of capitalism, and it can encourage materialistic consumerism.
Often, fashions are based on trends in music, art and literature. The style of clothes can be a political weapon, used to establish class or race distinctions. During the communist revolutions, uniforms were used to enforce uniformity and end discrimination.
Writers use clothing to create characterization and to convey other important information about characters, events and worlds. Paying attention to the details of clothing can make your writing more believable, whether you’re writing about an imaginary world or a real one.