Fashion can be defined as a manner of dressing that is favored at one time or place. But that definition is limited. For starters, fashion is a broadly used term, applicable not just to clothing but to other forms of expression like literature and art.
And even if we stuck to the context of “something that is worn,” there is so much more to the word.
The word fashion comes from facere, a Latin word that means “to make.” Fashion is as much the creation of anything worn to cover and provide warmth to the body. This, of course, includes clothing, but also footwear and accessories.
But then it could also mean creating items that will enhance the wearer’s appearance, like makeup products and jewelry.
All these come together—clothing, accessories, makeup, and jewelry—to build a look that could be called fashionable.
Significance of Fashion
Before, the process of mixing and matching outfits went way beyond personal preference. More often than not, the choice of garments and accessories was deliberate.
Fashion became a signifier of social status and group belonging. The rich and ruling classes wore lavish garb. They would don clothing made from delicate fabrics like silk.
Meanwhile, the poor, with meager incomes, did not waste time on adornments that were considered stylish. They intentionally dressed for comfort and warmth so they could go about their work unencumbered.
Today, the concept of fashion has become much more evolved.
True, high fashion still reflects the values and tastes of old, but there’s a rise in the number of individuals using fashion as a form of self-expression. Think Lolita-themed or clothing done in gothic style.
Luxurious fabrics and expensive jewelry are still favored by the rich. But, what is interesting to note, though, is that the rise of mass-produced commodities has opened a world of wearable options for ordinary individuals.
Fast fashion is a by-product of this shift. This business model feels like it could help customers look and feel their best. You get designer styles at a fraction of the price. But it comes with its own drawbacks. Fast fashion is plagued with issues like polluting the planet and worker exploitation.
The Emergence of Fashion Trends
What’s considered a fashion trend? By definition, a fashion trend is a specific expression of clothing and style that captures a population during a specific place and time.
Unlike fads, which are constantly evolving and inherently social, a fashion trend isn’t defined or dictated by the seasons. That said, trends can come from anywhere. They can transcend cultures and have the humblest of origins.
Remember the men’s cotton boxer shorts phenomenon of 2023?
A number of things, such as movies, celebrities, the atmosphere, artistic endeavors, inventions, designs, and political, economic, social, and technical developments, can have an impact on fashion trends.
Timeless Fashion Pieces
Years might pass and people’s preferences might have evolved along with modern times. However, there are clothing staples that stand the test of time. These are building blocks of what would be considered a fashionable look by today’s standards.
- Basic tee. A top that can take you from Zoom meetings to fun nights out. You can never go wrong with a basic tee in a flattering silhouette and comfortable fabric.
- Classic trench coat. This fall staple need not cost thousands of dollars. Whether in black or tan, a classic, well-tailored trench is all you need to look chic and effortlessly pulled together.
- Little black dress. The LBD is iconic for a reason. It can be part of your corporate style or come in a more daring cut that’s perfect for date nights.
What’s Your Go-To Fashion Hack?
We all interpret fashion in different ways. With that said, what is your go-to hack for looking polished and put together?
Do you prefer statement pieces like blue-hued Tanzanite bracelets?
Or would you rather your clothes do the talking and so prefer bold, bright hues? Share your fashion tips in the comments!