fashion noun (POPULAR STYLE)

style that is popular at a particular timeespecially in clotheshairmake-up, etc.:

Long hair is back in fashion for men.

Fur coats have gone out of fashion.

She always wears the latest fashions.

[Source: Cambridge Dictionary Online]

 Fashion can be somewhat of an enigma to many although some see it as a practicality, and many see it as an essential part of life. In the most basic sense, fashion represents a popular trend in clothing styles and accessories. However,  we are all involved in fashion choices, especially as the availability of clothing and accessories at any one time mostly follow fashion trends.  On a deeper level, however, fashion choices can have the ability to tell a story about a person, through choices made and how they want to present themselves to the wider world,    


When you purchase clothes from a store, you are making a personal choice with each piece you select. Those dresses, jeans, shoes, trainers, and sunglasses all say something about you. The  appearance you show people is your personal style.  Following trends can make you feel stylish and that you belong to your peer group.  You could also use fashion to aspire to a different peer group using an aspirational style to fit in.


Fashion also plays a significant role in society. The global apparel and fashion industry itself is was valued at £2.75 trillion back in 2018 . Some world economies rely heavily on the money brought in from manufacturing of these brands & labels.  Others gain revenue from import and sales in these goods. 


It is a wide-reaching industry powerful enough to influence people all over the world.  With advertising non-stop and consumed everywhere by most people – there is a captive audience ready to back a brand or item of clothing. 


 With the urgency of Global Warming, fashion houses are looking at their impact on the earth   They have been criticized heavily due to some of the production methods used at this current time.  Brands have become ambassadors to many with their labels being seen as a badge confirming their core values.  Some fashion can be seen by some as harmful, with certain connotations being wrongly attributed to a style of clothing – I just point to the David Cameron faux pas about people who wear hoodies back in 2006.


Clothing is an evolved human practicality for staying warm and/or protected, In the time we are living, where everything we do is now on show, sometimes 24/7, how we look and present ourselves has become increasingly important. Fashion allows you to express your sense of style and show off your personality. The fact that more people are using video technology to contact each other, how you look and present yourself has become more important.  Well at least from the waist up. 


Your fashion choices can also send signals to those around you. People naturally gravitate and form social circles based on similarities and social rank. We notice brands and fashion trends whether we want to admit it or not. Often, the brands you choose and the style you associate with indicate a social tribe, accomplishments, or cultural significance to those around you. 


A casual style of jeans and a university sweater can signal to others you enjoy being comfortable but also have pride in your alma mater, while a boho style dress and sandals indicate a free spirit who is a bit non-traditional. Choosing items to wear that you love is a form of self-expression that you participate in every day.


You have the power to determine what you are going to wear and recognizing that choice can be incredibly empowering. Not only that, but the right outfit has the power to boost your confidence. Certain outfits have the ability to raise your perception of yourself and increase your self-esteem. When you put an outfit together there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with recognizing a personal style that you feel great in. You know you look great and it boosts your confidence, you feel put together and complete at least on the outside. 


Fashion historically did and sometimes still does, reflect cultural affiliations and beliefs. For instance, the Scottish kilt is a symbol of patriotism and represents heritage and tradition. The Korean hanbok has a significant historical value and is often worn during holidays, weddings, and other special occasions. By donning traditional garments, you are able to share the history and significance of fashion in your culture. It ties you back to your origins and breathes new life into your heritage and traditions.


Ultimately, fashion serves a multitude of purposes within society, and it can be whatever you want it to be. You can use it for self-expression, for status, for comfort, or to make a bold statement. 


Fashion evolves and changes constantly.  Find a style that you like and make it your own.  Wear a garment that can be a talking point for others.  Or Just wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. 

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