What Is Fashion About?

Fashion is about the societal and individual styles of clothing and accessories that reflect the current nature of the world. For those who embrace fashion, it is about the latest handbag, the newest style and the sheer joy of personal expression. Fashion is dynamic, changing in subtle or dramatic ways depending on designers' artistic inspirations, and trends are often born based on style choices of public figures.

Throughout history, fashion has been a means of identifying an era and making a reasonable determination of individual social status and personality. Although social pressures influence style choices, personal fashion decisions are a matter of self-esteem and individual comfort. Certain fashion elements create a look that instantly identifies a particular culture or indicates membership in a subculture. High school cliques and groups of individuals with similar interests, such as punks or skaters, often announce themselves through distinguishing clothing choices. In such cases, fashion serves to unify the group and create a division of difference from other groups. Commercially, the fashion world is massive. As of 2014, people working in fashion-related businesses, including those involved in the design, production and promotion of clothing and accessories, number as the world's largest industry workforce. In "Hamlet," William Shakespeare said, "The apparel oft proclaims the man."