Fashion is a word that covers a broad spectrum of artistic, cultural, and social activities and manifestations. People tend to consider fashion as an impersonal thing – something that affects how one dresses and acts. Fashion can thus be seen as the set of ideas, ideals, and attitudes about how clothes, jewelry, and accessories are presented and purchased. These things are available in various cultures and are usually expressed and displayed through customary, ritual, and individual practices.
In some cases, people can simply choose to follow the current trend, which usually seems automatic. For most other cases, fashion becomes a part of one’s culture. Certain types of clothing are reserved for particular occasions or social gatherings; others are meant to be worn at every day activity. The idea of “fashion” has thus become a very subjective concept. Certain behaviors may be considered “fashionable” while in other cases they might be considered merely inappropriate.
One important way of looking at fashion is as the history of a cultural group or institution. Certain cultural groups such as the Indian Americans, South Asians, and certain ethnic groups have traditionally had a significant impact on the fashion trends followed by the Westerners. In fact, some fashion styles have been derived from traditional attire of these groups. For example, Burberry clothing is considered classic and high fashion among elite British males. The Burberry trench coat is often used as a hunting shirt for men and women in this particular area.
Fashion can also be seen as the history of one’s individual personality. Various fashion elements and styles have been developed as a means of reflecting one’s temperament, attitude, and behavior. Various individuals may dress in radically different ways depending on their moods, beliefs, and personalities.
In order to understand fashion more clearly one must take into consideration the different types of cultures that exist in various societies or regions of the world. Fashion is just one aspect of culture. For instance, fashion is an important part of Jewish culture but not necessarily because it represents Jewish values or is associated with Jewish individuals. The Burberry coat is popular in England but it is a travesty when seen in India. As mentioned before, fashion is always a blend of various elements of culture.
The ability to adapt fashion is essential for one to truly appreciate fashion. One must remember that fashion is just a way of expressing ones individual personality. People dress for various reasons and sometimes in a manner that is truly bizarre. The key thing is to remember that fashion is just a way of expressing oneself.