The Rules of Fashion


Fashion is a multibillion dollar global industry that creates and sells clothes, shoes, and accessories. It is widely thought that trends in fashion reflect societal changes, though internal taste mechanisms may also be at work.

Clothing reflects the way people feel, and enables them to express their identity and individuality. The evolution of clothing as a form of cultural expression can be seen throughout history, from the elaborate dresses worn by royals to the simple sweaters and jeans that are popular today. The emergence of new styles often occurs in tandem with the reshaping of society, as people search for ways to express themselves within the confines of accepted social norms.

In the past, clothing was a sign of wealth and status. The wealthy wore expensive, elegant clothes that were richly colored or finely embroidered. The lower classes wore rough, homespun garments that were often dyed with cheap dyes. During the Renaissance, fashion became more formal and widespread, with many cultures embracing the idea that clothing should serve an ornamental purpose.

As the world becomes more globalized, the boundaries between high and low fashion are blurred. The same clothing can be designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold in a third. This globalization makes it difficult to define what is “in” and what is “out.” Despite the blurred boundaries, there are some rules that every fashion writer should know. They include: