Fashion is a way of expression, a means to show solidarity with others and a symbol of identity. The prevailing mode of dress or style of behavior, for example, can vary considerably between cultures and within cultures. Fashion is usually reflected in clothing, although it can also be displayed in shoes, bags, accessories, and even language. In addition, fashion can be found in music, food, art and other aspects of culture.
Moreover, there is a wide variety of styles designated as “in fashion.” In some cases, a particular style may remain in fashion for a long period of time, such as the enduring popularity of the smock shirt. Alternatively, an out-of-fashion style can come back into fashion for a brief period of time, such as the resurgence of the bob haircut.
In any case, it is generally accepted that styles and preferences change rapidly. In recent times, the rapid changes in fashion have been attributed to modern capitalism, which encourages people as consumers to purchase new clothes frequently. Some people argue that these constant shifts in fashion are detrimental to the environment, while others enjoy the variety and creativity that changing trends offer.
In some cases, the styles that are designated as in fashion are the result of deliberate efforts by designers or couturiers to create a specific look. In other cases, the prevailing styles are the result of cultural or geographical influences. The emergence of Turkey, for example, provided an impetus to the adoption of Turkish-style garments in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.