Fashion is the style of clothing, shoes and accessories that are popular at any one time. It also refers to the way people dress or behave, for example being fashionable means following the latest trends and being aware of what other people are doing. The word fashion is closely related to the term costume although there is a distinction in that costumes are worn for particular occasions and can change over time, while fashions tend to be more general and changes can happen rapidly.
Clothes reveal a lot about us and can be seen as a form of personal expression. For instance music stars or celebrities are often referred to as fashion icons and what they wear is followed by the masses. Even politicians and royalty are reported on in newspapers for their clothes. There are some clothes that defy all trends and remain fashionable such as a classic little black dress but in general new styles appear every season with the time between runway and store shelf decreasing, to allow for more frequent changes.
The origin of fashion is hard to pinpoint but there are a number of theories. One is that it is a reflection of society and culture with a certain look being associated with a certain period in history, for example the bell-bottom jeans of the 1960s. Another theory is that fashion is all about change and the desire to be different. This is backed up by the fact that the invention of blogging has allowed people with very distinctive styles to be instantly recognized and replicated.