Fashion is the prevailing style of clothing and accessories. It is influenced by a wide range of factors, including social class, age, location, occupation and gender. The term may also be used to describe a particular look, ranging from the tailored clothing worn by businesspeople to the flamboyant styles of drag queens. Fashion trends change often, and a style that is popular today may be out of date within a few years.
People wear clothes to communicate their personal style, a reflection of their identity and beliefs. Some people dress for a particular role, for example judges wear robes and people in the military wear uniforms. Fashion is also a form of self-expression and can be used to express moods or solidarity with other people.
In modern times, many clothing styles are created by designers and produced by factories. The designer brands that are most desirable are coveted by consumers and can earn millions of dollars in sales. The design and production of clothing is a global industry and it is estimated that there are around 100 million workers involved in some way in the fashion industry.
The earliest human clothing was made from animal skins and leaves or bark, but as civilizations developed and populations grew, the desire to protect against weather and insects increased. People started to cover their bodies with fabric, first with woven plant fibres and later with manufactured textiles. The clothing of the wealthy was embroidered and embellished, while the poor wore shabby clothes that were old or torn.