Fashion refers to the prevailing styles of dress and accessories. It is also a richly diverse social phenomenon and subject of study, a topic reflected in the vast landscape of coverage and commentary that exist across different media.
One of the most important things to remember when writing about fashion is that it is ephemeral – that what was once fashionable can quickly become unfashionable. For example, low-rise jeans are currently back in style after being out of fashion for a few years. This is because fashion has a tendency to repeat itself – that is, every 20 years or so, most of the fading styles will reappear and be popular once again.
Clothing and accessories have been used throughout history to convey social meaning, from a desire for status and wealth to a sense of solidarity with others. In addition, clothing has been used to reflect traditional gender roles and even sexuality; for instance, wearing women’s clothing is considered cross-dressing while men’s clothes are considered overly feminine. Fashion also reflects certain milestones, such as the formal attire worn to a wedding or conservative business suits for job interviews.
When researching your essay, you will want to read as many fashion magazines as possible – you might even consider going to fashion shows so that you can immerse yourself in the current trends. However, you should be careful not to let your research drift away from your main topic. If you are writing about a fashion designer, for example, it will be beneficial to learn more about the design process and to look at some of the designer’s past works.