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Modern Westerners have a wide number of choices available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect his or her personality or interests. When people who have high cultural status start to wear new or different clothes, a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect these people become influenced by their personal style and begin wearing similarly styled clothes. Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography and may also vary over time. If an older person dresses according to the fashion young people use, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.
The beginning in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing styles can be fairly reliably dated. Historians, including James Laver and Fernand Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century, though they tend to rely heavily on contemporary imagery and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the fourteenth century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger.
If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite pasttimes, amongst Netflix bingeing and cake baking, is looking at fashion blogs and borderline-stalking bloggers on their websites and social media accounts for outfit inspo. This is a great and enjoyable hobby to have, but can be disheartening if you’re a college student and can barely afford a Venti Starbucks, much less a Valentino purse. Most fashion blogs seem to be full of designer accessories and expensive jeans. But style is style, regardless of the price tag or brand, and whether you spend $5 or $500 on sunglasses, fashion is for all of us.