Even though they are often used together, the term fashion differs from clothes and costume, where the first describes the material and technical garment, whereas the second has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear. Fashion instead describes the social and temporal system that "activates" dress as a social signifier in a certain time and context. Philosopher Georgio Agamben connects fashion to the current intensity of the qualitative moment, to the temporal aspect the Greek called kairos, whereas clothes belong to the quantitative, to what the Greek called chronos.[4]

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Though different textile colors and patterns changed from year to year,[20] the cut of a gentleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady's dress was cut, changed more slowly. Men's fashions were largely derived from military models, and changes in a European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie.
fashion, style, mode, vogue, fad, rage, craze mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. fashion is the most general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place. the current fashion style often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste. a media baron used to traveling in style mode suggests the fashion of the moment among those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated. slim bodies are the mode at this resort vogue stresses the wide acceptance of a fashion. short skirts are back in vogue fad suggests caprice in taking up or in dropping a fashion. last year's fad is over rage and craze stress intense enthusiasm in adopting a fad. Cajun food was the rage nearly everywhere for a time crossword puzzles once seemed just a passing craze but have lasted
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