Fashion (from the French fashion; Latin modus, measure 'or' kind ', actually, Measured ' or ' Coverage ' ) refers to the particular in a period and a particular group of people as a contemporary force way to do certain things to use things or to purchase, if this way of doing something that is not sustained for very long, but over time as a result of social processes over and over again by new - is revised styles, so long as it is subject to cyclical change - then regarded as contemporary. Modes are snapshots of a process where change is constant. With fashions so rather short utterances of the zeitgeist are usually associated. Comparatively longer-term manifestations of the zeitgeist that may last for several fashion waves across in a positive evaluation, are not considered fashion, but as a classic. Very short-lived fashions, often just rotate an individual product is known as fads.

Each new fashion establishes new behavior, thinking and shape pattern. Each new fashion bring new levels with ratings and thus also evaluated existing phenomena of the human environment again and again. "Mode" is used colloquially often used interchangeably with "clothes" as a shortening of the term " fashion clothes ". The adjective to fashion is fashionable ( " the mode corresponding " ), not to be confused with " modern", the adjective to modernity. Colloquially, the term "modern " is often used to mean " fashionable ".

The term " fashion " includes the following aspects of meaning:

  • Something that corresponds to the currently prevailing preferred taste or the prevailing beliefs.
  • Something that is just usual: custom, custom, habit.
  • Something which is subjected to a constant process of change, a process of change regarding of what shall be considered in a social context than usual, or as the predominant tastes.


Sociologically suppressed mode, the normalization of social relations, the allocation to certain groups of the society and the adaptation of individuals in a given time period from the constant change of this standard and the constant questioning and the steady resolution of existing standards.

The current distribution of modes is characterized by mass consumption, with advertising and mass media play an important role. It can be observed a clear trend towards globalization in fashion.

For the distribution of modes, the inhomogeneity of the society plays an essential role. The interplay of conservative and conformist set groups on the one hand and adventurous, rebellious and individualistic groups the other hand, has considerable importance here.

Elements of new modes will be adopted quickly by groups that are open to new things, like to experiment, who are dissatisfied with existing conditions, who want to change something, the experience themselves as different from the great mass who do not want to go down in the mass and who want to present themselves as independent personalities who so like to distance themselves from their self-understanding of the mass of the population or by the establishment. For them, the propagated modes are suggestions for finding your own style, to the lust for provocation or simply suggestions for fun -making aesthetic play.

Be the more the new trends in public space experience - - By and by then also take less innovative and experimental groups of the population, the new fashion until the end also extremely conservative and traditionalist milieu can be achieved which will " keep up " and their fashion are empowered by the need to belong, in particular by the subject "Integration through assimilation" is embossed. For them, fashion is a form of conformity ( conformity ) with the reference group or society, and often also a form of aesthetic affirmation of existing conditions. By then, these modes are no longer of interest to the innovative and individualistic groups of the population.

Psychology and social psychology of fashion

The psychology of fashion seems to describe at first glance relatively quickly and explain; often following aspects are mentioned:

There appear a number of basic needs together, from which the fads can be explained psychologically: The basic need for attention to get noticed or to arouse interest. The basic need for recognition, meaning and self- pleasing, and others. Furthermore, the importance of the need for variety and individuality, the latter seems to be the desire for conformity in contradiction.

This pattern of explanation will nevertheless too short, because fashion is a highly complex social phenomenon that has its roots in very different individual and collective needs.

Without the complementary needs of belonging and distinction, conformity and individualism, expression, and disguise exhibitionism and concealment, the phenomenon is certainly not explainable.

However, this is only a part of the causes of fashion. Unmanageable number of individual factors are added. For example, the personal importance of concrete current fashion themes and images of the individual personality and the appropriate life experience. In the clothing fashion which is particularly evident: clothing, including fashion clothing, is often a very personal expression of individual lifestyle, a current mood or longings, dreams and visions. Insofar clothing is then also an everyday role-playing or web- oral and a conscious appropriation of imaginary roles. But even that is just an example, which is also applicable beyond the range clothing.


Under fads or fashions are understood phenomena of different " modes " that have more short-term or periodic character. The word has a slightly derogatory to humorous connotation - which alludes to the easily influenced and pendency of many contemporaries. Through critical voices fads can pass quickly, but also strengthen. Fads are often "born" by trendsetters or large events and events, but they can also arise spontaneously. Typical examples include

  • In the clothing hat or shoe fashion, often recurring in decades - waves typical skirt length or the gender assignment of tights as a dress for women. See also: dresses fashion
  • In the private sector, the preferred vacation spots or just particularly popular name
  • In the education of long-period changes in the values ​​and goals - for example, for about 10 years previously often frowned upon authority
  • In the art such as the Janissary after the Turkish wars, the change in the type of dance or the Gothic Revival.
  • In the dog keeping the popularity of fashion dogs.


  • " The can not escape fashion. Even if fashion goes out of fashion, which is again fashionable. " (Karl Lagerfeld )
  • " The modes change as they arise itself from the need for change. " ( Marcel Proust )