Fashion is a style or trend that a discernable proportion of the public temporarily adopts. It reflects changes in culture, time, or place, and can be influenced by the media, music, arts and other current events. It is a form of self-expression. People who follow fashion tend to be plugged in and react quickly to what they see, hear, read or experience. The popularity of certain clothing styles is hard to track, because the trend moves so fast and the ephemeral nature of fashion means that it is easy for new trends to be dismissed as old news in the blink of an eye.
The trickle-down theory of fashion argues that people of higher socioeconomic status set the styles for those who follow them, with the lower classes following in their footsteps. It is also thought that the popularity of a fashion starts with celebrities or other public figures, and then trickles down to the mass population through the media, music and other forms of entertainment.
There are many ways to study and learn about fashion, but the best way is to just use your everyday environment as your laboratory. Sit in a cafe and just watch the crowd, pay attention to your co-workers’ and friends’ outfits, or check out what people are wearing on the train to work (in a non-creepy way of course). Go into stores that sell clothing you wouldn’t normally wear, just to try it out, taking mental or actual notes.