Fashion in the western world is dated back to the middle of the 14th century by Historians such as James Laver and Fernand Braudel. It referred to the items of clothing worn by people of a certain status or members of an elite and copied by others.

One of the most dramatic early changes 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. This created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.

For women, it was designer Coco Chanel who changed the course of fashion. She is arguably the most influential fashion designer of all time. Coco Chanel brought trousers into fashion for women. Although during the war women often had to wear trousers when working in traditionally male jobs, Chanel played a huge part in accelerating their popularity as a fashion item.

The fashion industry first developed in Europe and America is a product of the modern age. Before the mid-19th century, nearly all clothing was custom made for individuals either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. After the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine in the 20th century alongside the development of factory system productions and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores, clothing began to be mass produced in many sizes and sold at a fixed price.

Fashion today has become a way for individuals to express themselves through clothing, hairstyles and behaviors. Many designers in the industry bring out new trends seasonally which celebrities were creating a market for these garments. Magazines such as VOGUE, Grazia, Elle and many more show the latest garments and trends for people to emulate. The fashion industry has since boomed and become one of the largest industries in the world