Fashion in the broadest sense of the word is referred to a certain period and generally accepted at this stage relating to the outward forms of culture, to the lifestyle and customs of serving and table manners, cars, clothes existed in a certain era. However, the use of the word, by which we always mean a reason, an understandable desire for change in all forms of cultural expression, more traditionally refers to changes in clothing style. The historical development of human clothing is inextricably linked to fashion and usually equated to it, indeed.
The fact that seemingly irrational human desire for novelty has always been a favorite subject for cartoonists and satirists should not mislead us about the fact that the fashion and clothing – the topic of this paper – is a factor that requires a very serious attitude in a civilized society, not mentioning its importance to the national economy.
In variability of fashion there is the promise of the final ideal of ” the beauty” (which does not actually exist). People, or rather consumers, readily believe it, and have to obey to the dictates of the new fashion each time. Since the human body is a fundamental subject of fashion styling, each era creates its own aesthetic ideal scale of the human body. These differences are most clearly revealed in the changes of the female beauty ideal, from posh forms of Rubens ideal to slender, narrow, or high lines preferred nowadays.
Thus, clothes hides or emphasizes certain body parts to approximate the silhouette to the ideal standard. It corrects and stylizes. A medieval silhouette of a female figure with a slightly protruding belly is a typical example of this, as evidenced by the numerous works of art of the time, or the rococo silhouette with excessively thin waist, etc. Only in the XX century, when humanity suddenly realized the natural lines of the body, unhealthy and painfully corseted torso went out of fashion, alongside the foot growth restriction with little girls in China and Japan that was considered a sign of aristocracy which in fact was more like customs of primitive tribes.
Body proportions also to a great extent depend on the clothes. Most often in the history of clothing trends reflect the desire to exaggerate the actual size of the body or make it smaller. Optical zoom of shape or volume, such as a crinoline, usually pursued a goal to emphasize the dignity and social meaningfulness of a human. The length of clothes, for example, the length of the loop in the Middle Ages, or the amount of material spent on the dress was an indication of the social position of the owner and his reference to a particular class.