Fashion is a general term for a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body piercing, or furniture. Fashion refers to a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style with which a person dresses, as well as to prevailing styles in behaviour. Fashion also refers to the newest creations of textile designers. The more technical term, costume, has become so linked to the term "fashion" that the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while "fashion" means clothing more generally and the study of it. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.
Early Western travelers, whether to Persia, Turkey, India, or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun's secretary boasted to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing. Changes in costume often took place at times of economic or social change, but then a long period without major changes followed. This occurred in Moorish Spain from the 8th century, when the famous musician Ziryab introduced sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashion from his native Baghdad and his own inspiration to Córdoba in Al-Andalus.