The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men's fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the case of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
SYNONYMY NOTE: fashion is the prevailing custom in dress, manners, speech, etc. of a particular place or time, esp. as established by the dominant section of society or the leaders in the fields of art, literature, etc.; , style, often a close synonym for , fashion, in discriminating use suggests a distinctive fashion, esp. the way of dressing, living, etc. that distinguishes persons with money and taste; , mode, the French word expressing this idea, suggests the height of fashion in dress, behavior, etc. at any particular time; , vogue stresses the general acceptance or great popularity of a certain fashion; , fad stresses the impulsive enthusiasm with which a fashion is taken up for a short time; , rage, craze both stress an intense, sometimes irrational enthusiasm for a passing fashion
fashion, style, mode, vogue, fad, rage, craze mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. fashion is the most general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place. the current fashion style often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste. a media baron used to traveling in style mode suggests the fashion of the moment among those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated. slim bodies are the mode at this resort vogue stresses the wide acceptance of a fashion. short skirts are back in vogue fad suggests caprice in taking up or in dropping a fashion. last year's fad is over rage and craze stress intense enthusiasm in adopting a fad. Cajun food was the rage nearly everywhere for a time crossword puzzles once seemed just a passing craze but have lasted