Page "Fashion" Paragraph 5
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 and changing.
Art historians are therefore able to use fashion in dating images with increasing confidence and precision, often within five years in the case of 15th century images.
Initially changes in fashion led to a fragmentation of what had previously been very similar styles of dressing across the upper classes of Europe, and the development of distinctive national styles.
These 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 sometimes uncomfortably close for the elites — a factor Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.