After asking this question I realized, that there is a tag (I used that one) and a tag. And now I wonder, whether I should retag my question.

To make this question more useful generally:

  • What is the difference between those two tags? What is the meaning of each tag?
  • When to use which? Possibly use both?
  • Or should they be merged and additional tags to clarify things be used?

Here's my understanding:

  1. Clothing is more oriented towards the actual materials used, the tailoring and production.

    Note that this could also be gained by adding some other tag that makes it more specific, like "production" or "materials".

  2. While fashion is more oriented to how things finally look and what people used to wear at different occassions.

    For this one an "etiquette" tag could clarify things too.

3 Answers 3


Personally I do not think they are synonyms.

The clothing tag is much more functional in nature, whereas fashion is not necessarily functional. You could ask the question "What was the clothing of choice for 16th century foot soldiers?" and the question "What was the fashion aesthetic of choice for 16th century foot soldiers?" and you aren't asking the same same question. I don't really feel like one is a subset of the either.

Your question is analogous to saying that "buildings" and "architecture" are synonyms. I think the two should remain separate and would not support a retagging campaign.

  • My question is not saying that. It's asking about the exact meanings of those tags on this site. And there are various approaches to using tags on SE. See for example this and its paragraph on "military". If clothing and fashion have distinct meanings on this site, it would be good to have them in the tag wiki.
    – Elrond
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 21:19
  • This is a much better explanation of what I was trying to say with my examples.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 17:46

They're close enough to synonyms given the commonality of scholarly interest over these domains.


Looking the two tags over, there is a bit of a difference. There are some questions tagged that it would be a stretch to call "fashion", eg: the question asking if Celts really didn't wear any into battle, and many under fashion that aren't specifically clothing related, for example the question about flappers.

That being said, I see clothing as very nearly a subset of fashion. By that logic, I don't suppose I'd have a huge problem if someone went on a retagging campaign to make them all simply .

  • Following your thoughts to the end, should clothing be made into a synonym of fashion?
    – Elrond
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 18:19
  • It's close, but clothing appears to mostly be a subset of fashion. In mathematical terms, the relationship isn't symetric. I'm not sure if there are or aren't facets of setting two tags to be synonyms that don't make sense in a non-symetric relationship.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 17:44

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