A fashion accessory is an item which is used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer’s outfit. The term came into use in the 19th century. Accessories are often used to complete an outfit and are chosen to specifically complement the wearer’s look.
Fashion accessories are categorized into two areas: those that are carried and those that are worn. Carried accessories include canes, hand fans, swords, handbags, parasols and umbrellas.
Accessories that are worn may include, jackets, boots and shoes, cravats, ties, hats, sunglasses, belts, gloves, muffs, jewellery, watches, shawls, scarves, socks, bonnets and stockings. Detachable accessories can also be included, aigrettes and lapel pins.
One of the most favored forms of semiotic distinction is fashion, because fashionable clothes, accessories, and body adornment are easy for others to observe at glance. Incidental items, particularly branded specific handbags, footwear, jewelry, accessories, and new hairstyles act also as important status symbols. Certain items of clothing, such as hats, were particularly important, sending instant signals or ascribed or aspired social status. As communications improved, styles also spread to members of the elite classes in other parts of the world.