c. 1300, fasoun, "physical make-up or composition; form, shape; appearance," from Old French façon, fachon, fazon "face, appearance; construction, pattern, design; thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature" (12c.), from Latin factionem (nominative factio) "a making or doing, a preparing," also "group of people acting together," from facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Especially "style, manner" of make, dress, or embellishment (late 14c.); hence "prevailing custom; mode of dress and adornment prevailing in a place and time" (late 15c.). Meaning "good style, conformity to fashionable society's tastes" is from 1630s.
To call a fashion wearable is the kiss of death. No new fashion worth its salt is wearable. [Eugenia Sheppard, New York Herald Tribune, Jan. 13, 1960]
In Middle English also spelled faschyoun, facune, faction, etc. Fashion plate (1851) originally was "full-page picture in a popular magazine showing the prevailing or latest style of dress," in reference to the typographic plate from which it was printed. Transferred sense of "well-dressed person" had emerged by 1920s. After a fashion "to a certain extent" is from 1530s. Shakespeare (c. 1600) has both in fashion and out of fashion.
c. 1600, "capable of being fashioned," also "conforming to prevailing tastes," from fashion + -able. From 1620s as "stylish;" as a noun, "person of fashion," from 1800. Related: Fashionably "in a manner accordant with fashion, custom, or prevailing practice; with modish elegance;" fashionably late is by 1809.
She was somewhat surprised, especially as she came fashionably late, to find in the drawing-room only old Mrs. Wynne, her nephew, and a lady, who from her dress and modest appearance was evidently nobody. [Maria Edgworth, "Tales of Fashionable Life," 1809]
1650s, "in an outdated style, formed in a fashion that has become obsolete," from old + past participle of fashion (v.). Meaning "partaking of the old ways, suited to the tastes of former times" is from 1680s. Related: Old-fashionedness. New-fashioned is recorded from 1610s.
As a type of cocktail, Old Fashioned is attested by 1901, American English, short for a fuller name.
Old Fashioned Tom Gin Cocktail Mix same as Holland Gin Old Fashioned Cocktail using Old Tom gin in place of Holland [George J. Kappeler, "Modern American Drinks," Akron, Ohio, 1900]
(Old Tom (1821) was a name for a strong variety of English gin.)
*dhē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to set, put."
It forms all or part of: abdomen; abscond; affair; affect (v.1) "make a mental impression on;" affect (v.2) "make a pretense of;" affection; amplify; anathema; antithesis; apothecary; artifact; artifice; beatific; benefice; beneficence; beneficial; benefit; bibliothec; bodega; boutique; certify; chafe; chauffeur; comfit; condiment; confection; confetti; counterfeit; deed; deem; deface; defeasance; defeat; defect; deficient; difficulty; dignify; discomfit; do (v.); doom; -dom; duma; edifice; edify; efface; effect; efficacious; efficient; epithet; facade; face; facet; facial; -facient; facile; facilitate; facsimile; fact; faction (n.1) "political party;" -faction; factitious; factitive; factor; factory; factotum; faculty; fashion; feasible; feat; feature; feckless; fetish; -fic; fordo; forfeit; -fy; gratify; hacienda; hypothecate; hypothesis; incondite; indeed; infect; justify; malefactor; malfeasance; manufacture; metathesis; misfeasance; modify; mollify; multifarious; notify; nullify; office; officinal; omnifarious; orifice; parenthesis; perfect; petrify; pluperfect; pontifex; prefect; prima facie; proficient; profit; prosthesis; prothesis; purdah; putrefy; qualify; rarefy; recondite; rectify; refectory; sacrifice; salmagundi; samadhi; satisfy; sconce; suffice; sufficient; surface; surfeit; synthesis; tay; ticking (n.); theco-; thematic; theme; thesis; verify.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Latin facere "to make, do; perform; bring about;" Lithuanian dėti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old English don "to do."
"in Chinese fashion," French chiné, past participle of chiner "to color in Chinese fashion," from Chine "China" (see China).
"current fashion, prevailing style," 1640s, from French mode "manner, fashion, style" (15c.), a specialized use of the French word that also yielded mode (n.1).