Throughout history, fashion has generally been a way to demonstrate the wealth of fashionistas and the fact that they don't have to do anything useful with their time. That's why practical items are rarely fashionable – because by wearing fashion items, people are showing off that they don't need to do anything practical.
Look at suntans. In Victorian Britain (19th century), having a suntan was very unfashionable, because it implied that you were a labourer who was outdoors all day. The fashion was to be pale, because rich people didn't have to work outside so wouldn't get a tan. Then times changed, and soon having a suntan became a sign of someone who had the leisure time to lie around on the beach, and the money to travel to a beach (or even better, to go abroad). These days, people go to quite absurd lengths to turn themselves quite unnatural shades of orange in a horrific display of one-upmanship.