Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions

Clothing presents a number of challenges to historians. Clothing made of textiles or skins are subject to decay, and the erosion of physical integrity can be seen as a loss of cultural information.

Advisor to US President and businesswoman Ivanka Trump (right) along with Japanese PM Shinzō Abe wearing Western-style business suits as per their gender, 2017.

Red carpet fashion: Italian actors Gabriel Garko and Laura Torrisi wearing designer dress code, 2009. The man is in suit and the woman is wearing a gown.

Jeans in the Western dress code are worn by both men and women. There are several unique styles of jeans found which include: high rise jeans, mid rise jeans, low rise jeans, bootcut jeans, straight jeans, cropped jeans, skinny jeans, cuffed jeans, boyfriend jeans, and capri jeans.

Men may sometimes choose to wear men’s skirts such as togas or kilts

Wearing clothes is also a social norm, and being deprived of clothing in front of others may be embarrassing. In most parts of the world, not wearing clothes in public so that genitals, breasts or buttocks are visible could be considered indecent exposure.

Scientists are still debating when people started wearing clothes. Estimates by various experts have ranged from 40,000 to 3 million years ago. Some more recent studies involving the evolution of body lice have implied a more recent development with some indicating a development of around 170,000 years ago and others indicating as little as 40,000. No single estimate is widely accepted.

Some human cultures, such as the various peoples of the Arctic Circle, traditionally make their clothing entirely of prepared and decorated furs and skins. Other cultures supplemented or replaced leather and skins with cloth: woven, knitted, or twined from various animal and vegetable fibers including wool, linen, cotton, silk, hemp, and ramie.

People may wear ethnic or national dress on special occasions

The most obvious function of clothing is to protect the wearer from the elements. In hot weather, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage. In the cold, it offers thermal insulation. Shelter can reduce the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves and other outer layers are normally removed when entering a warm place. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer regions and seasons than in colder ones.

Clothing has been made from a very wide variety of materials, ranging from leather and furs to woven fabrics to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn (such as purses), worn on a single part of the body and easily removed (scarves), worn purely for adornment (jewelry), or those that serve a function other than protection (eyeglasses), are normally considered accessories rather than clothing.

Paris set the fashion trends for Europe and North America 1900–1940.

The most obvious function of clothing is to protect

The most obvious function of clothing is to protect the wearer from the elements. In hot weather, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage. In the cold, it offers thermal insulation. Shelter can reduce the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves and other outer layers are normally removed when entering a warm place. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer regions and seasons than in colder ones.

Scientists are still debating when people started wearing clothes. Estimates by various experts have ranged from 40,000 to 3 million years ago.

Most sports and physical activities are practiced wearing special clothing, for practical, comfort or safety reasons. Common sportswear garments include shorts, T-shirts, tennis shirts, leotards, tracksuits, and trainers. Specialized garments include wet suits (for swimming, diving or surfing), salopettes (for skiing) and leotards (for gymnastics). Also, spandex materials are often used as base layers to soak up sweat. Spandex is also preferable for active sports that require form fitting garments, such as volleyball, wrestling, track & field, dance, gymnastics and swimming.

The powered loom – during the Industrial Revolution

The Western dress code has changed over the past 500+ years. The mechanization of the textile industry made many varieties of cloth widely available at affordable prices. Styles have changed, and the availability of synthetic fabrics has changed the definition of “stylish”. In the latter half of the 20th century, blue jeans became very popular, and are now worn to events that normally demand formal attire. Activewear has also become a large and growing market.

Jeans in the Western dress code are worn by both men and women. There are several unique styles of jeans found which include: high rise jeans, mid rise jeans, low rise jeans, bootcut jeans, straight jeans, cropped jeans, skinny jeans, cuffed jeans, boyfriend jeans, and capri jeans.

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