Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Social History of Clothing



It is easy to forget that there is a history to the clothes we wear. All societies observe certain rules, some of them quite strict, about the way in which men, women and children should dress, or how different social classes and groups should present themselves. These norms come to define the identity of people, the way they see themselves, the way they want others to see them. They shape our notions of grace and beauty, ideas of modesty and shame. As times change and societies are transformed, these notions also alter. Modifications in clothing come to reflect these changes.

The emergence of the modern world is marked by dramatic changes in clothing. In this chapter, we will look at some of the histories of clothing in the modern period, that is in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Why are these two centuries important?

Before the age of democratic revolutions and the development of capitalist markets in eighteenth-century Europe, most people dressed according to their regional codes, and were limited by the types of clothes and the cost of materials that were available in their region. Clothing styles were also strictly regulated by class, gender or status in the social hierarchy.

After the eighteenth century, the colonization of most of the world by Europe, the spread of democratic ideals and the growth of an industrial society, completely changed the ways in which people thought about dress and its meanings. People could use styles and materials that were drawn from other cultures and locations, and western dress styles for men were adopted worldwide.


It is interesting topic when I am walk blogging. Then I continue read this article at Clothing —A Social History

If you interest in this topic please read this article also.