By looking at one's clothing, you can learn something about the way people of that time thoughtand felt. Clothing differs from country to country. Every culture has had its unique clothing style.The styles reveal much about the people’s customers and beliefs. We refer to the customs, beliefs, values and skills of a group of people as their culture.
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Clothing as a communicator of culture
The spread of one country’s culture on its temporal side was entirely due to the country’s tradersand exporters who were their cultural ambassadors abroad, through the export of its famoustextiles. Foreign visitors, on their departure, always carry away with them, priceless treasure andcultural clothing.As features of a culture change, so do the clothing styles. By studying the clothing of different periods in history you can understand the customs, beliefs, values, economics and technology of that time.
Customs refer to a long accepted practice or tradition. The customs of a nation influences people’s clothing choices.For example, the long, white wedding dress is accustom of western countries. In the east, other colours are worn.Many customs in clothing are disappearing from our society. One it was the custom for onlymales to wear pants. Now it is accepted for both males and females to wear pants. It is used to bethe custom for people to wear hats when ever they went out. Today hats are seldom worn.Designers often turn to the past (recent or distant) or folk customs for ideas and themes. Customsfalls in to two categories, historical and folk or ethnic custom.Historical custom is the fashion a certain historical period and folk or ethnic custom is traditionalnational or regional dress.
Clothing can reflect beliefs of individuals and groups. Religious groups often adopt a certainstyle of clothing. Beliefs about magic and luck have been held by people of any cultures. Their clothing reflects these beliefs.For example, some people wear a “lucky hat” to go finishing. That person believes wearing thehat will improve the chances of clothing fish.
Clothing can reflect the values of individuals and groups. Values are the things which people believe are right and good. They are the things which are considered important. The basic beliefswhich you rate highly are your values.Modesty is the value of many people. During the past years women would wear low-cut dresses but would not expose their ankles, it was thought immodest for the women to show her legs.The American colonists valued hard work and practicality by wearing clothing that was plain andsturdy. There are people today who value practicality. The seek clothing that is comfortable, easyto, care for, and long lasting.Others value appearance. They wear clothing that is of the latest fashion. They may sacrificecomfort and practicality in order to be in style.
The term economics relates the way people produce, distribute and use goods and services.People were once limited to the clothes the family or individual could produce, if there was agood wearer in the family had good clothes. Then people began to barter (trade) goods and skillsone else’s goods and skills. Some one who was good at farming might trade some wheat for cloth made by a skilled wearer. Thus a change in economics led to a change in clothing choice.The economy of a culture also affects clothing style.
The way a society uses its resources to produce things is referred to as technology. The industrialrevolution brought many changes in technology. With the industrial revolution came as a new middle class people who had made their fortunes in the business world. They wanted to appear dependable and serious minded. They rejected the frills of upper class clothing and chose whatthe standard business suit became. As more women entered the work force they looked for clothing that was comfortable and practical