Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Thoughts On Clothing

Humans often wear articles of clothing (also known as dress, garments or attire) on the body (for the alternative, see nudity). In its broadest sense, clothing includes coverings for the trunk and limbs as well as coverings for hands (gloves), feet (shoes, sandals, boots), and head (hats, caps). Articles carried rather than worn (like purses and umbrellas) normally count as accessories rather than as clothing. Humans also decorate their bodies with makeup or cosmetics, perfume, jewelry and other ornament; cut, dye, and arrange their head, face and body hair (hairstyle), and sometimes their skin (tattoo, scarifications, piercing). All these decorations contribute to the overall effect and message of clothing, but do not constitute clothing per se.
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People wear clothing for functional and/or social reasons. Clothing protects the body; it also delivers social messages to other humans. Function includes protection of the body against strong sunlight, extreme heat or cold, and precipitation; protection against insects, noxious chemicals, weapons, contact with abrasive substances -- in sum, against anything that might injure an unprotected human body. Humans have shown extreme inventiveness in devising clothing solutions to practical problems. Social messages sent by clothing, accessories, and decorations can involve social status, occupation, ethnic and religious affiliation, marital status and sexual availability, etc. Humans must know the code in order to recognise the message transmitted. If different groups read the same item of clothing or decoration with different meanings, the wearer may provoke unanticipated responses.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Fashion Thoughts

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Fashion in clothes has allowed wearers to express emotion or solidarity with other people for millennia. Modern Westerners have a wide choice available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect their personality or likes. When people who have cultural status start to wear new or different clothes a fashion trend may start; people who like or respect them may start to wear clothes of a similar style.

Fashions may vary significantly within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation and geography as well as over time. If, for example, an older person dresses according to the fashion of young people, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The term "fashion victim" refers to someone who slavishly follows the current fashions (implementations of fashion)..

One can regard the system of sporting various fashions as a fashion language incorporating various fashion statements using a grammar of fashion.
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