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  Wikipedia: Clothing

Wikipedia: Clothing
Clothing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

An article of clothing (also known as dress or attire) is any garment worn on the human body for protection against the elements, protection against work conditions, modesty, adornment, as a statement of socioeconomic class or religious affiliation, or as a means of maintaining a power hierarchy. (Humans have also dressed up non-human animals for a variety of reasons.) Clothing is a collective noun; the only singular form is "garment" or "article of clothing." Other adornments, such as jewelry, hairstyle, hats, and tattoos, are at times considered articles of clothing.

History of clothing

Prior to the invention of clothing, mankind existed in a state of nudity.

The earliest clothing was likely of fur, animal skin, leaves or grass, draped, wrapped or tied about the body for protection from the elements. Knowledge of such clothing is inferential, since clothing materials deteriorate quickly compared to stone, bone, shell and metal artifacts. Very early sewing needles of bone and ivory, from about 30,000 B.C., were found near Kostenki, Russia in 1988.

Mark Stone, an anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, has conducted a genetic analysis of human body lice that shows they first evolved only 72,000 ± 42,000 years ago. Since humans have very sparse body hair body lice require clothing to survive, so this suggests a surprisingly recent date for the invention of clothing. Its invention may have coincided with the spread of modern Homo sapiens from Africa, thought to have begun between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago.

Clothing and social status

The use of clothing can be a powerful social statement. Luxurious, perfectly tailored clothing in expensive fabrics marks the wearer as wealthy and powerful. Royalty has long assumed the exclusive privilege of wearing unique materials, such as purple-dyed cloth, ermine fur, or feathers of rare birds. Garments with a unique or trendy appearance show that the wearer is knowledgeable about fashion and wants to make a favorable impression. Mahatma Gandhi wore a simple loincloth to show his humility. Excessively worn, soiled clothing may indicate either poverty, illness, or disdain for appearances.

The "plain clothes" dress of Amish and Mennonite women not only sets them apart from the rest of industrialized America, but their headpiece specifically indicates acceptance of the hierarchy (God above men, men above women). Corsets worn by women from the Victorian era through the 1800's were intended to help support their frail bodies, but may instead have caused their fainting spells.

Dress codes

There are dress codes on certain social occasions and for certain jobs. Schools may require school uniforms; if plain clothes are allowed there may be restrictions (see for example [1] ). A doorkeeper of a disco or nightclub may judge visitor's clothing and refuse entrance to those who are not clad according the requirements; e.g. sport shoes may not be allowed.

Clothing may be intentionally oversized for reasons of fashion or personal preference. The rap duo Kris Kross of two teenage boys wore all of their clothes backwards and extremely baggy.

Imperfections of clothing

Possible imperfections of clothing include:

Possible imperfections of how clothing is worn: Of course some of these may be intentional and even fashionable.

Functional clothing

Some clothing is specialised equipment for a special purpose, such as a diving suit (these are included in the list below).

Part of the surface of clothes may be made retroreflective (small parts of coats, large parts of special high-visibility clothing for rescue workers etc.). This way they become much more visible in the dark for observers near a light source, such as the driver of a car with its headlights on. The pattern of the retroreflecting parts also helps to distinguish between objects and people.

For greater visibility at daytime, as well as for decoration, very bright colors are obtained with fluorescence. To reduce their visibility to other, soldiers and wildlife hunters or observers wear clothes with a camouflage pattern.

Fashionable clothing

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 possible 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.

Fashion houses and their associated fashion designers, as well as high-status consumers (including celebrities), appear to have some role in determining the rates and directions of fashion change in clothing.

Materials

Common clothing materials include:

Less common clothing materials include: Reinforcing materials such as wood, plastic and metal may be used to stiffen garments such as corsets, bodices, or swimsuits.

Fetish clothing

See main article: Fetish clothing

Some types of clothing, and clothing materials, are fetishized by some people. Commonly fetishized materials include leather, rubber, lycra and PVC. Commonly fetishized types of clothing include shoes and skin-tight clothing. Note that these materials are also used in functional clothing, and that some elements from fetish clothing have been adopted by mainstream fashion.

Production methods

Clothing production methods:

Types of clothing

See List of types of clothing

Fictional clothes

Styles

Classes of garments

  • One-piece garments
  • Skin-tight garments

See also


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona