Clothing and Adornment in Communication

Individual pursuit of personal adornment is universal. People of all societies have adorned themselves in some form or fashion. Adornment may be used to delineate social positions, rank, sex, occupation, local, and ethic identity or religion within a society. Clothing and adornment also communicates cultural components and the interactive nature of these components as well as the uniqueness of each culture. Below I will discuss a few topics that demonstrate what clothing and adornment communicate through culture.
Both quality and quantity of possessions are indicators of economic positions. For example, English businessmen wore high, tight, white collars with heavy, stiff Edwardian suits. Thus, the term white-collar worker came into play. This term, as well as the clothing, denoted both economic success and status above that of the manual laborers, who usually wore soft-collared blue shirts. In the United States, the economic position is often displayed by the dress. Some social groups display expensive articles of clothing, while others may reject this form of ostentation. For example, in the 70’s rebellion against such values as material success, work, status, and grooming was epitomized by the “hippie” lifestyle and symbolized by the jean look. Sportswear was another result of economic conditions. Until the 20th-century sports activities were a privilege of the wealthy. As working conditions improved, more people had the time to learn skills and afford to participate in sports. With this, the sportswear industry was born.
Social status is the basic for clothing selections. Clothing variety can show social rank by cut, texture, trim, color, symbols, and surface enrichment. By regulating style of dress, sumptuary laws in many societies have perpetuated distinctions in social class. These laws were enacted to restrict individual clothing choices in color, motif, and style that designated rank, class, an

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