Sociology and Clothes
?Clothing is one of our basic needs. Man has been using clothes since time immemorial. Right from the Stone Age, man is trying to cover his body and has been using grass, leaves, tree bark, animal skin, etc. Gradually with the advancement of civilisation, man learnt the art of weaving natural fibres. Till date, there is gradual development in the art of cloth making. Most probably, the first response is that man wears clothes for modesty and social prestige. But now clothes have become an integral part of our personality.
By personality, we mean qualities and features which are reflected in the man. Body structure and dress are the part of one’s external personality whereas intelligence, outlook, interest, and character, etc. are the part of inner personality. Clothes affect our physical, mental, social, and emotional abilities and are deeply related to personality. The dress reflects the social prestige and interest of the wearer. They do various physical, mental, and social work for us which are essential for a complete personality. Clothes are used in each and every household.
Apart from covering the body, clothes are used for variety of purposes in home. For example, towel, dusters, curtains, table cloth, cushion covers, doormats, bed lining, etc. are used in our day-to-day life. Therefore, we can say that clothes affect almost every aspect of our life. Clothes play an important role whether it is the beauty of a person or decoration of the house. Functions of Clothes: 1. Provide physical protection. Clothes protect us from natural calamities like storm, heat, cold, sunlight, etc. There are clothes for every season.
For example, woollen clothes for winters, muslin and viol for summers, raincoat for rainy season, fireproof clothes for protection against fire, and so on 2. Clothes add to beauty. Physical appearance is an important aspect of one’s personality. Proper use of clothes can highlight the attractive body features and subdue unattractive ones. Proper dressing enhances the natural beauty of a person whereas undesirable clothes have an adverse effect on it. Similarly an ordinary person can add his beauty by judicious selection of clothes keeping in mind his colour, height, size, etc.
In this way, clothes beautify the physical appearance of a person and bring out his personality. 3. Social development. Had a man not being a social animal and had he not interacted with other members of society, we would not have paid so much importance to clothes. We would use them only to protect ourselves from natural calamities. Clothing serves a social purpose for human beings just as food serves a health purpose for him. A properly dressed person attracts the attention of others towards him whereas a person who for one reason or other cannot dress up properly tries to avoid meeting and interacting with others.
Thus his behaviour becomes unsocial. Decent and proper dressing is essential for social development. 4. Mental development. Clothing has a deep influence on human behaviour. A person who is not dressed according to prevalent fashion or season is mocked at. For example, a person wearing a woollen suit in summers would be a source of laughter. Clothes have a deep influence on adolescents. On one hand, they want to dress up fashionably while on the other hand, they are pressurized by family values.
If they do not dress up according to the latest fashion, they are mocked at and develop inferiority complex. This inferiority complex gradually transforms into problem in behaviour. Proper clothing inculcates a feeling of self-confidence and self control which are very essential for the all round personality development. Clothes enhance our personality, in fact clothes makes a man. Clothes, more than any other factor adds to the development of overall personality. 5. Identification of man. The clothes of a person help others to recognise who he or she is.
For example, we can easily identify the school of a child by his uniform. Similarly, nurses, doctors, advocates, soldiers-all have their distinctive uniform which defines their social role. Dressing reflects the nationality, culture, character, etc. of the wearer. 6. Adds variety to life. Clothing adds variety to life and does away with monotony. Dressing makes a man fashionable. Dress designing is an art. These days, this art is in great demand because of fashion advertisements and fashion shows. Hence, we can express artistic abilities by designing varied dresses.