Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Clothing as social message

Social messages sent by clothing, garnishes, and decorations can involve social status, profession, ethnic and spiritual affiliation, marital status and sexual availability, etc. Humans must know the code in order to be familiar with the message transmitted. If different groups read the same item of clothing or decoration with different meanings, the wearer may aggravate unanticipated and/or unwanted responses.
The manner of intentionally constructing, assembling, and wearing clothing to convey a social message in any culture is governed by current fashion. The rate at which manner changes varies; easily modified styles in wearing or accessorizing clothes can alter in months, even days, in small groups or in media-influenced modern societies. More extensive changes, that may require more time, money, or effort to effect, may cover generations. When fashion changes, messages from clothing change.


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