Perhaps the bark and leaves of tree are the first dress of human kind. Now a day clothes and dresses is the main sign of human civilization. Clothes are the flag of a nation. Clothes are the main element of human civilization. The word cloth is related to fabric or textile. But clothing means fabrics used to cover the body. Clothing refers to coverings and garments intended to be worn on the human body. We can’t imagine the correct date and place of invention of clothes but with the sequential rise of civilization men feel the importance of clothes to maintain decency, sound health, feel comfort and express beauty.
Clothes are the status signs, one of the most favored forms of semiotic distinction is fashion, because fashionable clothes, accessories and body adornments are easy for others to observe at glance. In addition, incidental items, particularly branded specific handbags, footwear, jewellery, accessories and new hairstyles act as important status symbols.
After all, clothing is one of the basic needs of human life. Men need different type of clothes for different occasions. The different criterion of necessity and importance of wearing clothes are as follows:
Necessities and Importance of Wearing Clothes:
1. To maintain decency:
Before civilization all human were nude. But men felt the necessity of clothes when they were introduced to shame. That time men used bark and leaves of trees and leather of beast as dress. Moreover the ancient people used the different types of fiber dresses. There are different type of clothing and dresses in different countries of the world. But all maintain the common criteria and that is to keep decency. Clothes are mainly needed to keep decency and avoid shame.
2. To escape the rough weather:
A child most after its birth is clothes. Clothes are needed to protect the body from country weather and climate. To escape cold of winter we use clothes of deep color to keep ourselves hot. The clothes of deep color absorb heat. The clothes of wool are costly so the poor people use thick clothes of cotton. The clothes that do not spoil in water and easy to wash should be used in the rainy season. Again we can use rain coat in the rain to save the body. At summer the body is full of sweat, we can use the clothes that absorb sweat quickly and release the heat to the environment. The cotton and linen clothes are good for summer.
3. To get the mental satisfaction:
There is a saying, ‘’God made man and the tailor made him a gentleman’’. To feel attraction to beauty is the inner tendency of human nature. In fact we see, many people wear modest clothes to represent themselves looking good in their friend circle. It feels good when other people praise for the dress someone wearing. It concludes that many people think clothes as a media of expression.
4. To emphasis on beauty of body:
To express beauty is one of the important issues after the utility of clothes. Every dress has its own psychological appeal. Attractive and different types of clothes came to use because of internal human attraction to beauty. To satisfy human thirst to beauty we need to wear modest dresses. Agreeable dresses represent sound and beautiful mental impression. All people agree on the importance of clothes in case of expressing beauty of body.
5. To be safe from germs and diseases:
Another use of clothes is to save the body from fire, germs and diseases. Normally used for medical textile purpose. When an infected patient comes for cure the doctors wear hand gloves when examining. They use mouth cover if needed. Again the scientists and students use apron to protect the body from dangerous acid in the laboratory. So clothes save people from harmful germs, elements and diseases.
6. To save the body from stroke:
People are always busy in different types of works such as factory, office, Aero plane, fire bridged, swimming etc. they need clothes in these works to save themselves from stroke and dangers. Clothes used at the time of sports save from injury. For example sport shoes save the feet from injury. The pilots use parachute and the workers in the factory use tight dress when working. Swimmers use swim suit and people keep life jacket when they travel in the river. The people of fire bridged use clothes of asbestos to be protected of fire.
7. To express solidarity with society:
In different social occasions clothes are selected expressing solidarity with society. For example in the ‘Pahela Baisakh’ women wear white saree with red par and men wear panjabee. At Falgun woman are seen in yellow saree. Moreover people wear black or white dresses in different social functions, condolence day, milad mahfil etc.
8. To express personality:
Those with high status occupations wear the clothes they think. Others expect them to wear. They do not wish to experience role conflict by wearing the incorrect clothing. It is from the clothes a person wears that people get his first impression of personality. They provide mental clues to a person’s status and occupational role, as well as being a means of conforming to peer group expectations.
If we go through the Egyptian history we will find that they used false beard to express personality. The king and the upper class employees raised beard to express their dignity. So we can see that to express personality clothing are considered important not only the civilization of today but also for years. Now a day dresses can be considered the most important part of personality. It exhibits ones taste of choice and his personality.
9. To protect the body from insects:
People wear dresses to be protected from harmful insects, because if we remain without clothes we can be infected by many poisonous insects and flora. So we need to wear clothes to be protected from these things.
10. To hide the fault in body:
We can hide the physical fault wearing good clothes. For example, thin people use different clothing than the fat people. It hides the fault of one’s figure and makes him attractive.
Wearing clothes have the utilitarian function of providing protection from the extremes of the elements, keeping one warm or cool or safe.
They also act as an aid to modesty or immodesty as the wearer so desires. The state of a person’s clothes is synonymous with self-respect and is a sign of respectability. It also adds another sign that the person has sufficient status in society to maintain at the cost of time and money, laundering, dry cleaning and repair. To be respectable some expense has to be incurred in the maintenance of cleanliness and neatness.
Human civilization is going forward with modern technology. It made the change in social life. It caused the society to introduce different types of dresses. That is decentness and taste in dresses and ornamentation.
Editor of Fashion2Apparel. She is a fashion designer and ex-lecturer in Fashion Designing. She wants to spread fashion knowledge throughout the world.