Throughout history, a variety of outside influences and internal preferences have motivated women across the globe concerning their choices in clothing. While obvious factors, such as protection and warmth are some of the reasons why a woman puts on the attire she chooses in the morning, Women Wear also serves as a powerful way to express and communicate identity. Below you will find some of the reasoning behind today's clothing selections and fashion pertaining to women.
While the concept of modesty is different for each and every place in time, over the years it has played an important role in women's fashion. In various parts of the world and time periods, it was frowned upon or forbidden for a woman to show off her legs, shoulders, back, and cleavage. While the United States no longer enforces strict social policies on women and the clothes they wear, some cultures still uphold the aspect of modesty in women's fashion. For instance, Muslim cultures expect women to cover most of their body while in public. This has created a wide-ranging market of lengthy and concealing garments in cotton, wool, polyester, silk, rayon, and denim. Common attire includes Hijab underscarves, long lycra gloves, abayas (long cloak-like garments); and jilbabs (outer- and over garments including long robes and coats).
Women Outerwear choices are also motivated by their status or position within a social group, as some pieces call attention to a specific affiliation. This is seen in the skirts worn by a college tennis team or the elaborate robes worn by members of African tribal royalty. In the United States, corporate executives, lawyers, and other high-income career positions are often identified by the type of clothes worn.
The questions of power, sexuality and gender being raised by men’s fashion right now are far more interesting than whether guys will actually wear skirts or off-the-shoulder shirts.
How much does fashion really impact our attire? As received opinions run, Men Wear doesn’t fluctuate all that much. Women’s wear is subject to oscillating hemlines, vagaries of fit and flare, to ever-perambulating erogenous areas. Shifts in men’s wear, we are told, are tectonic, stately and slow: they mean something. They’re allied with events like war and revolution. Think of the Great Masculine Renunciation, the term coined by the psychoanalyst John Carl Flügel to denote a general eschewing of extravagance in male dress at the turn of the 19th century. It was a revolution in cloth, a sartorial equivalent to the upheavals recently wrought in the Americas and France. In fashion terms, it swept away the restrictive layers of finery, slicing off embroidery as Robespierre cleaved off aristocratic heads, in favor of stripped-back tailoring in black and navy blue.
That’s the sort of heavyweight stuff that changes the course of Mens Outwear, we like to think, rather than the flimflam of the biannual catwalk circus. The shows are, by and large, very much like the courtly attire of the ancien régime, where tinkering with outward trinkets of embellishment hid a lack of evolution in cut. How dishonest. How dull. How wrong.
Today, however, a men’s wear revolution is being wrought on the catwalk — admittedly, by relatively few. Many cling to the accepted stock characters of men’s wear, jiggling prints and trims on stalwart but staid suiting, or sportswear basics barely tweaked from their track and field origins. But there is an influential new guard of designers who are questioning the fundamentals: gender identity and sexuality, the roles and position of the postmodern male.