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Clothing -  A Social History


Clothing A Social History

The history of the clothes we wear, is quite interesting. Our dressing, or the clothes we wear have undergone a number of changes from time to time, depending on the various factors.

  • Social status

  • Religion

  • Gender

  • Age ( Adults and children)

were some of the defining factors that influenced clothing before the 19th century.

During that era clothing reflected the ideas of modesty and shame; grace and beauty


Dress Worn by People in Western World

The Corset in the 18th Century

The 19th and 20th centuries played a marked role in the dramatic changes in clothing. In Europe only after the democratic revolutions and the development of the capitalist markets, there was a change in dressing. Before that, the people used to maintain strict dress codes according to their regions and social hierarchy. It was during this period that the people completely changed the ways  in which they used to dress. They used styles and materials from other countries across the world and adapted their dress-culture.


At the turn of the nineteenth century, women wore thin gauzy outer dresses while men adopted trousers and overcoats.

1811 Dance Dress


Throughout the 19th and 20th century, the Indian shawl was the favored wrap, as English town houses and the typical English country house were generally draughty, and the sheer muslin and silk gowns popular during this era provided scant protection. Shawls were made of soft cashmere or silk or even muslin for summer
Gloves were always worn outside the house.

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