Have you ever wondered where all the different styles and fashion senses that people all over the world adorn every second of the day stem from? Have you ever contemplated why people of different cultures dress in different ways to you? Well, here we attempt to figure out the very ambiguous question that is: why do we dress the way we do?
In the answering of this question, first and foremost, you need surely look no further than reasons of practicality. For instance, it is no wonder that Emirati attire (fashion in the UAE) is dominated predominantly by veils and robes; the temperatures that are reached in the Arabian peninsula makes this type of clothing a necessity as it not only allows for a cool air flow but also, most importantly, it offers protection from the burning sun. So, seemingly, the fashion sense of a culture is brought about predominantly through the practical job it can do for those that wear it and the protection it can offer them against the elements that surround them.
But what about those pieces of clothing that seemingly offer no practical use? When you consider the fact that the Scottish national dress, the kilt, is not the most practical of garments to adorn in that part of the world due to the cold weather that is experienced there, it has to be questioned as to whether or not fashion sense is brought about through an accumulation of rules and traditions set in place in a bygone time instead. In this sense it is seemingly not always the place in which a culture is based, it is the culture itself that chooses the clothes that are worn; this kind of approach to clothing that is chosen by individuals in a certain culture is the one that creates sentimentality. The history of the diamond, for instance, shows no evidence that diamonds benefit everyday life at all but they do offer great significance in regards to what they represent to those that wear them. Whether it be to show an engagement, to attract others, to pay homage to people of the past or to showcase financial prowess, wearing and even giving diamonds is a clear sign, notably in western cultures, that tradition, symbolism and sentimentality play a pivotal role in the clothes and accessories that we wear.
Considering the fact that the human form doesn’t generally vary much it is crazy to understand why there is such a variety in the clothing choices of the human race. One thing is for certain though, despite how crazy it may seem, without the variety displayed in regards to fashion the world that we know today simply would not be the same. So the next time you see somebody wearing something that you wouldn’t wear yourself, instead of berating them for their choice of clothing, applaud them, and yourself, for being different to one another. If you want to delve further into the reasons why there is such a difference in fashions across the globe, and why certain ones are chosen over others, then make sure to check out Colin McDowell’s The Anatomy of Fashion: Why We Dress the Way We Do.