Body Dressing: Introduction and Dress Needs Response

According to the book the study of fashion has been changed and taken more seriously only within the last 15 years. I don’t really understand as to why this is, considering clothing is something that all humans deal with daily.

It was interesting to read how fashion has been pretty much diregarded by philosophers. In the book, the Platonist philosophical neglect of clothing is explained by that they feel the mental, rational, and spiritual aspects of a human has more importance over the material and sensual. Since our species is defined by philosphers by the idea that we have a mind or soul, this  is more important than what we have in the physical world, which would include our clothing.

The book also discusses how clothing has a fundamental reason to protect our bodies as well as a way to advertise what we represent. Meaning what culture or subculture we belong to, or what economic situation were in etc. 

Another thing that was interesting was how it is explained how clothing is closely bound with shame. Seeing how one of the primary purposes for clothing is to cover organs of functions that have been deemed degrading or animalistic (lactation, sex, excretion). I thought this related well to why philosophers disregard clothing, since clothing is such a reminder of our physical bodies and of our animalistic aspects and philosophers try to transcend both of those things.

Two modes of clothing discussed:

Amour de soi: to please ourselves, but this tends to happen only where there is no one to appear to.

Amour propre: point of dress is to dress in a manner in which we are happy for others to see us. this could be either with a view of barely noticing or with the more extrovert end of getting people to focus their attention on us.

Dressing is in part in order to attract mates. It is also a way to show our personhood, or individuality. This explains why uniforms are given to workers. Uniforms repress self expression and it is a way to oppress.


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