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CLOTHING

A SOCIAL HISTORY
• Clothing styles were regulated by
CLASS,GENDER OR STATUS.

• With the spread of DEMOCRATIC ideals and


growth of an INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, people
could use styles and materials that were
drawn from other cultures and locations.

• WESTERN style for men was adopted


worldwide.
• CLOTHING IS ALSO CALLED dress,
garment,attire or apparel.
USES OF CLOTHING

As functional As a social message


To protect the body Marital status,
from weather, insects, social status,
social status Occupation,
chemicals or any injury ethnic, political and
religious affiliation
CLOTHING AND NOTIONS OF
BEAUTY
• French Revolution
• Ended inequality and aristocratic
privileges and laws
• Differences between social strata
remained
• Laws no longer barred people’s right
to dress in the way they wished
• They could wear as per their
earnings
• Different classes developed their
own culture of dress
• The notion of what was beautiful or
ugly, proper or improper, decent or
vulgar differed.
STYLES OF CLOTHING AMONG
MEN AND WOMEN
• Victorian England
• Women- docile, submissive,dutiful,
obedient and delicate.
• From childhood, girls were tightly
laced up and dressed in stays.
Older girls had to wear tight fitting
corsets.
• Clothing played a part in creating
the image of frail, submissive
Victorian women.
• Men-serious, strong, independent
and aggressive reflected in their
dressings also.
NEW TIMES
• In Britain, changes were brought in
clothing due to introduction of new
materials and technologies.
• 17th century,women in Britain possessed
very few clothes made of flux, linen or
wool [difficult to clean].
• After 1600, trade from India brought
cheap, beautiful and easy to maintain
Indian chintzes [cotton- dacca muslin].
• Industrial revolution in 19th century- Britain
exported cotton textiles used by many
people.
• 2oth century- more artificial fibres.
• By late 1870s clothes got lighter, shorter
and simpler as compared to heavy,
restrictive underclothes.
THE WAR- TWO WORLD WARS
• Changes in women’s clothing due to two WW I.
• Many European women stopped wearing jewellery
and luxurious clothes. A simple way of dressing.
• Clothes got shorter during WW I as 7 lacs women
were employed in ammunition factories.
• They wore uniform of blouse and trousers with
accessories such as scarves, which was later
replaced by khaki overalls and caps.
• Bright colours faded from sight and only sober
colours were worn as the war dragged on.
TRANSFORMATIONS IN COLONIAL INDIA

• Influence of western style clothing.


• The wealthy Parsis of western India were the 1st
to adapt. Baggy trousers and the phenta[a hat]
were added to collarless coats, with boots and a
walking sticks to look like a gentleman.
• Western clothes were a sign of modernity and
progess.
• Groups of Dalits who got converted to Christianity
were attracted to western style dressing.
• Others were convinced that western culture
would lead to loss of traditional cultural identity.
• Some of them adopted western clothes without
giving up their Indian identity.
BRITISH RULE AND DRESS CODES
• In British and Indian cultures, specific
items of clothing often convey contrary
meanings.
• Like turban in India and hat in Britain,
both are headgears with different
purposes.
• Turban:- protection from heat, sign of
respectibility and could not be removed
at will.
• Hat:- to be removed before the superiors
as a sign of respect.
• Britishers were often offended if Indians
did not take off their turban when they
met colonial officials.
• In the 19th century, it was customary for
British officials to follow Indian
etiquettes and remove their footwear in
the courts of ruling kings or chiefs and
wore Indian clothes.
• In 1830, Europeans were forbidden from
wearing Indian clothes at official
functions.
• At the same time, Indians were expected
to wear Indian clothes to office and
follow Indian dress codes.
• In 1824-28, Gen Amherst insisted Indians
to take their shoes off as a sign of
respect, but was not followed strictly.
• When Lord Dalhousie was Governor-
Gen, this rule became more stricter.
Only those who wore European clothes
were exempted from this rule.
• The British insisted that since Indians
took off their shoes when they entered a
sacred place or home, they should do so
when they entered the court.
DESIGNING THE NATIONAL DRESS
• As nationalist feelings swept across
India, Indians began devising cultural
symbols for the unity of the nation.
• The Tagore family experimented with the
national dress by combining elements of
Hindu and Muslim dresses. Thus a long
buttoned coat- achkan was considered as
the most suitable dress for men.
• In the late 1870s, Jnanadanandini devi,
wife of Satyendranath Tagore, the 1st
member of the ICS, returned to Calcutta
from Bombay and adopted the Parsi style
of wearing the sari pinned to the left
shoulder with a brooch and worn with a
blouse and shoes.
• Later this adopted by Brahmo Samaj,
Maharashtrians and Uttar Pradesh
Brahmos and Non- Brahmos.
• Women of Gujarat, Kodagu, Kerala and
Assam continued to wear different types
of saris.
THE SWADESHI MOVEMENT
• Before Britishers came here, India
accounted for one-fourth of the
world’s exports manufactured goods.
• Industrialisation in England led to
increase in demand for raw materials
such as cotton and indigo and
changed India’s status in the world
economy.
• Indian peasants were forced to grow
indigo.
• The cheap machine made British
goods easily replaced coarser Indian
one.
• In 1905, Lord Curzon partitioned
Bengal and Swadeshi Movement also
started.
• People were urged to boycott British
goods and mass protests followed.
• Use of Khadi was made a
patriotic duty.
• Women were urged to
throw away their silks
and glass bangles and
wear shell bangles.
• After 15 years, many
among the upper classes
also returned to wearing
European dresses.
MAHATMA GANDHI’S
EXPERIMENTS WITH CLOTHING
• The most familiar image of
Mahatma Gandhi is of him seated,
bare chested and in a short dhoti,
at the spinning wheel.
• He made spinning on the charkha
and the daily use of khadi or coarse
cloth made from homespun yarn,
very powerful symbols.
• These were not only symbols of
self- reliance but also of resistance
to the use of British mill- made
cloth.
NOT ALL COULD WEAR KHADI
• Khadi as means of erasing
differences between
religions,classes etc according to
Mahatma Gandhi.
• Nationalists such as Motilal Nehru
gave up their expensive western
style suits and adopted the Indian
dhoti and kurta but that was not
made of coarse cloth.
• Dalits e.g. Dr B R Ambedkar.
• Women from Maharastra found khadi
very expensive.
• Sarojini Naidu and Kamala Nehru
wore coloured saris with designs,
instead of coarse, white homespun.