Historically, clothes were created as a way to protect oneself from the elements, but I'm sure expression came immediately afterwards. All through time, people have used hairstyles, jewelry, makeup, and especially clothing to communicate with other people.

In earlier times I'm sure people defined their social status and career choices with their clothing, and they definitely still do so, with ridiculous and stupid results. I hate it that people judge each other by what they wear most of the time, but there is a good side to making snap judgments about people just based on what they're wearing. I'm talking about the fact that having freedom of expression through adornment allows me to announce my interests and beliefs to other people without saying a word.

When someone is wearing a shirt advertising my favorite band, it's okay for me to go up to them and announce that I share the interest and maybe make a cool acquaintance. When someone's carrying a backpack displaying one of my favorite Japanese animation characters, I might comment on it and invite them to stop by our anime club. And even though I used to be afraid of wearing my pentacle necklace outside my shirt because I didn't want people to get the wrong idea, now I'm glad I wear it on the outside, because believe it or not, I get the occasional "Blessed Be!" from a similarly adorned person, and that's just a nice boost for my day.

This does not apply to brand names. I don't think wearing shirts emblazoned with "Adidas" or "GAP" are particularly expressive. I kinda wish the companies had kept their brand names on the tags like they used to, though I'm a big hypocrite now because I own an Adidas shirt. (I like the rainbowey colors, dammit! It was a hand-me-down from my sister!)

Sorry for the ramble. I just think clothes are a neat way to talk without using words. Thankyouverymuch.

A*dorn"ment (#), n. [Cf. OF. adornement. See Adorn.]

An adorning; an ornament; a decoration.


© Webster 1913.

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