Last evening we had a fabulous program here at the library on Afghanistan and the women of Afghan. Rachel Lehr's powerpoint presentation opened a few eyes to the hardships most of the world's population faces on a daily basis.
A good portion of the presentation dealt with clothing and we were offered the opportunity to try on a burka or a man's turban. Much discussion surrounded clothing and decoration, and its purposes. I find it hard to criticize any culture's mode of dress when I consider some of what we in the U.S. wear today, or what we have worn in the past! Take these items for example--underwear and shoes! (Remember that scene in Gone with the Wind [DVD GON] where Scarlett O'Hara's waist is cinched?) You can read about the history of these items in:
Farrell-Beck, Jane. Uplift: The Bra in America. [361.4 FAR]
O'Keefe, Linda. Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers and More. [361 OKE]
Steele, Valerie. The Corset: A Cultural History. [391.4 STE]
These books provide a historical overview of clothes and fashion:
Joselit, Jenna Weissman. A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America. [391.0097 JOS]
Koda, Harold. Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed. [391 KOD]
Langner, Lawrence. The Importance of Wearing Clothes. [391 LAN]
Clothes are much more than simple coverings for our body!