One of the earliest theories which formed the hypotheses of wearing clothes was the modesty/shame theory. This theory is also known as the fig leaf theory which is based on the story in the Bible. Genesis states that Adam and Eve realize that their state of being naked when they consume a fruit from the knowledge tree. And in shame they both stitched clothes out of fig leaves, hence the name fig leaf theory.
Many people started considering shame to be the only reason behind clothing, but as time flew by people read more and more hence offered a lot of other theories. Arguments said that clothing was merely because of protection of one’s body from the threats in the environment. Other arguments stated that clothing was created to create sexual attraction or to display beauty of one’s body.
Clothing was discovered eons ago. A discovery of a 500-year old male corpse on a glacier on the Austrian-Italian border revealed such. The body was clad in a fur cap, a leather cape, a loincloth, and leather shoes. These clothes were possibly there to provide protection against the harsh winds. Embellishing one’s own body often provides satisfaction to humans. It is discovered that people began decorating themselves much before they started clothing. Early age signs of decoration included painting and tattoos and even jewelry. The articles other than clothing also had some significance in the society.
Recent scholars now state that clothing represents one’s identity and communicates nonverbally. Clothing in some societies is as functional as language. It represents a person’s age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, social status and occupation. Clothing reveals some information about an individual’s personality, and economic standing. If a woman is dressed in blue jeans and is wearing a frilly flowered top, she is probably trying to state that she wants to look more traditional. On the other hand a person wearing a T-shirt which a rock band’s name on the shirt, then its very probable that the person is a rock band fan.
The economy of one’s society, the culture and traditions also inspire what one wears. According to many religions only the elite class can wear certain articles of clothing whereas the others cannot. Democracies today also reveal the same figures. People who are well-off are dressed in fine designer clothes, therefore representing a social status. Uniforms are another class of clothing which depicts one’s occupation. They are most likely to be worn by police, students, army and so and so forth. Events also influence what one wears, for example in many societies special clothes are made just for weddings and its sequels. Sports wear is another clothing class which is made so as to provide easy movement and protection during games such as soccer, basketball, cricket and so on and so forth.
Clothing has now extended to a much diverse meaning. In high schools, the most desirable students wear something extraordinary which makes them stand out as opposed to the teens called nerds. This difference demarcates the boundaries between these two types of groups.