Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Age and Fashion in History part 2

Ever since men and women organized themselves into societies and covered their bodies with something, whether that was fur, skins, grasses, metal or tattoos, there has been fashion. Fashion could show that you belonged to the group, or not; that you were of higher status or perhaps lesser. 

Information about the fashions of ancient peoples can be uncovered in burials by studying the adornments on their bodies and the grave goods they took with them on their final journeys.  Their attitudes about ageing cannot be deduced in the same way. 

In my research I have found that a significant amount of information is available about fashion and attitudes to ageing from the middle ages forward so I will start my exploration there. As my research is predominantly in Britain and North American, I will limit most of my discussion to those areas. Historic fashion is so colourful and illustrates different eras so well that some of those images will be incorporated. Which means I will get to try my hand at some fashion drawing when I don't have photos that fit the text. This should be fun!


Friday, 21 April 2017

Age and Fashion in History part 1


There was a time, not so long ago, when you could tell a person’s age not only by the way that they acted, but by the way that they dressed. It seemed to be one of those unwritten rules, like you can’t wear white shoes after Labour Day. Women got to a certain age and their skirts got longer, their necklines less daring and their hair uniformly curled. Men spread out a bit and got more casual by adding windbreakers and golf shirts to their wardrobes or maybe lost their sense of colour and adopted loud checks for jackets and shorts. There were variations on both the feminine and masculine trends but whatever the trends were, they signaled that a certain age had been reached and the person should be treated accordingly. 

Things have changed. Clothes are no longer foolproof clues to age and age is no longer the passport to certain status. Reports place the blame on the baby boomers. Don’t baby boomers end up with the blame for most of the deterioration in society? But are they really to blame? Let’s take a look back and see how the views of ageing and fashion changed as history unfolded. 

It's hard to pinpoint age through current clothing trends