Why We Dress as We Do


In his review of Paul Fussell’s Uniforms:  Why We are What We Wear, David Klinghoffer says, “there seems to be a widespread human need to live inside a narrative: to feel you are part of a storyline that exceeds in importance and excitement that of someone who merely gets up in the morning to go to work or school, comes home at night, goes to sleep, and does it all over again the next day, and so on for decades until he finally collapses and dies. To create meaning in life, it’s common for people to fantasize — not to give themselves over entirely to daydreams but to import dream elements into their daily existence. Men and women accomplish this in various ways — for example, by joining organizations or attending schools that conjure romantic images of a glorious past. They also do it by putting on certain clothing, which likewise conjures the wearer into a story, a narrative.”

(photo of a Muslim Malaysian police officer is by Magalie L’Abbé)


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