What Clothing Means To Different Cultures

Photo credit: http://annstreetstudio.com/2014/04/24/jungle-walk/

Clothing means something different to people from contrasting backgrounds as a person’s culture can shape his or her relationship with clothing.

                In Hawaii, wearing midriff-bearing tank tops and bikini bottoms smaller than some underwear is considered the norm. Among locals, the thinking is that they are comfortable with their bodies. They do not feel the need to cover them up or hide them. This may have to do with part of their native past that remains part of their culture today. The warm weather year-round may be a factor as well.

                The Middle East has a differing view towards what is socially acceptable clothing. Many women wear the conservative clothing of a hijab or a burka, which is the traditional religious garb of Muslim women. This clothing covers all but the hands, feet, and face, of the woman. A burka additionally covers the bottom half of the face. While it is not always required that women wear this clothing, it is respectful to wear modest clothing and possibly a headscarf. This region of the world has a very conservative perspective towards dress.

What people wear says a lot about them; it is a form of self-expression.

                The Vatican City is one place in which the dress code is enforced for entrance. The Swiss Guard, which guards the city because the Vatican has no army, will turn away those who are not dressed appropriately. Women are required to wear skirts or pants that reach the knee and tops that are not low cut that cover the shoulders.


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