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distinctive forms of clothing, including official or ceremonial attire such as ecclesiastical vestments, coronation robes, academic gowns, armor, and theatrical dress.
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the general term for the artificial coverings used for the human body. In the broad sense, clothing also includes headgear, footwear, gloves, and similar articles. Ornamentation plays a supplementary role in clothing.
Along with housing, clothing arose as one of the principal means of protection against the elements. Some bourgeois scholars accept this utilitarian theory of the origin of clothing, but many maintain an idealistic point of view and assert that the wearing of clothing originated primarily as a result of modesty, an aesthetic awakening (clothing as an extension of ornamentation), or religious and magical beliefs.
Clothing is one of the most ancient inventions of man. Late Paleolithic remains include stone scrapers and bone needles used for treating and sewing animal skins. Other materials used for clothing in the late Paleolithic included leaves, grass, and bark (for example, the peoples of Oceania used tapa). Hunters and fishermen used fish skins, the intestines of Steller’s sea lions and other sea animals, and bird skins. In the Neolithic, after learning the arts of spinning and weaving, people made clothing from the fibers of wild plants. The transition during the Neolithic to stock raising and land cultivation led to the use of the wool of domestic animals and cloth made from the fibers of such cultivated plants as flax, hemp, and cotton.
The prototypes of sewn clothing were the primitive cloak (animal skin) and the loincloth. From the cloak evolved such slip-on articles of clothing as the toga, the tunic, the poncho, the burka, and the shirt. Various types of waisted clothing, such as the apron, the skirt, and trousers, derived from the loincloth.
The most simple form of ancient footwear consisted of sandals or just a piece of animal skin that was wrapped around the feet. The latter is considered to be the ancestor of the leather morshni (porshni) of the Slavs, the chuviaki of the peoples of the Caucasus, and the moccasins of the American Indians. Bark (in Eastern Europe) and wood (among certain peoples of Western Europe) were also used for footwear.
Since ancient times, headgear served as protection and as an emblem indicating social status (for example, the headgear of chieftains or of priests of heathen religious cults). It has also reflected religious and magical beliefs (for example, headgear depicting an animal’s head).
Clothing is usually adapted to geographic conditions, and its varied forms and the material from which it is made are determined by climate. The most ancient clothing of the peoples of the tropical-forest zone, for example, in Africa and South America, consisted of a loincloth, an apron, and a cape. In moderately cold and arctic regions, clothing covered the entire body. A distinction is made between the clothing of the Far North and of northern regions with cold temperate climates. The clothes worn by the peoples of the Far North are completely made from fur. The peoples of Siberia have two characteristic types of fur clothing. In the polar zone, a thick, pullover fur garment is worn among such peoples as the Eskimo, Chukchi, and Nentsy. In the taiga zone, the clothing is loose and opens in front (for example, among the Evenki and the Yakuts). Unique garments made of suede, chamois, or tanned leather appeared among the Indians of the North American forest zone: the women wore a long, shirtlike garment, and the men wore a long shirt and high leggings.
The types of clothing are closely associated with man’s economic activity. Thus, in early antiquity a type of clothing suitable for horseback riding developed among nomadic peoples who engaged in stock raising. Both the men and the women wore robes and wide trousers.
As society became more complex, differences in social and familial positions increasingly influenced clothing. Differences appeared between men’s and women’s clothing and between the clothing of unmarried and married women. Everyday, festive, wedding, and mourning clothes appeared. As labor became more diversified, various types of occupational garments developed. In the early stages of history, clothing reflected ethnic (clannish and tribal) traits, and subsequently general national characteristics, including local variants, were reflected.
As a rule, the socioeconomic inequality of various classes manifested itself in clothing. Thus, there were sharp differences in the material, the ornamentation, and, often, the style of the clothing of feudal lords, peasants, and clergymen.
While satisfying the utilitarian requirements of society, clothing at the same time expresses society’s aesthetic ideals. The distinctive features of clothing as a type of decorative-applied art are conditioned, for the most part, by the fact that man himself is part of the ensemble. Forming a visual whole with its wearer, a garment cannot be separated from its function. The personal nature of clothing determines a garment’s design. The wearer’s body build, age, and details of appearance (for example, hair and eye color) are also taken into consideration. In the design of clothing, these features may be emphasized or, on the contrary, softened. The direct link between clothing and human beings has meant that consumers have had a significant effect on the development of clothing’s various forms.
Because clothing is a means of embodying the ideals of one epoch or another, it is created within the context of the prevalent artistic style and fashion. Clothing and accessories that are executed in a unified style and are artistically harmonious create an ensemble, or costume. Clothing design involves the combination of parts to form a harmonious whole. The principles of symmetry versus asymmetry and nuance versus sharp contrast are used, and rhythms are varied. The scale of a garment and its parts in relation to a person also plays a role. Other artistic considerations are texture, color, pattern, and trimming (ribbons, lace, fur, buttons, buckles, and clasps). A distinctive expressive aspect of clothing is its ability to change in connection with a person’s movement. This creates dynamic links among all the compositional elements of a particular article of clothing.
G. S. MASLOVA, M. N. MERTSALOVA, and I. A. ANDREEVA
History of clothing styles. Ancient Egyptian clothing was among the earliest types of dress to be influenced by aesthetic norms. In the Middle Kingdom, circa 2050 to circa 1700 B.C., the characteristic masculine garment was the schenti, a loincloth that consisted of a simple piece of material. Women’s clothing consisted of the kalasiris—a simple slip held up by shoulder straps. Draped garments were popular. The New Kingdom, circa 1580 to circa 1070 B.C., was marked by major improvements in the manufacture of linen and cotton cloth. As a result, pleated garments became widespread. The expressiveness of the pleats lay in the inherently dramatic precision of straight lines. The kalasiris evolved into a skirt with suspenders. Clothing made of variously colored fine fabrics, often decorated with embroidery, was the privilege of the ruling class. Slaves wore clothing made of rough sackcloth or leather.
In ancient Greece the principal garments worn by men and women were the chiton and the himation (a rectangualar piece of material worn only by the free classes). Such garments imparted to the wearer the appearance of stately simplicity. Chitons and himations were made of flowing woolen or linen fabrics (mostly white), which revealed the body’s suppleness. Despite its picturesque, changing play of light and shadow, ancient Greek clothing maintained a precision of compositional design, which was accentuated by clasps or belts. Slaves usually wore an exomis, a piece of simple coarse fabric, fastened at the waist and the left shoulder by tapes. Footwear consisted of sandals with straps wound high up the calf or shoes made of colored leather and decorated with embroidery.
Draped clothing prevailed in ancient Rome, as it had among the Greeks (tailored clothing was still poorly developed). However, Roman dress was more bulky. The principal masculine outer garment for free citizens was the toga, a semicircular or oval piece of material. The undergarment worn by both men and women was the tunic. Women wore a stola (a wide, long chitonlike garment) and a pallium (similar to the himation) over the tunic.
In Byzantium, with the assertion of religious asceticism and the loss of interest in three-dimensionality in the plastic arts, aristocratic clothing, which had preserved elements of Roman costume, became rigid and columnar, flattening and straightening the form of the body. The fabrics, mostly silks and brocades, were thick and heavy and were marked by large, flat patterns.
The numerous tribes that settled in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century had a different approach to clothing. For them, a garment was not supposed to simply drape the body but rather to reproduce its forms, thereby enabling a person to move easily. Thus, the principal attire of the peoples who advanced from the north and east consisted of crudely woven trousers and shirts. The trousers were the forerunners of hose, which occupied a central position in European attire for several centuries.
Because so little clothing from the Romanesque period has survived, it is difficult to assess the variety of forms of European clothing during that era. However, much is known about French Romanesque costume, which was marked by restraint and simplicity of form. The costume of feudal lords developed under the influence of knightly armor and included short braies (breeches) and a chainse (under tunic). A long, narrow garment (bliaut) with long slits on the sides was worn over the chainse. The bliaut and the chainse were made from fabrics of different colors. The outer garment was a cloak. Women’s clothing was decidedly influenced by Romano-Byzantine attire.
In Western Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries, achievements in draftsmanship led to the creation of all kinds of cut work, which are used to this day. The improvements in cutting were also facilitated by a better understanding of the plastic properties of fabrics and the dependence of the form of a garment on the arrangement of its threads. These achievements played a major role in the creation of clothing for feudal lords and burghers that was carefully designed and had an elegant silhouette.
Masculine attire of the period consisted of a shirt; a narrow, sleeveless undercoat; and tight hose. The hose were attached to the undercoat with strings. Outer clothing, which consisted of the cote-hardie (a long, low-belted coat) and the jacket (short coat), was close fitting and emphasized the waist. In the 15th century, the jacket’s sleeves were widened at the top.
By the mid-15th century, the waistline of women’s dresses was the highest ever. A sharply pointed low neckline, which made the figure thinner, was set off by a wide collar; long, narrow sleeves; and an asymmetrically draped (from the left side only) skirt that was wider toward the bottom and formed a long train in the back.
By 1450, Gothic elements prevailed in women’s and men’s costume. The figure appeared more flexible and dynamic, owing to the elongated proportions of the clothing, the sharply pointed footwear, and the high, coneshaped headgear (among women it reached 70 cm in height). Peasant clothing was also influenced by the Gothic style; however, the coarse cloths from which it was made resulted in baggy clothing with different proportions. The differences between the clothing of burghers and that of peasants subsequently became greater.
In Renaissance Italy the silhouette of clothing underwent substantial changes by the end of the 15th century. Both masculine and feminine attire were characterized by large, tranquil forms, whose proportions imparted qualities of stability and monumentality to the figure. Women’s clothing was marked by a natural waistline, puffed sleeves, and a wide skirt that fell in free folds. A weighty quality was imparted to the female figure by thick and heavy fabrics (for example, satin and velvet in aristocratic clothing). The density of the fabrics was emphasized by their rich red, green, and blue colors.
Beginning in the 16th century, Spanish dress, employing stiffened linings and metal corsets, served as a model for European clothing. Masculine attire included the ropillo (a long coat with folding, false sleeves), the calces (short breeches), and the jubón (a bodice). The jubón had a basque and a high, erect collar, which was replaced at the end of the 16th century by a wide, goffered collar. These garments had a double lining, filled with cotton padding or horsehair. The lining restricted movement, thereby emphasizing the stiff manner in which the Spanish grandees held themselves. The principal outer clothing consisted of cloaks of various shapes and sizes. A low, flat beret was worn, which was replaced in the mid-16th century by a high hat. Women’s dresses were tightly fastened to metal corsets and a heavy petticoat with metal hoops. Such garments resembled geometric clothing trunks.
During the 17th century, with the flourishing of absolutism, France achieved the dominant position in fashion. Luxurious, lavishly ornamented aristocratic clothing was produced, which was entirely subject to the etiquette of the royal court. During the first half of the 17th century, masculine court attire, which had become much less stiff, consisted of a pourpoint (a kind of doublet similar to the Spanish jubón but with a turned-down collar), chausses (simple knee pants), silk stockings, and boots (or a kind of slippers with heels). A picturesque quality anticipating the baroque style in clothing was created by soft contours, which were free but revealed the figure’s silhouette, and by the clarity and harmony of the fabric’s colors.
By the mid-17th century, the pourpoint had been replaced by a small short-sleeved waistcoat; the shirtsleeves protruded from the waistcoat and were fastened by ribbons. Over the short chausses (a type of wide pants) the men wore rhinegraves, which were as wide as a skirt and fringed along the bottom. An abundance of fabric, ribbon, and lace concealed the outlines of the figure, transforming the costume into a continuous play of color, light, and shadow characteristic of the late baroque.
During the 1660’s, fashions were created on the basis of military clothing. Men’s costume included a long, rather close-fitting justaucorps (body garment with elbow-length sleeves), whose clarity of design reflected classicistic tendencies. All subsequent changes in 17th-century aristocratic men’s costume involved variations of the justaucorps and the chausses. The bourgeoisie attempted to imitate the fashions of the court. French women’s court fashions did not change as frequently as men’s. The ceremonial nature of women’s clothing during the first half of the 17th century, that is, prior to the 1640’s, was heightened by the introduction of puffed sleeves, full skirts, and large white collars trimmed with lace. By the end of the 17th century, emphasis on a narrow waist held in by a metal corset created a contrast between the geometrically rigid bodice, which was narrower toward the bottom, and the soft, full sleeves and skirt. Thus, the classical principle of clarity of design found original expression. Women’s costume among the 17th-century bourgeoisie was marked by practicality and neatness. The women no longer wore corsets, and their costume was noted for the whiteness of the apron and cap.
Although 17th-century urban dress was similar throughout Europe, the various countries worked out distinctive design solutions. In Spain a garish and affectedly decorative women’s court costume originated, with enormous hoops, contrasting colors, and asymmetrical finishing and outline. Within the bourgeois circles of England, Puritanism influenced the development of a costume with practical, moderately sized forms marked by the refinement of classically austere lines.
In the 18th century, the development of a characteristically European urban costume proceeded with particular intensity. The model for all Europe remained the French costume, which in turn was influenced to some extent by English clothing. The noblemen’s dress that had been established in the second half of the 17th century changed very little during the 18th. Only the silhouette and a few details were changed. In the first half of the 18th century, the waistcoat—called the habit—fit the waist more snugly; folds in the side seams of the back (below the waist) widened the silhouette on the sides to such a degree that the costume resembled a woman’s dress. Such designs were influenced by the rococo style.
With time there arose a striving for a refined, austere silhouette—a striving associated with a new stage in classicist art. The fancy coattails of the habit were reduced, and the sides of the garment were smoothly tapered toward the bottom. During the 1770’s an even narrower article of clothing, the tailcoat, appeared in England. During the second half of the 18th century, numerous kinds of outerwear developed. Prototypes of 19th- and 20th-century overcoats appeared. These included the redingote (or riding coat—long frock coat) and the carrick (a double-breasted garment with two or three shoulder capes), both of which originated in England. In the early 18th century, men’s fashions were made from richly colored silk, velvet, and, in winter, woolens. In the late 18th century, clothing was made primarily of woolens, characterized at first by light, soft colors and later by dark, somber tones.
The 18th-century aristocratic woman still wore a hoop, or pannier (a basket with a hair or linen covering), but now a dynamic costume was created. The refined, sensual character of female attire reflected rococo aesthetics. Women’s dress from the 1720’s through the 1740’s, with its large forms set off by a dramatic décolletage, did not emphasize the entire figure. Attention was concentrated on the face, neck, and hands, which seemed frail and delicate among lace flounces. The waistline was slightly fitted in front but disappeared in back in broad folds of freely falling fabric that formed a train. Mobile and filled with the play of light and shadow, this mass of fabric, or bustle, contrasted with the smooth skirt that rested freely on the pannier. The folds of the bustle created a dynamic, wavelike effect when the woman walked.
During the 1750’s and 1760’s, with the further development of the rococo style, women’s dress became shorter and less wide, and it acquired an abundance of drapery, folds, and ruches. Lightweight fabrics, for example, taffeta and fine satin, were used. Dresses were in soft pastels (yellow, light blue, green) and had small designs (bouquets, garlands, flowers). The light colors harmonized with the white stockings and with the delicate, light-colored footwear on high, curved heels. As a result of English influence, important changes occurred in women’s costume during the 1780’s. The pannier went out of use, and tranquil lines predominated.
The costume of the Jacobins, which appeared during the Great French Revolution, played a major role in the development of 19th-century masculine dress. The Jacobins wore long pants, a carmagnole, a shirt (frequently with a loose scarf-type necktie), and the bonnet rouge. The classicist trend subsequently led to the adoption of types of Greco-Roman clothing and, later, to the creation of original forms based on them. Women’s dresses had clear proportions and smooth lines. The waistline was high, and the long skirt was narrow in front and had a freely flowing train. The dresses were usually made of fine, white cotton muslin and were worn with colored woolen shawls, which had the same function as the himation and pallium.
The formation of a standardized European urban costume was completed in the 19th century. The mass production of inexpensive clothing made fashionable attire accessible to the broad strata of urban and, beginning around 1850, country dwellers. Changes in fashion principally affected female dress. (During the age of feudalism, men’s costume had occupied the dominant position and had changed more frequently than women’s.) France continued to dictate women’s fashions, while English fashions became the mode for men throughout Europe. The important role of the businessman in bourgeois society influenced masculine attire during the 19th century. In the first half of the century, the costume worn by businessmen was made of woolen fabrics and was restrained in color. It included a redingote, a waistcoat, and long trousers. A tailcoat, worn with light-colored pants and a waistcoat, served as everyday clothing. Integral elements of the costume were the top hat and gloves. A classical simplicity and austerity of line were characteristic of masculine attire worn during the first decade of the 19th century.
Throughout the 1820’s and 1830’s, romantic modes prevailed in everyday clothing. These included elements of medieval costume, such as the narrow waistline and sleeves that were puffed toward the top. The democratization of men’s clothing, which began during the Great French Revolution, was particularly evident in the late 19th century. Elements associated with the aesthetic traditions of the feudal past—the ruched and lacy shirt and the brocaded waistcoat—disappeared almost completely.
Beginning in the 1850’s, the morning coat (a variant of the redingote) became an obligatory part of the wardrobe of the man of society and the bourgeois alike. It was worn with black and gray-striped trousers. The tailcoat became a very formal garment—a sign of privilege enjoyed by rich people. A simple, loose-fitting jacket served as informal wear. The jacket, waistcoat, and trousers formed the classic suit. In the 1860’s and later, the pieces of such a suit were made primarily from a single dark fabric. The top hat was replaced by a felt hat or the narrow-brimmed bowler; in the summer, straw hats (boaters) were worn.
At the outset of the 19th century, with the affirmation of the Empire style, women’s wardrobes included lightweight, transparent dresses, worn over an opaque slip. The dresses were later made of heavyweight, dense fabrics, which imparted to the silhouette a particular linearity. By 1830, romanticist influences resulted in a “femininely frail” silhouette. The very narrow waist, held in by a corset, descended to its natural position and contrasted with the wide sleeves and skirt. Heelless slippers with squared toes, which made the feet seem smaller, became fashionable.
The artistic crisis experienced by the applied arts during the second half of the 19th century manifested itself in clothing in a striving for decorative effects and a popularity of pseudostyles, especially pseudo-rococo. Once again, a hoopskirt—the crinoline—was worn. At the same time, the liberation from strict stylistic norms made possible a wider search for new forms that met the demands of the bourgeoisie for convenience and practicality. Fashion was principally dictated by the artist-designer C. Worth, who established in Paris the first fashion house, or couturier.
In the 1870’s the rejection of the hoopskirt and the crinoline led to the creation of a costume with a smooth, long bodice and an almost straight skirt. A short overskirt, or tunic, was worn, whose movement in the back began at one point and was emphasized by a bow and a bustle. The bustle ended in a train. This rhythmic design, which imparted to the costume a dynamic sharpness, was an artistic achievement of the period. At the end of the 1870’s the narrower silhouette of the costume gave rise to simple, straight coats. A costume without a train for street wear and traveling came into being. The popularity of practical, modest, and simple clothing resulted primarily from the entry of women into the world of business. Such dress was characterized by dark tones and imitated men’s clothing (neckties, cuffs, and starched collars).
In the 1880’s a certain unity of artistic conception that had existed in the costume of the 1870’s disappeared. The low artistic quality of clothing during the period was reflected in complicated lines, crude trimmings, piling up of forms, and poor design. In the 1890’s the style of art nouveau, with its pretentious complication of form, made its appearance in clothing. The skirt was flared toward the hem, and the corset gave the figure an S-shaped look.
During the 20th century, a new stage in the history of costume began as a result of technological advances and the changes in living conditions associated with them (in particular, the quickening of life’s pace), as well as the further development of the garment industry. In the first decade of the century, men’s costume changed with the appearance of the motorcycle and the automobile: men wore knickers, jackets, caps, and colored shirts. Informal dinner attire no longer included the tailcoat but consisted of a single-breasted jacket with silk lapels. In the second decade of the 20th century, most men wore ready-made, standardized suits. During World War I (1914–18), masculine attire included high-buttoned jackets, jodhpurs, and leggings, which replaced knee boots.
Beginning in the 1950’s, masculine attire more suitable for movement was designed. Garments were lighter and softer. Rag Ian sleeves, primarily in overcoats, appeared, as did trousers that were tapered toward the bottom. Features of sports clothing were used more widely. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, men’s fashions, often made of practical, synthetic materials, were extremely diverse. They included comfortable sports jackets, short outer jackets, pullover sweaters, lightweight jackets, stretch pants, bright summer shirts, and business suits with refined contours.
In women’s dress between 1910 and 1915 the artificial pretentiousness of form and the asymmetry of line and decoration were replaced by a smoothness of line, created by the free draping of light fabrics. During World War I, practical work clothes—the blouse and skirt ensemble and the shortened dress worn without a corset—were prevalent. In the 1920’s, with the spread of the principles of functionalism, garments were designed that had convenient and simple silhouettes and were loose fitting. Women wore a short chemise dress (often with a low belt), whose trimmings, frequently embroidery, accentuated the principal lines of design. Stockings became an important component of such costumes.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, female attire again attained a refined outline; the fabric was cut along the bias and fit the figure snugly. However, features adapted from military uniforms, such as squared shoulders, created some dissonance. Women’s shoes had thicker soles, known as platforms.
By the early 1950’s the angular lines of the militarized silhouette had been succeeded by smooth lines created by a bodice with raglan sleeves, as well as by a narrow waistline and a flaring skirt. Feminine footwear was sharply pointed and had spike heels.
Since the early 1960’s, there have been changes in women’s fashions. The lines of the cut dominate the general design solution, and the seams are included in the composition as decorative elements. Skirt lengths during the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s varied greatly—from the mid-thigh mini to the mid-calf midi and the ankle-length maxi. Slacks were frequently worn in place of skirts. By the 1970’s the types of clothing, as well as their silhouettes, had become extremely varied. It is precisely in this diversity that designers recognize the possibility of individualizing costume, which they do by assembling standard elements in various ways. In the mid-1960’s, changes also occurred in footwear: informal shoes with wide, medium-height heels were popular. Russian boots became the most fashionable winter footwear. In the early 1970’s, platform shoes again became fashionable.
By the 1960’s a special type of clothing for young men and women had come into being. The similarity of the design for both sexes led to the creation of almost identical articles, in terms of fabric and detail.
The fashion center of the world continues to be France, where the principal contemporary houses of fashion are located. These couturiers bear the names of their creators—the designer-entrepreneurs G. Chanel, C. Dior, P. Cardin, and A. Courrèges. Nevertheless, since 1950, French designers have encountered competition from firms in Great Britain (M. Quant) and Italy (the Fontana sisters and Valentino), as well as from the largest firms in the USA and Japan.
Russian clothing. The earliest information concerning ancient Russian clothing dates from the period of Kievan Rus’. With the acceptance of Christianity at the end of the tenth century, the princes adopted Byzantine costume as ceremonial wear. However, a certain originality of cut was introduced to the costume, and the decoration was less lavish. Masculine peasant attire consisted of a coarse, sackcloth shirt, woolen trousers, bast shoes, and onuchi (cloths wrapped around the feet). A narrow belt, embellished with patterned metal spangles, added a decorative touch to the stylistically simple ensemble. A shuba and a sharply pointed fur hat served as outer clothing. The dress of the Kievan princesses closely resembled Byzantine attire, but the impression of a rigid trunk was avoided by the use of softer fabrics. The principal article of clothing among urban and peasant women was the chemise. Women probably wore a garment similar to a poneva (peasant woman’s homespun skirt). An ubrus (decorative kerchief) served as the head covering. The most frequently used materials were sackcloth (canvas) and woolens, which often had printed patterns.
In the 16th century the simplicity of form that characterized boyars’ clothing, imparting to the figure a ceremonial stateliness, was combined with special decorative features. The garments were made of sumptuously colored fabrics and decorated with lavish raised embroidery and pearls. Wooden buttons covered with fabric and sewn with silk thread were used, as were gold buttons embellished with enamel or stones.
Men’s attire of the 16th and 17th centuries consisted of long, straight trousers and a shirt, to which the boyars attached an embroidered collar. The seams of the shirt were covered by narrow strips of red fabric. Outer garments included the armiak (a long robelike garment without buttons), the caftan, the okhaben’ (a wide caftan with a large collar and slits in the sleeves for the arms), the tegiliai (a quilted, short-sleeved caftan with an erect collar), and the feriaz’ (a collarless, long-sleeved garment). A kolpak (a conical or oval hat) was worn on the head. The boyars wore high, cylindrical hats made from fox.
The costume of princesses and boyar women consisted of a fine, white linen chemise, over which was worn a garment of colored silk. Sarafans (sleeveless garment worn over a chemise with sleeves) were also popular. Outer garments were flared at the bottom and had extremely long sleeves. They included a telogreia (a small, lined shuba with a standing collar) and a letnik (the most formal outer wear). The letnik differed from the telogreia in that it had copiously embroidered pieces of fabric, known as voshvy, inserted into longitudinal slits in the sleeves. Various types of headgear were worn, including the kichka with soroka (a beaded cap decorated with a length of embroidered fabric) and the kokoshnik (a headdress characterized by its distinctive crest). The most popular footwear among city dwellers consisted of colored boots, which were often embroidered. The boots had heels and pointed toes bent upward.
The introduction of foreign clothing into Russia, which had begun in the late 17th century, was accelerated at the beginning of the 18th century by the reform of Peter I, who decreed the replacement of Russian dress by the general European costume then in fashion. Such European dress became a permanent part of aristocratic life. However, traditional Russian clothing continued to be worn among the peasantry and most of the urban population. The Europeanization of the urban costume was particularly noticeable during the 19th century. In the first half of the century, among the merchant class and the petite bourgeoisie, men wore a long-skirted frock coat with a subtly marked waistline; toward the end of the century they also wore jackets. Women combined European dress with features of the traditional costume. Working women generally wore a European-style costume, which was, however, marked by a greater degree of simplicity and austerity of finish.
After the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Soviet state was confronted with the task of creating clothing of high artistic quality for the general populace. In the 1920’s, the types of civilian clothing that were well known during the prerevolutionary period took on new uses. For example, the leather coat, previously worn by chauffeurs, became a distinctive uniform for military commissars in the army and for leaders of workers’ organizations. Jerseys, field jackets, jodhpurs, khaki clothing, and the budennovka (a soft, pointed hat with flaps covering the ears and neck) were popular. The triangular red scarf—a symbol of the activist woman—was widely worn.
In 1919 a studio for the design of contemporary costume was established in Moscow within the Arts Division of the People’s Commissariat of Education. Directed by the artist-designer N. P. Lamanova, the studio became the creative, experimental laboratory for new forms of clothing. The Atelier of Fashion—a special theoretical center for the art of designing everyday costume—was opened in 1923. The artists V. I. Mukhina, A. A. Ekster, E. I. Pribyl’skaia, and N. S. Makarova worked in such centers. Contributions toward solving problems relating to clothing design were made by a group of constructivist artists, who were proponents of production art. These artists included V. F. Stepanova, L. S. Popova, A. A. Vesnin, V. A. Vesnin, A. M. Rodchenko, and V. E. Tatlin. Although they varied in style and approach, the designers shared fundamental principles: a democratic utility, simplicity, and rational efficiency. However, the low technological level of the garment industry at that time did not permit the concepts of the first Soviet designers to be realized on a mass scale.
During the 1930’s the country’s increased economic base made a clothing industry possible. Expansion of the network of state workshops allowed relatively standardized European-style clothing to become widespread. The Fashion House was organized in Moscow in 1934 and given ail-Union status in 1949. As of 1974 it directed approximately 40 fashion houses throughout the country. Such institutions design fashions for the sewn and knitted garment industries, as well as for factories that produce headgear and fur clothing. In the republics where traditional types of costume are worn, attention is paid to the design of national clothing. Soviet designers, having overcome the exaggerated ethnic tendencies of the 1940’s and 1950’s, are continuing to develop the progressive design principles of the 1920’s, relying on the capacity of a well-equipped system of garment production.
While changing within the mainstream of general European fashion, Soviet clothing has avoided extravagance and loud, garish effects. Instead, it is characterized by an austere and rational efficiency. Nevertheless, it does not have a monotonous appearance, owing to the use of numerous stylistic features and tailoring techniques and of fabrics of various colors and textures. Soviet designers who have achieved international acclaim from the 1950’s to the present have included T. A. Faidel’, V. M. Zaitsev, L. G. Telegina, and I. V. Krutikova.
M. N. MERTSALOVA (history of clothing styles up to the end of the 19th century), I. A. ANDREEVA (clothing styles of the 20th century)
Folk clothing. Clothing that originated among the working people as everyday dress occupies a special place in the history of costume. Deriving its roots from early antiquity, it continued to exist in subsequent historical periods, reflecting elements of national culture. Folk clothing was widespread in European countries until the late 19th and early 20th centuries; it has been retained as part of everyday dress in many countries of Asia, Africa, and South America to the present day.
In Western European countries, despite the diversity of form in folk dress, certain elements were widespread. In Scandinavia, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria, men wore narrow, short trousers; a white or colored shirt with long, wide sleeves (sometimes with cuffs); waistcoats in various styles and materials; and short, dark cloth coats (less frequently, long caftans). Such garments divided the figure into parts, outlining and emphasizing its forms. Headgear included berets or cloth hats with narrow brims. The Scandinavians wore knitted caps, and Southern Europeans broad-brimmed straw hats.
Masculine attire was somewhat distinctive among certain peoples in the eastern and southeastern regions of Western Europe (Bulgarians, Slovaks, Croats, Rumanians, Hungarians). These costumes included long, narrow trousers made of white or colored cloth (decorated with appliqué or embroidery), as well as very wide trousers made of homespun linen. A cloaklike garment was also characteristic of these regions. Among certain mountain peoples of Europe, a unique part of the men’s costume was a wide knee-length skirt. In Scotland the skirt was plaid, in Ireland yellow or light brown, and in Albania and Greece white. A necessary part of the masculine attire everywhere was a wide, lavishly ornamented belt, usually of leather. In Scandinavia men wore a belt of braided wool, and in southern Europe men’s waists were enhanced by a wide silk sash.
The principal feminine garments in most European countries were a white chemise, a short bodice, wide skirts, and an apron. There were various styles of short- and long-sleeved chemises. The bodice had shoulder straps or, sometimes, sleeves, as well as lacing in front or in back (less frequently, a buckle or clasp). The skirts, which were long or short, were gathered at the waist. In some countries several of these skirts were worn at the same time. The apron constituted the brightest, most decorative, and most festive article of clothing. This feminine costume, which developed under the influence of free-falling urban clothing (16th to 19th centuries), was marked by a refined and precise silhouette.
Headgear consisted principally of various kinds of caps, kerchiefs, and straw hats. Girls’ headdresses often took the form of a hoop or a ribbon tied around the head. Various types of shoulder coverings were worn, ranging from heavy, large shawls in northern Europe to lightweight, silk shawls in the south. Among the peoples of southeastern Europe and, to some extent, among the Western Slavs, more archaic forms of garments continued to be worn for a long time. For example, an unsewn garment consisting of two aprons or pieces of material fastened at the waist was popular. In some countries, such as Finland and Norway, women wore a skirt with a bodice or shoulder straps. The most widespread type of footwear for both men and women was made of leather and was worn with cotton or woolen socks or with puttees. Among certain peoples, for example, in Scandinavia, Hungary, Poland, and Germany, the men also wore boots. The footwear of the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula consisted of a single piece of leather and resembled a moccasin. Some peoples used footwear with wooden soles (for example, in Portugal and Italy), and others wore shoes made entirely of wood (in France, the Netherlands).
Russian clothing shared elements with the dress of other Slavic peoples, yet it had a number of unique features. Masculine attire consisted of a rubakha-kosovorotka (a shirt fastened on the side), which was sometimes decorated with embroidery on the collar and hem. The shirt hung over rather narrow trousers and was gathered at the waist. Southern Russian and northern Russian feminine attire had their own regional features. The costume of southern Russian regions consisted of a chemise and a poneva (the Ukrainian plakhta and the Byelorussian poneva). The feminine attire of northern Russia consisted of a chemise and a sarafan that had a slender silhouette and flared out toward the bottom. The chemise and other garments were decorated with embroidery, insets of red calico, braiding, ribbons, and galloon. The decoration to a large extent determined the color and rhythm of the costume. Throughout Russia, girls wore bands or wreaths on their head, and married women wore the soroka with kichka or the kokoshnik to completely cover the hair.
There were various types of outer clothing, including the shuba, the polushubok (a short shuba made from sheepskin), a cloth caftan nipped at the waist, and the poddevka (a long-waisted coat). The poddevka, which was made of unbleached muslin, had gathering and was fastened on the left side. A sheepskin tulup (floor-length coat) was worn for traveling. It took the form of a robe that widened toward the bottom. Boots with accordion pleats around the ankle were worn; beginning in the 19th century valenki (felt boots) were popular. In the past most peasants wore shoes woven from bast.
Byelorussian masculine attire was similar to that of Russian men’s dress (with differences in the cut of the shirt); among women the old-fashioned poneva was replaced by a skirt (andarak or saian) made of various materials. Both masculine and feminine Ukrainian attire is characterized by great diversity and varies from region to region. An especially picturesque quality marks the costume worn in the mountainous regions of the Ukraine. The peoples of these areas wear the distinctive sheepskin kintar’ (a type of jacket), which is sleeveless and decorated with metal spangles and appliqué. The clothing of the peoples of the Volga Region (Mordovians, Mari, Chuvash) is extremely original and lavishly embroidered.
The national costumes of the peoples of the Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasia have much in common in cut. They differ, however, in length, color, and trimmings. A characteristic component of the men’s costume is the long, loose cherkeska (Circassian coat), which is nipped at the waist and is usually collarless. Under the cherkeska is worn the beshmet (quilted jacket). The papakha, a hat made of fur, is popular. Women’s national dress among the Georgians, Kabardinians, Cherkess, Ossetians, and other peoples consists of a dress with a narrow bodice and a wide skirt, which gives the figure a graceful line. In accordance with national tastes, the clothing of the peoples of the Caucasus is decorated with metal spangles, gold and silver thread, and galloon and braiding of metal, silk, and woolen threads.
The national costumes of the peoples of Middle Asia also have common features. The men wear a tunic-like shirt and wide trousers. A loose robe is worn as outer clothing. The tiubeteika (an embroidered skullcap), the chalma (a turban), or a fur cap is worn on the head. The women wear long sharovary (wide pants) and a tunic-like chemise that extends below the knees and almost completely conceals the outline of the figure. The women also wear a robe. At the same time, differences in cut, color, and ornamentation mark the national costumes of each people (embroidery on the collar and sleeves, forms of women’s headgear).
The Chinese, Koreans, Mongolians, and other Asian peoples wear trousers and long robes with slits. The principal outer garment is a robe that closes on the right side. The kimono, a robe with wide sleeves, is the national dress of both men and women in Japan. The various types of Asian clothing are similar in cut but differ in ornament. Chinese dress is distinguished by symmetrical ornament, particularly in the front, whereas Japanese clothing places emphasis on the asymmetrical and shifts most of its decorative elements to the back of a garment. Among the peoples of Southern and Southeast Asia, wrapped or draped clothing is widely worn. Fabric is hung from the midriff and draped around the lower part of the body (for example, the dhoti and the sarong), or it is wrapped around the entire body (the sari worn by Indian women). The draping reveals the plastic properties of the material.
In many regions of Africa, masculine attire consists of wide trousers and a long, tunic-like shirt (for example, the galabi, jellaba, and buba). The fabric of the shirt falls either in soft, free folds or in large, rigid planes. Women’s clothing in savanna zones consists of long dresses of various types. In the tropical-forest zones, women wear aprons and loincloths.
G. S. MASLOVA
Hygienic requirements for clothing. Clothing helps create an artificial microclimate around the body. In the space between the clothing and the body an even temperature is maintained (varying from 28° to 32°C). The space is marked by a rather low relative humidity (20 to 40 percent) and very little air movement. Clothing decreases the body’s heat loss, maintains energy resources, and protects the skin from physical and chemical damage, dust, dirt, and insects. The principal hygienic requirements for clothing are the conformity of its heat-retentive capability and its air penetrability to climatic conditions, to the intensity of muscle movement, and to the particular sex, age, and health of the wearer. The design and cut of outer clothing must ensure maximum freedom of movement and must not restrict breathing and blood circulation.
Clothing designed for cold weather should be made from materials with little density and with a thickness that does not change as a result of movement or long wear or as a result of getting wet. A decrease in the material’s thickness, as well as in the relative amount of air in it, lowers the garment’s heat retention. Optimal properties for such clothing are possessed by natural materials (linen, cotton fabrics, natural silks). Synthetic fabrics, which are good for protection against atmospheric moisture and wind, are efficiently used in outer garments. In order to prevent cold-related diseases, it is recommended that excessive thermal protection be avoided, especially among children, because it causes sweating, which dampens the clothing and results in lowered heat retention.
In warm weather, garments that retain heat poorly and that absorb perspiration well should be worn. In regions with a temperate climate, summer clothing should facilitate maximum penetration of ultraviolet rays (clothing of viscose rayon and polyamide fibers). Inhabitants of hot countries should wear clothing that screens out radiant heat. Protection from solar radiation is ensured by light-colored clothing made of smooth materials. From a hygienic point of view, it is best to wear summer clothing made of linen, cotton, or natural silk. Synthetic fabrics become soiled more rapidly, are only slightly hygroscopic, and accumulate static electricity. Such fabrics do not permit the skin to breathe and give rise allergic disturbances.
Sportswear should be made from the lightest possible materials. The fabrics should breathe sufficiently to ensure rapid evaporation of perspiration and should be highly hygroscopic. Knitwear is the most hygienic type of sports clothing; coarse calico and linen underwear are less suitable for engaging in sports. Winter sportswear, as well as clothing for people who work outdoors in cold weather, should be lightweight yet heat retentive. Warm-up suits, consisting of a loose ensemble of shirt and trousers, are quite comfortable. They are made of dense cotton (for example, flannelette or velveteen), wool, woolen knits, or synthetic materials. Wind-resistant clothing should be worn on mountain-climbing trips or camping excursions in cold weather.
In designing children’s clothing consideration is given to age characteristics and to children’s imperfect heat regulation and to their extensive motor activity. A garment should allow air to pass through freely, should have a style that does not restrict movement, and should prevent the child from becoming too cold or overheated. A child’s skin, particularly during the first few months of life, is tender and easily injured. Therefore, children’s clothing should be made of soft, hygroscopic fabrics that do not have buttons or rough seams. The garments are closed with soft fastenings. Babies should be protected from becoming overheated; garments made of nonhygroscopic synthetic fabrics should be avoided, since they may lead to heat rashes and skin irritation.
Protective clothing in industry serves to shield workers from unfavorable working conditions. In hot shops, nonflammable coats and trousers made of woolen and linen (tarpaulin) fabrics are worn. Those parts of the clothing that are most exposed to sparks, flying metal chips, or hot liquids are covered with dense fire-resistant fabrics; those parts most subjected to heat are multilayer, consisting of an external layer of linen fabric, a middle layer of wool, and an inner layer of soft cotton. Protective clothing is sometimes made of lavsan or of cotton that has been treated with heat-resistant materials. In the metallurgical industry, asbestos aprons, gaiters, oversleeves, and mittens are worn to protect workers from flames, hot objects, and sparks from smelted metal. Fire fighters also wear such garments. Asbestos suits are worn during dangerous operations of short duration (20 to 30 min) in which the threat of fire is great.
For protection against toxic dust, special hooded suits made of dense cotton and having double fastenings on the sleeves and trousers are worn. Workers exposed to acids and other active chemical substances wear suits made of coarse woolen or cotton fabrics that are impregnated with acid-proof substances. Some of these suits use fabrics made of a wool and synthetic blend. Clothing made of rubberized fabric is used for work with alkalies. Clothing designed for work with active chemical substances consists of coveralls or suits; also worn are aprons, oversleeves, smocks, and overalls, which are made of polyvinyl chloride fibers, leather substitutes, or rubberized fabrics. Persons working with radioactive substances wear coveralls and suits made of fabrics that can be easily deactivated (undyed cotton fabrics, lavsan). Insulated clothing is worn by persons involved in operations that pollute the air with radioactive vapor or aerosols. For additional protection during work with radioactive substances, aprons, oversleeves, and short robes made of plasticized substances are worn. There is also protective clothing for work with petroleum products, oil, grease, solvents, varnishes, paints, and dyes. Special occupational clothing is worn by workers in the mining, construction, and other industries.
A. M. STOCHIK
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What does it mean when you dream about clothing?
Clothing in a dream often depicts the self’s persona. Old ragged clothing can mean old ways and ideas need to be, or are about to be, changed. Much changing of clothes or costumes can also suggest the need for change, and trying to fit into a new way of being in the world. Likewise, the wearing of new and beautiful garments often suggests new things in the life of the dreamer, such as social or economic improvement. (See also Costume.)