On Historicism in Dress

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The false historicism that causes city-dwellers of the electronic age wear apparel to fit the life of a cow-herder or woodsman of hundreds of years age is, in short, absurd. Worse yet when the denim trousers or tricot undershirts are purposefully ripped and stained to emulate a life of hard physical work. It is false in every way, apparently designed for the express cause of creating a psychological mismatch between the person and her surroundings. Even the aesthetically horrendous sports-clothes, which resemble a cross between medical equipment and clown’s outfit, are in this regard better: they have no falsehood in them, even if they are offensively ugly. Although, come to think of it, they claim – when not worn for actual sports – that there are no distinctions between sport and social interaction in other settings, that there is actually nothing of importance beyond one’s own body…
To be in harmony with her surroundings and herself, the city dweller with a keen sense of Beauty and Propriety outfits herself in clothes which are designed to function in urban setting, in our modern age, and in practical, aesthetic and spiritual sense. As the emergence of motor vehicles has been the last great change to affect the daily life in cities, nothing much has changed since the mid-1960’s, when cities settled to this new mode of life. By co-incidence or causation, the arrival of the Cloud of Ugliness happened soon afterwards.
citywearWe must look for inspiration to any of the decades between the arrival of cars and end of refinement and Good Taste. Dress designed for earlier times is, though aesthetically correct, not compatible with the car city. This inspiration-pulling is no historicism, but merely drawing on the design work already done by previous eras. Since the circumstances have not radically changed, the same principles still hold. The science of dressing, so naturally evolving from the age of science we live in, points to practical and cleverly designed clothes that look elegant from early morning rush to glittering evening. All parts of the outfit are there for a reason, from comfortable but stylish shoes to the hat-ribbon. They enable the wearer to enjoy feeling of completeness, which is the basis for a psychologically balanced life.

 

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