Archive | September, 2012

The Dressed Body

27 Sep

” all cultures ‘dress’ the body in some way, be it through clothing, tattooing, cosmetics or other forms of body painting”

” Particular discourses of dress, such as ‘smart’ or ‘professional’ dress and particular strategies of dress, such as the imposition of uniform and dress codes at work”


The body can be dressed in many different ways. It can be viewed through clothing, tattooing, or even body painting. Every culture has different ways and customs of the dressed body. For example, in India the dress culture is different then in the U.S., women in India wear a sari. A sari is a strip of unstitched cloth that runs about 4-9 meters in length and is draped over the body in different styles. The fabrics are colorful and have incredible detailing of beads and embroidery.

It is said to believe that wearing the right clothes is important in certain situations or places. For example, where you work may have a dress code. For corporate offices you have to look smart and professional. So proper attire is wearing a suit with tie. For a woman it’s wearing clothes that is not revealing. Wearing a blazer and slacks would be appropriate. It’s more important and more difficult for woman because their clothing is more form fitting then the opposite sex. Being dressed is very important to a lot of people. Not only at work but if you are dressed in something that is out of the norm in a certain occasion or situation people will see and view you differently. If someone attends a black tie event and a person is wearing a t-shirt and jeans or anything outside of the norm people would look and judge them. This takes me back to thinking about the alter ego project.

When wearing clothing it is said that it stands up on it’s own. I believe this statement is true because you can tell stuff about a person by the way they are dressed. Sometimes even on what they are wearing you can have an idea of where this person is going or coming from. The dressed body can sometimes speak for its self, it may not always be right but you can always have an idea.

“Human bodies are dressed bodies”


Reading #1: “Dress Needs”

25 Sep
” If I were wearing a Mao suit, If i were without a tie, the ideological connotations of my speech would be changed”
” piled-up clothing and jewelry is a sense of a world from which all personalizing sentiment has been deliberately eliminated”
“Women have frequently in the past been the victims of rules on clothing which have denied them freedom of movement”

Dress Needs: reflections on the clothed body

Everyone has their own form of expressing themselves. Clothing plays an important role in our lives. Not only to protect ourselves but also to express how we are feeling or what we believe in. It gives us a way to feel free. Clothing protects us from being exposed to the world. Clothing may express how we are feeling that day. For example, if we are having a bad day or feel bummed out we may dress in sweat pants and a t-shirt.  We might even be having a good day and we are feeling happy and confident ,we might just put on a nice dress and some heels. Clothing plays a role in the mood you are in and how you’re feeling. Some people have a certain style and hangout with people that dress the same. There are many different sub-cultures in the world. Religion may also have a lot of influence on what you wear. In certain religions you have to cover yourself or wear certain clothes, which may identify your religion. Clothing is important in our lives and plays an important role in identifying who we are.

People are fascinated with the way people perceive them. Although people dress for themselves, amour de soi, they also care about how people see them. People dress in the mode also known as armour de soi, which is to dress to please us. If we feel comfortable in what we wear that’s all that matters but there’s always that little thought in our head which makes us think of how people are going to portray us. I believe that we should dress on what makes us happy. There is people who pay a lot of attention on what they put on everyday, it makes them happy, they look good in what they are wearing, wear it with confidence and people notice them and the person wearing it doesn’t even know that they are being noticed. Clothing is all visual to the eye and people do judge you on what you’re wearing.

In the book, Umberto Eco, was a speaker at a conference in 1970 on structuralism, and wore a suit. He explains that if he weren’t wearing a tie the connotations of his speech would be changed.  Wearing a tie with a suit is more professional then when wearing a suit with no tie. One thing different in your wardrobe or outfit can make a difference in how people view you. With a tie, you are portrayed more professional and people take you more serious.

Clothing is important to a person and can have a lot of meaning behind. When clothing is taken from you, it’s like taking apart of who you are. For example, in the holocaust, clothing and personal belongings were taken from them. There were piles of clothes and jewelry. You feel lost and not comforted anymore. When some one takes something from you it takes your personality and destroys everything a person loves. Clothing can be so symbolic and be so important in life and no one really stops to think about it.