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Cross-continental cross-fertilization in clothing

  • Economics


In this article, an attempt is made to explain the homogenization of world dress, particularly for men, and at the same time to understand why in a number of places that homogenization has been resisted, and specific forms of supposedly local clothing have been used as markers of identity. The argument revolves around two main themes. First, the development of continent, and later worldwide, systems of manufacturing and distribution of clothing, beginning in New York in the middle of the 19th century, allowed the spread of particular forms of dress. Secondly, this dress was seen as being modern. In some cases this led to its enthusiastic, or to its enforced, adoption, in the hope that it would bring about socio-economic modernization. Elsewhere, it was rejected as being a part of imperial domination.

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