History of American FashionIn A NutshellThe clothes we wear and the trends we follow are often associated with superficiality and materialism. Fleeting stylescome rapidly into vogue, then disappear as quickly as they came. But fashion has always been intrinsically connected to deeper elements of the American experience, from the economy and labor system to culture, religion, and class. From our underwear to our Levi's to our sneakers, what we wear has, for centuries, spoken volumes about who we are, what we do, and what we want. Whether Americans have dressed to make a political statement, to assert their class status, or simply to be irreverent, every style has carried a certain social meaning. This is in part because our culture has long ascribed great significance to individuals' public image, and because image has long been intertwined with the Americancapitalist economy. As Mark Twain once wrote, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."1
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.