if you look at the history of clothes, you see that the major mass market innovations don’t go back very far. When the loom was automized and humans could be replaced, we were able to have wider varieties in styles of clothes. Before that, people wove and knit their clothes by hand, which took a long arduous time. When clothing was limited to seamstresses and tailors, it was a more special thing.
I used to complain about how the romantic languages, like French and Spanish were too romantic. I didn’t like all that separation of gender stereotypes in the words. English language for me please. But, now that I think of it further, it’s not just language that created distinct gender stereotypes, it was in their clothing. The language didn’t have the power of communication that clothing did when it was handmade.
People take clothing for granted these days. I can walk through any park and find articles of clothing laying on the ground somewhere. Whether it be people’s dirty under wear, or even sleeping bags, the cloth has turned into some kind of disposable item like its tissue to many people. There isn’t as much of an intimacy with our clothing because we can get it for cheap prices at easy to reach places.
The clothes cover our shame and many times will cause confusion as to whether a person was a man or woman. I’m sure we all have seen the SNL skit, “it’s Pat” where they actors struggle to figure out if Pat is a man or woman. All she has to do is get a little fat around her midsection and then wear gender neutral clothing.
When people get fat it gets harder to tell their gender. Males grow tits and females lose the shapeliness to their hips. But, the clothing can drape over the body as well and make everything look neutral and confusing.