Clothing not only protects and decorates. It also says something about the wearer whether he sees himself as part of a group, expresses a political stance or emphasizes his individuality. In societies with large hierarchies, such as Italy and France, clothing is particularly important as they can be Holiday gifts (מתנות לחג) for their loved ones.

Fashion, in general, is not what you associate with serious subjects

The world of clothing is seen as superficial, extravagant and self-centred, while the world of politics deals with serious things like fighting hunger, preventing war or resolving conflicts. And yet the two worlds have more in common than you might think. Because fashion is an expression of human identity, and identity is part of the political process.

Clothing always says something, communicates a message about the wearer, regardless of whether it is haute couture or military uniforms. Everyone communicates with their clothes even those who do not attach importance to their wardrobe indicate that they do not want to be seen as superficial or vain. Clothing always fulfils several functions. It can provide information about status, profession, gender, political affiliation and generation. It conveys to the other person who he or she is dealing with and makes it easier to integrate into social groups in politics as well as on the catwalk.

In many cultures, clothing has become a symbol of the identity

מתנות לחג

During his years with the Arab tribes in World War I, TE Lawrence witnessed the Bedouin donning the clothes of the Ottoman soldiers they killed like a scalp, a symbol of military victory. The loser gave away his identity with the clothes and was thus considered defeated. It is the clothes that mark the winner here.

Basically, societies with large hierarchies place more value on clothing because it communicates one’s own position in society. Good examples are Italy and France. In the USA or Israel, countries with flat hierarchies, fewer means are needed to express class differences.

For the same reasons, politicians in Germany and the rest of the western world dress in ways that a large group of voters can identify with. In an attempt to reduce the expressiveness of clothing, the most egalitarian piece of clothing is therefore used which is the suit.