The Development of Garment Styles

Almost all clothes are constructed in one of three basic ways: tailored, draped, or composite. These three garment styles appear today in almost all cultures. However, the actual form they take varies with cultures.

The tailored garments are cut and sewn to fit the human body. Examples of tailored garments include suits, pants and fitted jackets.

The development of woven fabric led to the second major clothing construction method, the draped garment. Draped garments are created from an uncut piece of fabric that is draped, wrapped, or hung on the body.

Draped garments can fit tightly or loosely. Pins, buttons, toggles and belts or sashers are used to hold them in place. Fabric squares and rectangles are neither cut nor sewn to make draped garments.

Early woven fabrics were most commonly used to make draped garments. In part, this is because woven fabrics take a long time to weave by hand. As a result, people probably decided to drape the fabric whenever possible rather than cut it. The unfinished edges could then be knotted or fringed when they are removed from the loom to prevent raveling. Cutting fabric also takes time and draping is simpler and faster.

Draped clothes have other advantages. A large square or rectangular piece of fabric can take on a variety of shapes, depending on how it is draped. The same piece of fabric can be wrapped to give several different looks, or to serve several purposes. For example, it could be used at different times as a garment, a bed covering, or for carrying things.

In many cultures, draped garments appear in many different styles. Ancient Egyptians wore a draped garment called a schenti.

Greeks wore chitons and himations, and Romans wore togas and stolas. Today women in India wear saris, and men wear dhotis. Both are draped garments. In Arab cultures, people often wear draped garments to protect themselves from the heat.

In composite garments, material is shaped and sewn to hang loosely on the body. Sometimes the material is even left, or an uncut piece is sewn into a large-shaped piece. Composite garments always hang loosely on the body. The garment may hang from the head, shoulders, waist, or hips.

In American culture, tunics, some skirts and bathrobes are composite garments. Chinese robes, Japanese kimonos, Peruvian ponchos, and Plains Indians blanket tunics are often examples of composite garments.

Caftans, worn in many cultures are also composite garment.


III Make up a plan of the text.

IV Translate the paragraphs in italics in a written form.


V Questions for discussion:

1. What are the main ways of constructing clothes?

2. What does each way of designing depend on?

3. How is a tailored garment made?

4. How can draped clothes be fixed?

5. What is an advantage of draping?

6. What are garments of different styles like?

7. What are the most famous examples of such clothes in different cultures?

8. What kind of garment can be used for different purposes?

9. What is the most time-taking way of making clothes?

10. What style is preferable in modern Europe?



I Mind the following words and word-combinations:

1. medieval

2. an engine-powered machine

3. naked

4. woven grasses

5. a spindle -

6. a loom


II Listen to the text and be ready to answer the questions:

1. Why was it a problem to own many items of the wardrobe in Ancient Times?

2. Could clothes talk? If yes, explain how.


III Listen to the text again. Decide if the statements are true or false.

1. In the ancient world clothes were cheap and available everywhere.

2. Engine-powered machines helped produce large amount of clothes.

3. Sometimes children ran naked in the ancient societies.

4. With the further development people learned how to spin and weave.

5. In gathering and hunting societies people invented the spinning wheel.




I Listen and remember the following words:

1. an influence

2. mittens

3. tight -

4. to identify

5. jewelry

6. an outfit ,

7. a scarf

8. available

II Read and remember the following phrases:

1. a lined jacket

2. loose-fitting

3. an outer garment

4. a year-round coat

5. a casual dress

6. to call for ,


Your Clothes Package

To be well-dressed, you need to know a lot about yourself and how to let your clothes speak for you. Many factors or qualities influence your choice of clothes. Personality, physical shape, lifestyle, and even the world around you play a part in your decisions about what to wear.

To dress successfully, you need to know about the kinds of clothes that are available to you. If you live in a cold area of the world, such as Alaska or other countries with cold climate, you need to wear special clothes to protect yourself from the cold and wind. In such areas people wear heavy, lined jackets and boots, scarves, and mittens. And it is a necessity, not a choice.

People living in hot, tropical areas also need to protect themselves from the weather. In these climates, people wear white or light-coloured clothes to deflect the rays of the sun. They may wear loose-fitting clothes, such as shorts rather than pants.

In most parts of the world the weather changes over the course of a year.

Clothing needs are varied. Most people need a variety of clothes to suit the weather changes.

Different lifestyles call for different clothes. Comfort and practicality may be important in choosing school clothing. A sport runner needs clothes that are too tight for the body. Most people want clothes that are special when they go out to a social activity.

Uniforms identify a person with a group of occupation: servants in the restaurants, nurses in the hospitals, and the military.

Some people need clothes that are primarily protective (engineers, agriculturalists and many factory employees).

Personality has a lot to do with what you like about certain clothes and dislike about others.

Most people try to plan their basic outer garments to ensure a coordinated effect. These groups are as follows:

1) a year-round coat;

2) a suit- versatile in style (possibly with skirt and pants);

3) separates-skirts, pants, shorts, blouses, sweaters, jackets;

4) a casual dress;

5) an afternoon dress - informal dress;

6) after-five-a) informal dress for entertaining at home;

b) short party dress;

c) long formal dress.

Basic garments such as skirts, trousers, tops, jackets can be changed round to give totally different effects. Accessories such as bags, belts, glasses, gloves, scarves, jewelry, shoes, tights and stockings can be worn with basic garments to introduce other ideas.

Well-dressed people are those who are always suitably dressed. They always have the right outfit for the right occasion. They can do it due to dress sense. It enables them to co-ordinate their wardrobes properly.

III Answer the questions:

1. What influences your choice of clothes?

2. Why do people wear heavy clothes in northern countries?

3. What clothes are the best in tropical areas?

4. What role do uniforms play?

5. What are the groups of outer garments?

6. What can introduce other ideas?

7. What people can be well-dressed?

8. What is dress sense?


IV Complete the sentences with the words from the text:

1. To be well-dressed you have to

2. In the Far North you need heavy jackets to..yourself from the

3. People wear white and bright clothes toof the sun.

4. Many people want something special if they

5. Basic garments can be to produce different..

6. ..are very good for introducing new ideas.

7. Well-dressed people choose garments due to


V Find the English equivalents to the words:

, , , , , , , , , ,


VI Make up sentences with the terms:

A year-round coat, a dressy dress, a uniform, a short party dress, wardrobe


VII Give definitions to the words:

A sweater, pants, jewelry, gloves, tights, stockings


VIII Translate the sentences into English:

1. .

2. : , , .

3. , , .

4. .

5. , .

6. , , .

7. - .


IX Speak on the topic using the following words and word-combinations:

To be well-dressed, to make a choice, weather conditions, lifestyles, social activity, groups of outer garments, right outfit, accessories, to coordinate ones wardrobe




I Read and remember:

1. a toddler ,

2. a numbered size

3. to avoid

4. trim

5. to tug

6. a gripper

7. to reinforce ,


II Read the text and define the main idea of it:


Childrens Clothes

Until the twentieth century, children were often thought of, treated and dressed like miniature adults. Today, childrens clothing is special. It is designed just for them and does not look like adult clothing. Childrens clothing is a separate division in the clothes industry.

Childrens clothes are sized according to age body size. Size groupings include babies, toddlers, and childrens.

Clothes for babies are usually sized either by body weight or by age in months. Body weight ranges from 8 to 10 pounds (3.9 to 4.6 kilograms) or from 12-18 pounds (5.5 to 8.5 kilograms). Age in months ranges from 6 to 12 months, or from 12 to 18 months.

Toddler sizes follow the same pattern although they may also have numbered sizes. A toddler size 2, for example, is for a child 18 to 24 months old.

Preschool children clothes are often sized by age, ranging from 4 to 8. Sizes for school-age children run from 8 through 18. They are based on body size and weight.

It is necessary to buy childrens and babies clothes slightly larger. They grow fast, and buying large ones means the clothes can be worn a longer time. Parents should avoid buying clothes for babies with buttons or trims that can be pulled out. Infants pull, chew, and tug at their clothes. Therefore clothes with trims and fancy fasteners are not practical and may even be dangerous. It is better to look for childrens clothes made of sturdy materials especially if you are buying play clothes, such as easy-care cotton blends and knits. Reinforced stitching and fabric at the seams and knees is helpful. Grippers are the easiest fasteners for small children to handle themselves and small children take pride in what they can do for themselves. If a garment has buttons they must be large enough for a small child to handle.

Childrens clothes should be of bright colours and prints, made of natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen, wool and silk or natural blends. Some more sophisticated clothes are planned for older children with a fashion appeal.


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