🧵 1/
People wonder why clothing changed so much between the early 20th century and now...Or why people would ever dress "So formally"

What people don't realize is how much lifestyles have changed in that time

Early 20th century people walked Everywhere. In all weather.

And there was unlikely to be much climate control one way or the other when they got there.

Outfits in the 40s and before were designed so you could walk 10 miles in them in November, + pockets for all you need

Cars were a recent curiosity that most didn't have and could not yet be relied upon consistently... As late as the 40s the Wehrmacht built its logistics around horses, and as late as the 1960s! horses were used in northern regions where winter made roads impassible

In addition to the cold, The summer sun could cause serious sun burns in an era before sunblock.

Old timey swimsuits were not artifacts of prudishness, but self preservation

Thus the significance of hats before modern transportation.

They would protect one from the sun, provide shelter in rain, and prevent heat loss to the cold and wind

This blend of everyday fashion with the rigors of hard outdoor travel are almost entirely gone.

The only remain artifacts are hiking outfits

And military kit

Neither of which are designed to seamlessly transition to the Office or Church once you arrive after your 5-10km walk there

Yet this style of outfit remains the apex of tasteful fashion

Rather than being archaic this blend of style and function has become more fashionable in our era.

In Christmas Classic Its a Wonderful Life George Bailey is supposed to be on the edge of destitution... About to end his life over a sum of 8000 dollars ($132,000 inflation adjusted)

This is how a he dresses day to day

A barely middle-class man on the edge of ruin from the 1940s looks exquisite today...

Largely because he's not fallen into the inherent slovenliness that marks modern clothing, that makes everyone look barely dressed, because they are.

One cannot look put together if one is not dressed sufficiently to conduct oneself or merely survive a full 8 hours outside.

This is why even nice summer outfits wind up focused on layers and hats... that's what you need to survive if you're staying outside

Much as many might like to dismiss fashion as pointless style over substance...

More often than not its the substance that creates the style.

Yet our fashion designers are obsessed with creating the opposite

Thus why we live in one of the ugliest ages of fashion.

The car and climate control has deprived us of the need for any substantive quality in our clothing...

That is until they break down

Growing up in Canada, My parents would always admonish me if I drove off or left home improperly dressed or without a coat...

In my mind the 1 minute winter chill getting to the car, then the store once the car was parked didn't demand a whole lot
But the point wasn't to be dressed for what one planned to do, it was to be dressed for what one might have to do, like unstuck a car

This is why casual fashion is a contradiction. Good fashion equips you for the world. If you're ill-equipped you'll look Ill dressed
PS. I write things!

Checkout my piece on Motorcycles, evading IR, and the Future of Irregular Warfare

Recommended by
Recommendations from around the web and our community.

Good thread on fashion as price theory rather than preference theory.