Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Walking around Plitivce National Park in Croatia it struck me that I could not tell the difference between German and American pensioners. They were wearing the same kinds of clothes, the style, cut, colour, functionality were the same and only when really focusing was the ability to recognise nationality apparent. Not only does that lack of difference make it clear that people construct identity through their clothes, link themselves to culture and all of its excesses and practicalities but it also seems to say something about the generational attitude toward function over appearance. British female pensioners are far more likely to wear skirts than German or American women of the same age. A loose guess would be that those particular women who wear skirts regularly grew up when they were specifically in fashion, that the skirt was always seen as a popular, attractive fashion item and moreso than in the States where trousers were more normal in the 40s and 50s. German culture has had to undergo such upheaval that a different course of cultural events seems to have led to a similar conclusion. It's clear that people in their 50s and 60s now are far less likely to wear skirts more regularly than trousers, even if they are British women because they grew up with trousers as normal, functional clothing.

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