Clothing refers to the clothes we wear which protects us against heat, cold or injury from machinery. Clothes include garments such as dresses, trousers that we put on our body to protect it and to make us look attractive.
Reasons for Wearing Clothes
The reasons why we wear clothes are many. Some of them are:
1. Protecting the body
Clothes protect the human body from many dangers, especially when we are working. The body can be injured with harmful objects like sticks, iron, tyre, bites by insects and animals. If the body is covered with clothes, it will not be easy for the harmful objects or insects or animals to harm the body.
2. Expression of feelings
Different situations necessitate different clothes. For example, people often wear beautiful clothes during marriage ceremonies, age grade and naming ceremonies but may not wear such dresses to events for mourning over the death of beloved ones. The colour of clothes worn for such a sad event may depend on the tradition and religion of the people affected.
3. Maintaing normal body temperature
In the tropics, the sun shines brightly and makes the body hot. When the body is too hot, it becomes uncomfortable. The body may be sweating because of heat. Cotton clothes can prevent the heat of the sun from being absorbed by the body. When the rays of the sun cannot enter the body, the body does not get too hot. Cotton also absorbs sweat.
4. For beautifying the body
Many people select the type of clothes they wear, not only for protecting the body, but also to make them look beautiful. Therefore they select special clothes for particular occasions. Nice-looking clothes help to beautify the body.
5. Keeping the body warm
When the body is exposed to cold, it is uncomfortable. Cold can disturb the body system. it can lead to sickness to the body and disturb breathing. Clothing makes the body warm and prevents us from catching cold. When the body is warm, the blood maintains its temperature and functions very well. Woolen clothes and sweaters keep the body warm when it is very cold.
6. Expression of one’s culture
Many cultures in Nigeria can easily be identitied based on the dressing of the people. For example, lgbos, Yorubas and Hausa/Fulanis have their own special dresses that make people recognize them and their culture.
Some religious organizations have special garments that distinguish them from others. For example, the Muslims have their clothes that distinguish them from others who are non-Muslims. These could be observed on Fridays at the mosque.
Also, some Christian denominations have their own clothes that distinguish them from other Christians and non-Christians. Reverends, Bishops and Reverend Sisters have special dresses that distinguish them from other members of the church.
7. Expression of occupation or profession
Many professions or occupations require people to wear special uniforms to distinguish them from others, such professions include lawyers, medical doctors, soldiers, policemen, the navy, pilots, nurses etc. Some schools require students to wear specific uniforms. Those uniforms help to give protective image to the profession or job.
8. Gender appearance in the society.
There are male and female human beings. Some dresses are suitable for the male folk while some are suitable for the female folk. When a man dresses up, we can easily identify him as male. Also. when a female dresses up we can easily recognize her by the type of clothes she is wearing. Therefore there are clothes that are suitable for female folk and those that are suitable for the male folk.
Guidelines for Choosing and Wearing decent clothes
The selection of clothes we wear should be guided by the following:
In the tropics, the weather is usually hot but it gets cold during the rainy season. During the hot season, it is necessary to wear clothes made of cotton that can protect us from the heat of the sun. Black clothes should be avoided since they absorb heat and make the body hotter. Materials that can be washed easily are recommended for hot weather. When the weather is cold, there is need to wear thick clothes to keep us warm.
2. Type of activity
Clothes for work should be suitable for the type of activity or work to be done. A farmer requires farm comfortable clothes. A sportsman requires sports wear. A nurse or doctor requires a special type of uniform while a builder requires a different type of attire. Therefore, the type of activity we perform dictates the type of clothes to be worn.
3. Type of fabric
There are different types of fabric used in making our clothing. These include cotton, wool and silk fabrics. Not all fabrics are suitable for all types of outfits. There are certain fabrics that are good for hot weather such as cotton, and some that are good for cold weather, such as wool. Some fabrics like silk require special sewing skills. Cotton is cheaper to buy, easy to sew and can be used for different kinds of garments.
4. Amount of money we have
There are different grades of clothes in the market based on quality or fashion. These influence the amount of money to be paid for the materials. Always buy the clothes that your money can pay for.
5. Figure types
Some people are fat while some are slim. Always buy clothes that fit your figure.
There are some dresses in the market for males while some are primarily for females. Buy the one that is suitable for your gender. Though some believe in wearing unisex materials, our gender should still guide us in selecting or buying clothes.
There are different colours of clothes in the market. Some prefer one colour to the other. The colour you prefer should guide you in selecting the clothes to wear. The colour you select must fit your skin and body shape.
8. Skin colour
Though we are regarded as black people, there are some of us that are fair. There are also clothes in the market that match the colour of the skin. These colours should guide our choice of clothes.
9. The health of the body
Some people are very healthy while some are weak and light. You should buy the dress that can protect your body and present you to the public in an attractive way. Buy clothes your body can carry, no matter the occasion or activity.
Ways of Caring for Clothing Materials
To care for our clothes properly and to avoid untidiness, dirt, odours, smell and infections, we must be able to do the following:
1. wash or dry-clean clothes regularly;
2. Stockings and undervvears should be changed daily;
3. Wear a separate night cloth to sleep but do not wear the clothes for work or special occasions as night dresses;
4. Avoid borrowing other people’s clothes and wearing them without first washing them thoroughly. This is necessary to avoid the spread of skin diseases through clothes;
5. Clothes should always be ironed according to the type of material they are made of;
6. Clothes not used should be kept clean and stored in airy wardrobes or boxes;
7. If clothes are not made of cotton, they do not need starch and should be ironed with a cooler (warm) iron;
8. When ironing shirts or dresses, iron the collar first, then the sleeves, then the rest of the top. Iron skirts last;
9. Cotton materials can be washed in cold or hot water. it is good to soak clothes in water with a little detergent for some time before they are washed. Examine clothes before washing them to see which parts are dirty and need more attention while washing. Rinse the clothes until all the soap is out and the water becomes clear.
10. Use fairly thick starch on skirts and trousers and use light starch on shirts and light cotton dresses. Do not use starch on underwear. lron clothing materials while they are still damp and not too dry;
11. Mend torn clothes always. Do not leave the tears until they become bigger as mending may become too expensive. Put all fasteners in good shape before storing clothes;
12. Protect clothes on hangers in the wardrobe from dust with the use of plane polythene or nylon bags.
Simple Daily Care of Personal Clothing
In order to maintain a good care of the clothes we wear daily, it is necessary to do the following:
1. Inspect and select the clothes you want to wear early in the morning for the occasion to be attended or the activity to be performed;
2. Check the clothes for fitness and ensure that they are not torn on any parts and that the fasteners are in good positions for those dresses that require them;
3. If you are in the habit of ironing your clothes on the day you will wear them, please do so without rush and follow ironing instructions on fabrics;
4. Hang clothes separately if they do not require ironing;
5. Select clean underwear for use and soak the ones removed from the body in water with some detergents. You may wish to wash them for airing before going out if you don’t have many;
6. If you sweat profusely, remove the dresses immediately after the occasion and spread in the air to dry. If they give offensive odour from sweat, send them for dry-cleaning or soak the clothes if you can handle them. Change the underwear which may be wet with sweat and soak in water for washing;
7. Remove shoes and stockings and dry them to reduce their odour. Clean your feet to remove odour before putting them on the rug or bed. Have a cool bath before wearing other clothes for the day;
8. Do not soak dresses overnight except they are very dirty and are difficult to wash, such should be washed early in the morning before putting on new dresses for the day.