Melanie Schuessler Bond returns to Elderwise with Part III of her history of the cultural dimensions of clothing styles. This time we will examine the social and cultural attributes of clothing from the 18th century forward. Have you ever wondered why people wore certain styles in the past? Fashion has never been a frivolous pursuit – it is instead a deep-rooted cultural practice that offers insight into the ways that human society operates. For example, corsets and top hats tell us about gender roles in particular periods and places, and clothing also has usually marked wealth and power, as well as religion and rituals. Just as a suit and tie hold a different message for us than jeans and a t-shirt, historic fashions that look silly to us today conveyed detailed information for those who observed them in their original context. Join us for another exploration of the history of clothing and how it can be used to decode the past.