Clothing: a great communicator from the past

Classical Studies professor Kelly Olson believes clothing can help modern people understand what was important to people from the past, and has n almost limitless potential for communication and encapsulated cultural anxieties and values.”

For a study of ancient Greek and Roman clothing, Dress and the Roman Woman: Self-Presentation and Society, Olson says, “Clothing doesn’t always mirror social change, but the effects of social change tend to trickle down eventually into garments.” She also looks at the clothing of the "cinaedus, or the effeminate man, and of the ‘dandy’ figure, both of which types functioned as loci for social anxieties concerning wealth, class, gender, sexuality and political legitimacy."