Sample Argumentative Essay on Clothing function in Museum


In most popular cultures and social histories, the significance of clothing and other related accessories are crucial when conducting subsequent studies (Bell and Malcolm 40). These cloth artifacts were instrumental in demarcating the class diversities and class desires satisfied through material possession of cloth garments by the 18th and 19th century societies (Bell and Malcolm 44). The differences and diversities of different gender are articulately reflected by what clothing we wear though that has changed over time (Brough and Dean 46). This document discusses a variety of clothing designs collections that can be traced from the 19th century (Brough and Dean 55).

Literature review

A number of designers can be traced to the era of civilization with the introduction of sophisticated clothing that was primary preserve of the high socio-economic classes in Europe and the America (Geller and Tom 6). Most of these renowned designers were from Europe and to be specific, France and Italy (Geller and Tom 9). For example, one of the notable designer was Balenciaga who was from France and is highly famous for introducing a range of elegance and uniqueness in most of the outfits in Europe and the influence felt beyond (Greenhill and Eileen 67). A number of designers from Italy too infiltrated the market industry and are reputed for being the inspiration behind the sophistication in some menswear. (Kirshenblatt 34).

The 18th and 19th century societies viewed cloths as a reflection of a certain code of conduct in the society depicting and associated with particular behaviors and characteristics (Kooijman 357). For instance, in the ancient American societies, cloths provided or rather indicated some sense of class an in a society so much maligned with gender inequalities (La and Maria 125). The museum collections depicts a range of cultures that were common with the ancient cultures and are till practiced today in most present societies Marcketti, Sara 249). The cloth artifacts in museums comprises of men and women wares that can be traced back from the 18th century societies Marcketti, Sara 254).

Museums plays a significant role in keeping the history of a society, the core values and innovations coupled with a number of proactive informations (Merrill and William 34). The variety of clothing artifacts and other accessories in the Museums forms the background of a variety of cultures across Europe (Merrill and William 34). The museums have developed exhibition centers showcasing a number of ancient artifacts that easily portrays and addresses a number of contemporary social that were common in the 18th and 19th century societies (Riello and Giorgio 89). A previous study on the American contemporary societies defines museums as an exhibition tracing the socio-economic wellbeing of the ancient communities (Schlereth and Thomas 123). The various cloths in the museum exhibition rooms describes diversity of cultures that were prevalent in most parts of Europe (Smith and Michelle 111). Through the museums, an integrated community connected deep cultures and diversities forms part of the theme in most museums (Smith and Michelle 116).

Notable writer such as Miller and Walters describes the revitalization of such clothing artifacts as an assessment of the contemporary socio-cultural characteristics (Steele and Valerie 60). A study conducted to analyze the 19th century American societies portrays a range of diversities in the clothing and other accessories (Styles and John 385). Arguably, clothing artifacts are rich with implications revealing so much more about cultural and religious beliefs, ancient technological lives, and societal customary law (Tarlo and Emma 72). According a renowned scholar, the introduction of lessons relating to clothing artifacts will be instrumental in the identification and search for meanings of some ancient dressings (Thompson and Judy 13). Such artifacts will be crucial when conducting teachings on historical cultures of the ancient communities in Europe and in the Americas (Thompson and Judy 17).

When one traces the historical facts on cloths and design in Europe, a clothing museum comes in handy and instrumental in representing and interpreting the ancient cultures of the ancient civilization (Thompson and Judy 18). The cloths were designed and styled in the most desirable way to emulate a person’s mood or situation and gained wide popularity throughout the Europe (Fleming, David, and Crispin 109). For instance, men’s clothing particularly the suits were made sleeker and occasionally decorated with brighter shirts and boots (Fleming, David, and Crispin 109). Later in the decade, more designer cloths crossed the Atlantic from the United States of America supplementing the British Fashion market (Fleming, David, and Crispin 110). According to a previous study to determine the importance of clothing and functioning in museums, the study realized that the various cloths collections of from the pre historic times do portray elegance and diversity that are still practiced in the 19th century societies (Fleming, David, and Crispin 111).

Most museums continues to gather a variety of traditional costumes and attires with an explicit focus of transforming the buildings into educational centers. Most students studying historical and cultural nature of Europe will find the clothing so much valuable in their academic pursuit and desires to succeed (Fleming, David, and Crispin 114). With increased innovations in fashion trends across Europe, shopping activities were enhanced as most streets in London became parked with boutiques selling relatively cheap outfits (Fleming, David, and Crispin 117). For instance, in busy street of Carnaby, John Stephen was to become the very first to open menswear boutique and charged relatively low prices for the purchase of the attires (Fleming, David, and Crispin 118). The museums provides first hand experiences with historical facts that only existed in an era that had limited civilization and uniqueness in clothing we now experience. The theory of ancient clothing exhibited in the museums, for instance, in most universities and other learning institutions defines a range of unique historical significance that are preserve of most museums (Fleming, David, and Crispin 119).


Essentially, this document briefly stipulates and discusses a range of issues in ancient clothing industries in and around Europe (Yoon, Young and Peter 446). The history of fashion, clothing and designs can be traced from the Americas, France and Italy who were by then considered an epitome of fashion and designs producing among the very first and best designers of the time (Yoon, Young and Peter 448). Notably, most these historical clothing artifacts are constantly undergoing wear and tear due to the long duration of existence (Yoon, Young and Peter 449).  Others have been victim of theft and mishandling explaining why most of these collections are constantly diminishing in number (Yoon, Young and Peter 453). In conclusion, therefore, the importance of clothing in the museums as a bridge between the 19th and 18th century dress codes and the 21st century evident elegance cannot be underpinned. Much of what we see today can be traced from the past historical innovation in the clothing industry (Yoon, Young and Peter 459).


Work Cited

Bell, Malcolm. “Tanagras and the Idea of Type.” Harvard University Art Museums Bulletin (2003): 39-53.

Brough, Dean McGregor. “Neo-dandy: wearability, design innovation and the formal white dress shirt for men.” (2008).sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB0QFjAA&,d.d24

Druesedow, Jean L. “In style: celebrating fifty years of the Costume Institute.” Bulletin-Metropolitan Museum of Art 45.2 (2007): 2-64. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAA&,d.d24

Fleming, David, and Crispin Paine. Social history in museums: a handbook for professionals. Stationery Office/Tso, (2003).

Geller, Tom. “Interactive tabletop exhibits in museums and galleries.” Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE 26.5 (2006):,d.d24

Greenhill, Eileen Hooper. Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. Routledge, 2002. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCoQFjAB&,d.d24

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. Destination culture: Tourism, museums, and heritage. Univ of California Press, 20088. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCMQFjAA&,d.d24

Kooijman, S. “Some Ritual Clothing from Borneo in Dutch Museums’.” Sarawak Museum Journal 8 (2008): 357-62. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAA&,d.d24

La Gennusa, Maria, et al. “Conflicting needs of the thermal indoor environment of museums: In search of a practical compromise.” Journal of Cultural Heritage 9.2 (2008): 125-134. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&,d.d24

Marcketti, Sara B., et al. “University Historic Clothing Museums and Collections Practices and Strategies.” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 29.3 (2011): 248-262. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&,d.d24

Merrill, William L. An investigation of ethnographic and archaeological specimens of mescalbeans (Sophora secundiflora) in American museums. Vol. 4. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, (2007).,d.d24

National Museums of Canada.” Ethnology Division Paper 1 (2002). sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDUQFjAD&,d.d24

Riello, Giorgio. “The object of fashion: methodological approaches to the history of fashion.” sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQFjAA&,d.d24

Schlereth, Thomas J. Cultural history and material culture: Everyday life, landscapes, museums. Umi Research Pr, (2000).,d.d24

Smith, Michelle Knovic. “Image and Identity: Clothing and Adolescence in the 1990s.” (2000).

Steele, Valerie. “Fashion museums and collections.” Encyclopaedia of clothing and fashion 2 (2005):,d.d24

Styles, John. “Dress in history: reflections on a contested terrain.” Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture 2.4 (2008): 383-389. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCgQFjAB&,d.d24

Tarlo, Emma. Clothing matters: Dress and identity in India. University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Thompson, Judy. “Preliminary Study of Traditional Kutchin Clothing in Museums. Ottawa: sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&

Yoon, Young Hun, and Peter Brimblecombe. “Clothing as a source of fibres within museums.” Journal of Cultural Heritage 1.4 (2000): 445-454. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGEQFjAJ&,d.d24