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Covering, or clothing and accessories, for the human body. The term encompasses garments as shirts, togas, footwear, hats, and gloves; hairstyles, facial hair, and wigs; and cosmetics, jewelry, and other forms of body decoration. In cultures thoughout the world, perhaps the most obvious function of dress is to provide warmth and protection, but it can also serve religious or ritual purposes. Other basic functions of dress include identifying the wearer (by providing information about sex, age, occupation, or other characteristic) and making the wearer appear more attractive. In the West up through the modern era, dress has often functioned as a reflection of social and economic standing. See alsofashion.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on dress, visit Britannica.com.