clothing / garment

In traditional rhetoric and neo-classic theory, language is the "dress" of thought, and figures are the " ornaments" of language, for the sake of the pleasurable emotion which distinguishes a poetic from a merely didactic discourse. (Abrams, Mirror and the Lamp, p.290)

M. S. Abrams describes how romantic poets, especially Wordsworth, following German critics like Herder and Schiller, substituted the body-and-soul of traditional philosophy and religion for the garment-and-ornament of traditional rhetoric in their discussions of emotion and the valid style of poetry. For Wordsworth, "those feelings which are the pure emanations of Nature" and their expression are the "incarnation of thought," not its mere clothing. As Abrams points out, Wordsworth and Coleridge criticized eighteenth-century rhetoric, especially in its allegorical personifications of the physical world (what had been identified since Ruskin's time as "the pathetic fallacy") only to warrant its legitimate use through the "creative power of a warm and lively imagination." 

"If we wrap an object in some kind of envelope, so that the eyes infer rather than see the object that is enclosed, the inferred or imagined form is likely to be more perfect than it would appear if it were uncovered. Thus a square box covered with brown paper will be imagined as a perfect square. Unless the mind is given some very strong clue it is unlikely to visualize holes, dents, cracks, or other accidental qualities. In the same way, if we cast a drapery over a thigh, a leg, and arm or a breast, the imagination supposes a perfectly formed member; it does not and usually cannot envisage the irregularities and the imperfections which experience should lead us to expect.....We know what (a body) is probably like from experience, and yet we are willing to suspend our disbelief in favour of the fictions of (the person's) wardrobe. Indeed, I think that we are willing to go further in the way of self-deception. When we slip on our best jacket and see our deplorably unimpressive shoulders artfully magnified and idealized, we do, for a moment, rise in our self-esteem." (Quentin Bell, On Human Finery.) 

what about uniforms? 

In Reyner Banham's writings, the term garment is used to ridicule the pretensions of style and of the architectural profession. Banham criticized the buildings of the nineteenth century that did not exhibit their structure, but "concealed it behind a garment of brick and stone in whatever period style was thought appropriate by the architect and client." (Concrete Atlantis, p. 6) Aligning himself with Futurism and Fullerism, Banham advocated jettisoning the "cultural load" of architecture, which might also result in the architect discarding "the professional garments by which he is recognised as an architect." (Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, p. 330) 

During the period of eclecticism, architects also lamented of the stultifying effects of the practice of architecture as an "art of dressing." (Bekleidungskunst) even though the expression sprang from remarks by Gottfried Semper...

to read: Rudofsky "unfashionable human body" 

According to Thomas Friedman, "The Golden Straitjacket is the defining political-economic garment of this globalization era. The Cold War had the Mao suit, the Nehru jacket, the Russian fur. Globalization has only the Golden Straitjacket. If your country has not been fitted for one, it will be soon." (The Lexus and the Olive Tree, p. 86)