This is the introductory activity to a thematic unit on dress codes. The unit is made of 5 activities, plus one essay which can be given as a conclusion of the unit – instruction below. The document of this activity is an archive taken from Fashion magazine. Students are asked to deduce information about dress codes in 1902, the readership of the magazine and the society of the time. It gives them a first taste of how tightly linked dress codes and social class are. The document can be used to work on vocabulary as well.
Essay instruction: We have seen throughout this unit that articles of clothing are not just pieces of fabric: they are grounded in the historical context they appear in. Choose a garment and write a magazine article recounting its political and social history and its potential contemporary connotations and usage. Do not forget to include the elements which are typical of a magazine article, and to state clearly which garment your are writing about. (400 words, +/- 10%)
Instruction: Have a look at the following document and deduce as much information about it as you can. When was it produced? What does it deal with? What are the categories used in the chart? Who was it intended for? What was the function of such a document? What does it tell us about the society of the time?
Make reasonable hypotheses and confront them with those ventured by your classmates. Find evidence in the chart to back your claims.