Monday, 20 March 2017

What Will People Wear In The Future?

Nicholas van Rijn lounges in a sarong.

Ythrians are unclothed because feathered. Some human choth members, emulating Ythrians, wear only body paint.

Dominic Flandry dresses as colorfully and flamboyantly as possible but not in anything unexpected like a kilt or toga.

Robert Heinlein, aware that social norms differ historically, has shorts on men in Double Star and kilts in parts of the Future History.

In SM Stirling's The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Eighteen, a hostage wears:

"...a plain gray guest-weave rather than the Mackenzie tartan..." (pp. 514-515)

I was told that a book describing clan tartans has been taken as normative. See here. Apparently, one of the Kings had a tartan designed for him but anyone can wear it. Scottish people of Italian descent have a tartan. See here.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Certainly, culture, custom, personal tastes, etc., determines what many people will wear. Altho for most these days, variants of the Western jacket, shirt, trousers is worn. And I recall how Dominic Flandry liked uniforms as colorful as Navy regulations would permit.

I think the current "Scottish" tartans descend from George IV's interest in them. Because he, like Dominic Flandry, liked to dress colorfully. A bit ironic, really!


S.M. Stirling said...

There were associations of tartans with "surnames" and clans, but mostly by a sort of accident -- certain patterns were popular in a given locality, the locality was associated with a certain clan, so people started associating the pattern with the clan, and it became more or less a sort of "gang colors". Which is why the Hanoverian kings set out to suppress the wearing of tartans.

The formal, elaborated system was a 19th century invention, imposed retrospectively on the past by the Victorians, who had a mania for systematization.

Glyph of irony: tartans became associated with Scotland in general, including among Lowlanders whose ancestors hated the Highland clans and considered them "Irish" rather than Scots.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Ironic indeed! Both because of the modern, Victorian "systematizing" of tartans and Lowlander dislike of the Highlanders.