We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Evolution of Formal Attire

Now that the tie is gradually disappearing like its bow tie predecessor, lets briefly recap how ruling Homo sapiens clothed themselves to stand out over the ages.

Neolithic period: (keep it practical stupid)

Here we see the dominant apes go for efficiency and comfort for the most part. There are a small number of delicately carved items from a hard to carve material to show off. The headpiece has phallic qualities to a degree or has parts of very male animals. It is possible that body parts of slain competitors are also worn (like ears were by soldiers in Vietnam). The primary tool to clutch also has a lot of work done on it.

Ancient 1 (We're still keeping it practical and simple since we got so much power/manners that we don't need to show off visually. We're confident in our cultured selves, period.)

Here we see relatively simple clean garments with a few small hard to carve items strategically placed on paws, necks, and heads. It is to be noted that massive phallic headdress returns when it's time to head out to war. In this regard, formal attire reverts to neolithic for PR purposes when needed. Comfort is essential.

Ancient 2 ( We're beyond practical since we don't do anything anymore and have become flamboyantly decadent. Our domain is stable and our minions keep bringing us weird things to put on. We're here to visually impress and party with visitors, Lady Gaga style.)

Here the body is saturated with harder to carve (compared to bone and rock) gold objects and elaborate paint patterns. Tacky add-ons may include things like little skulls on sandals, silver penises on ears, etc

Feudal practical (Unfortunately, we now have to work to rule :( .. and that means attending battlefields and even participating! Which means moving around constantly but this time there's totally connected carved metal to protect us.)

Notice that we're now at the absolute usefulness level with only some neolithic type feathers on helmets and bits of statues and gold integrated into armor and weaponry. Although it looks like it may be difficult to move in such attire, the best made one was remarkably flexible and even allowed some sprinting.

Late feudal impractical (Finally things have stabilized/centralized and only our top mercenary minions wear practical armor. We can now revert to impressing visitors full time and only wearing armor for parades and to appear manly for peasant hordes.)


The heavy elaborate Gaga-esque dress restricts fast movements due to profuse sweating that would result. To avoid sweating (and thus being miserable) one moves slowly, carefully, and deliberately. The resulting visual PR effect is one of almost inhuman grace and thoughtfulness even if there isn't any. Clothing oneself is aided by minions.

(Sidenote: Crown achieves the same effect yet can damage the spinal neck discs over time. Earlier practical crowns were light. Later larger ones made it difficult to make rapid head movements. Skull had to swivel slowly and chin needed to stay up giving an extra proud and deliberate look. Words had to be spoken carefully in an even tone. Thus it served same restrictive function as the dress itself during very special occasions).

Early capitalist (We increasingly rule even though kings are nominally in charge now, our numbers are growing, and we finally got endless silk from Asia! We can thus get comfortable like the kings do.)

Constantly having extra clean silk stockings horrifies the peasants. Early mass scale consumerism of expensive objects that one will nevertheless get rid of periodically. Fluffy white silk/cotton shirts blatantly imitate a bit of the royal dress without having an actual cape! Top to bottom hierarchical aping within the herd is the most pronounced. Previously kingly objects can now be readily made in relatively large batches if one can afford the materials and specialist prole makers.

Late capitalist neofeudal (Unfortunately, fluffy shirts and stockings are now considered too feminine. We need to appear tidy yet male and we've developed a need for ritual. If we can't have gold chains and animal skulls on our necks we'll still find some sort of thing to put close to the Adam's apple. We clothe ourselves now.)

Notice that bourgeois consumerism is ritualized via daily bow tie and tie application. The same fashion processes that have long affected housewives now affect the men. Consumerist rituals now include shaving to go with neck tying of various sorts. This style barely changes until the death of capitalism in the 21st century.

State capitalist (Since the bourgeois became decadent and effeminate, we were able to overpower them and take everything from them.  It was long and hard and we had to get our hands dirty. Our clothing will reflect the militancy of the mind and that we're "first among equals".)

Notice the green colors refers to the vicious military nature of the struggle for power and leadership of industrial labor armies. Also see how the form of dress reverts to Ancient 1 since the new rulers are so confident of their power and wit that they don't need brand new state capitalist fashion to show it off. Some hard to carve precious metal items called medals may be placed close to the heart. Bullet proof Kevlar may be added underneath during public engagements.

Post-capitalist technocratic  (We don't care about anything except comfort and utility. Fashion is a remnant of the old inequality emphasizing regimes and psychological pathology. Fashion perhaps plays a role in mating rituals which are kept separate from official public congregations.)

Notice the light thin nanofabric is once again similar to Ancient 1 yet can change color and shape as needed. For the most part, the silkish fabric remains white (since dirt molecules are expelled by the fabric continuously) to PR purity. It keeps the body at same room temperature even when one lays on the snow or walks in hot desert. The attire monitors vital signals of the body and releases narcotics into the system depending on what state its in. Heavier nano armor defensive properties may be added. The rulers may add a holographic feather to the head for old time's sake.

Posthuman (to be decided)

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