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Western women’s clothing is a constantly changing assortment of styles, sizes, and colours. The early 20th century brought about much needed liberation for women, allowing society women to dress fashionably, if a tad on the risqué side, in the traditionally male accessory of trousers and pants. The 1960’s brought about a sweeping mandate in both gender politics and fashion. In an act of political rebellion, women stripped away their undergarments, and inadvertently introduced entirely new concepts in fashion.
In our present era, the eternal question of how much skin to show and where to show it still looms. Skirt lines raise and lower like the tides; clunky, thick-heeled shoes give way to piercing stilettos overnight. In a season, thickly patterned tights are de riguer, to be replaced by bare, natural calves. Perhaps the only defining characteristic of women’s clothing is that it should suit the wearer, and not the designer, of the clothes.
Of course, finding one’s style in an affordable format can be daunting. Depending on the city or town in which one lives, shopping options can be limited. Thrift stores, which offer the cheapest prices, are limited by their selection. You may find that perfect red velvet pullover, but in a size too small. Alternatively, going to a more prominent national chain store offers you all the sizes and fits you could want, but a far more limited style selection. These larger outlets will generally cater to a very particular notion of fashion, which is to say a slightly more conservative, easily replicable look.
Quality must dominate one’s choices, however. Flashy clothing, as fun as it may be, is ultimately a waste of money. Clothes made from solid, durable materials can be found in a variety of styles. A few materials that never seem to fade from popular view are corduroy and leather. Depending on your budget, you can dress fashionably and sensibly for years to come if you take the time to inspect the seams and workmanship of any potential new garments. Inspect how the material is put together; is it sewed consistently? Do parts of the garment have bulging seams? If the item has buttons, how closely do the buttons adhere to the garment? If the buttons are trailing threads, the garment is a loser.
Women’s clothing encompasses so many different styles that the only way to find out what you like is to start shopping!