Rugh provides a fascinating field guide to the way Egyptians dress that offers a new approach to the interpretation of political attitudes. She shows how a wide array of differences — geographic, generational, religious, ideological, educational, social, and stylistic — are directly reflected by the clothes Egyptians (especially females) chose to wear. And a complex topic it is, too. Expectations, for example, depend in part on social level. Modesty imposes restrictions that vary according to social class: the same mini-skirt will appear fashionable on a rich woman, presumptuous on a middle-class one, and immodest on a poor one. The rich rarely wear casual clothes, for to do so would be to give up their membership in the elite stratum. Among the poor, young people may wear foreign clothes for which their elders would be ridiculed. And so forth; in Rugh's hands, clothing reveals much that is new and fascinating about Egyptian life.
Related Topics: Egypt, Sex and gender relations
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