Fashion: Gilding the Lily

The first thing the first couple did after committing the first sin was to get dressed. Thus Adam and Eve started the world of fashion, and styles have been changing ever since.

Fashion's permutations and combinations have fascinated the frivolous and the furrow-browed; the shirring of a sleeve or the fall of a hemline has borne the burden of some heavy-duty thinking. Psychologists have explored man's ambivalence about clothes, noting that he uses them on the one hand to cover the body's naughty nakedness, and on the other hand to draw attention to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!