Clothing: Mirror of a Woman's Mental Character
Dr. Plinio commented: “Clothing completes the body and therefore must be dignified, serious and distinct. In this way man can express his moral personality to some extent through his attire. This can easily be noticed in women’s clothing which is so apt to mirror the woman’s mental character.”
Considering these words of Dr. Plinio, how should we, as truly Catholic ladies, adjust our clothing according to the occasion, our age and our state of life, in order to act in a Counter-Revolutionary way, directing our tendencies toward all that is good, true and beautiful?
AMBIENCES, CUSTOMS, CIVILIZATIONS
“Catolicismo” No. 20 – August 1952
Clothing, from a merely material point of view, that is, as it serves the body, is just a covering. At most it may be recognized as having the function of protecting a certain modesty that springs from the depths of instinct.
But those of us who know that man is not just made of matter, also know that clothing is not just a garment, but that by the natural order of things, it must also serve the spirit.
How does it serve the spirit? By a property which is not only conventional or imaginative, but which has roots in the heart of reality; certain forms, certain colours, the qualities of certain fabrics – cause certain impressions in man, which are more or less the same for all men. They generate impressions and, therefore, states of spirit, mental attitudes and in certain cases they can affect all of the inclinations of the personality. This is one of the fundamental qualities of art. Thus, man can, through his attire, express his moral personality to a certain extent, which we can easily see in women’s clothing, which is so apt to mirror the woman’s mental state.
Professional dress tends to express more than the mental state of an individual, it expresses the entire mindset of the profession: it can be sober as a Priest’s cassock, serious as a professor’s garb, imposing as a King’s mantle, etc.
When an era is concerned with elevating man, it will yearn for dignity, grandeur, seriousness, and will utilize clothing – common or professional – in order to accentuate in each person the impression of these values. Everyone’s clothing, from the Sovereign to the last common person, will be, or will tend toward being, noble, dignified and manly. That’s what you notice in the clothing from past eras.
*Unofficial translation from Portuguese