Clothing has a social function; wearing clothes is a singularly human behavior. Clothes might seem to be just an outer covering, but they telegraph a wealth of information about the wearer. There are three main social roles of clothing:
Protection -Some claim that clothing evolved from our need to protect our bodies from the climate, from animals and insects and from our enemies. Anthropologists note that while in some cultures people wear no clothes, in every culture people decorate their body in some fashion. From this we can extrapolate that the main justification for clothing is decoration.
Decorations serve to generate sexual attraction. Clothing, like other forms of decoration, generates sexual attraction and provides keys to sexual identification. In many cultures there is a distinct differentiation between clothes for men and women. In the west in the 20th century, when women wanted equal rights, they blurred differences between the sexes by wearing men’s clothing.
It enables us to express social values related to social excellence and heroism. Respect and appreciation are accorded to people wearing symbols of military rank and letters of excellence. Occasionally we show respect by removing clothing, as when we remove our hat or take off our shoes. On the other hand, removing a piece of clothing can be done to humiliate someone else.
Furthermore, decorations and clothing, in general, help with identification: it can symbolize social status or religious affiliation, often indicates our occupation and reflects our ethnic or regional background or nationality.
Decorations and clothing also broadcast our ostentatiousness. We can announce our wealth, for instance, by wearing clothes made from expensive material or by wearing clothing with expensive brand names.
Modesty- the role of clothing as a guard for modesty conflicts with its role as decoration and a trigger for sexual attraction. The definition of modesty has changed over time and differs between cultures and includes identification of which body parts can be exposed in public. In most cultures the restrictions of modesty are applied mainly to women.
Clothing is a particular form of social control and also a method used by society to define itself. In modern societies where consumerism plays a major role in the culture, social identity is defined by fashion designers, and the clothes they manufacture.
The first settlers to the region of Mate Yehuda, brought with them the clothes they wore in their homeland; by wearing those clothes, they preserved their unique ethnic identity and sustained their traditional culture. As the years passed, traditional dress has been replaced by clothing designs influenced by western cultures; the traditional costumes are now worn only for special occasions.