The man’s clothes were new – all of them, cheap and new. His gray cap was so new that the visor was still stiff and the button still on, not shapeless and bulged as it would be when it had served for a while all the various purposes of a cap – carrying sack, towel, handkerchief. His suit was of cheap gray hardcloth and so new that there were creases in the trousers.
Dressing the body is an act of covering nakedness – the fashioned figure’s opposition. In this sense, nakedness is a blank canvas, with no signifiers of social and cultural context, and from which the process of concealing (and sometimes revealing) occurs.
Dress is a visual system of human communication that aids in defining social identity and interactions across space and time. For organised religious faiths, techniques of adornment have always operated as effective communicators of religious identity, also assisting to reinforce the boundaries between the sacred and the secular, believers and non-believers.