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This chapter is from the book

Selecting Clothing

Most people don't just pick whatever clothing they happen to come across. What factors go into selecting the right clothing? We can't address all aspects here, but we can look at enough situations to make the requirements for our framework interesting and to induce the problems that will allow us to explore the patterns.

  • What are you going to do in the clothing? If you're going to your job as a Las Vegas blackjack dealer, you'll want (and need) different clothing than if you're going to your job as a cowboy. Otherwise when you show up dressed as a blackjack dealer at your cowboy job, you'll find that the clothing will be ruined (or destroyed) since it is not made to handle the rigors of being a cowboy. Likewise, if you show up to your blackjack dealer job dressed as a cowboy, people will be surprised and confused when you look different from all the other blackjack dealers. The requirement is that you be able to change how you select clothing based on what you are going to do in it.

  • Is each article of clothing appropriate with the others? If you're wearing a swimsuit on your lower body, you wouldn't normally select a dress shirt, tie, and jacket for your upper body. In addition to this obvious problem, there are more subtle problems, such as wearing an orange-red shirt with pink-red pants. However, if our system is to be used by circus clowns, the definition of appropriateness is different—if clothing clashes, it's appropriate. The requirement is that you be able to check the appropriateness of the articles being selected to be worn together.

  • How clean is the clothing? When making repairs on a truck, you know you're going to get messy, so you might choose to wear clothing that isn't clean—especially if the only other option is a white dress shirt. The requirement is that the cleanliness of the clothing can be considered as part of making the selection.

  • Does the clothing need repair? If you've ever split a pair of pants or had an unfortunate rip in an article of clothing, you don't usually want to wear it again until it is repaired. So, just like cleanliness, the state of repair (or need of repair) can be a factor. However, this also isn't that simple. A past trend among teenagers was to rip out the knees on a pair of jeans. This takes an ordinary pair of jeans and makes them much "cooler," but it doesn't mean they need repair. The requirement here is that the state of repair of the clothing can be used as part of making the selection.

  • In what environment are you wearing the clothing? In some parts of Europe, the accepted norm for clothing seems to be much more formal than in the United States. For example, a bright purple coat would stand out among the mainly dark brown and black coats. So, depending on whether or not you want to stand out, you could use either European selection criteria or U.S. selection criteria. Other cultural differences, too numerous to list, can impact this and have disastrous results—such as a woman wearing a bikini in Saudi Arabia. The requirement is that the environment in which you plan to wear the clothing can impact making the selection.

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