Beyond the visual aspects of vestimentary signs (clothing, outfit, fashion) specific
aspects are linked to the human body such as: covering/protecting/hiding versus
uncovering/sexual appeal/hygiene/exposition to air and sun. Clothes can also be
experienced via the senses of touch, weight and temperature. Moreover they presuppose
specific technologies like: the preparation of furs, sewing, harvesting of specific
plants, weaving etc. In some contexts they gain political and religious meanings
and values as public markers of power or obedience. Therefore vestimentary semiotics
touches on questions of medicine (hygiene, body culture), religion and politics.
The latter may be exemplified by the current debate on Muslim head shawls (cf. the
doctoral dissertation by Reyhan Sahin, 2011 in preparation). As the covering of
the human body is a very old practice vestimentary semiotics also concerns
evolutionary semiotics and cultural dynamics in sign usage (cf. Bax, van
Heusden and Wildgen, 2004 and Wildgen 2010a).