Peter Stallybrass, “Worn Worlds”

Peter Stallybrass, “Worn Worlds”: Handout 3, Question 3

(Short Essay #1)


It was interesting to read both Stallybrass and Eco and how they discuss the effect clothing has on us as we wear it, and both support their writings through personal experiences. It was interesting to notice that although they reached the same conclusion, they had two very different methods of getting there.

As Stallybrass focused on clothing’s effect on us, he referred to the memories it holds of us in an emotional sense. We live through our clothing, and it hold onto our memories after we die. The garment will forever contain an intangible part of us, unseen to the inattentive eye.

Eco in his writings focused on the physical comfort aspect in two ways. Firstly, we feel more relaxed wearing jeans. When wearing jeans, we’re less worried about our clothing getting creased or dirty. Secondly, the clothes we wear can affect our demeanor. We carry and present ourselves differently depending what genre of clothing we are wearing.

At a cousin’s wedding last month, I wore a gown that I had also worn at a friend’s wedding this past summer. The gown matched both of the wedding’s color schemes, and I was ecstatic to be able to wear the same dress twice. Not only did this save money, it also saved a lot of time shopping for a second gown.

While reviewing the authors points, I realized I can relate to both of the writers discussed. As I learnt from Stallybrass, the gown reminded me of the first wedding I wore the gown to, and the feelings I experienced at that friend’s wedding. As I put on the dress during the second wedding, I thought back to the first wedding and how exciting that day was. Furthermore, as I also learnt from Eco, the gown also affected my demeanor. When I wore the gown I felt formal and was careful to act in a dignified matter. I felt elegant and regal, and was well aware that people were constantly watching me.

I learnt a lot through reading Eco and Stallybrass’s work. It gave me new ideas to think about, and taught me things about life that I’ve never noticed before. I look forward to reading more articles and learning new things from these authors.

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