Personal Clothing

Personal clothing is an essential aspect of our daily lives as it is a means of expressing our personalities, culture, and style. Clothing not only serves the functional purpose of protecting us from the elements, but it also reflects our tastes and preferences.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards sustainable and ethical fashion, where consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental and social impacts of the clothing industry. This has led to an increased demand for clothing that is made from eco-friendly materials, produced under fair labour practices, and designed to last.

Furthermore, advances in technology have revolutionized the way we shop for personal clothing. Online shopping has made it possible to browse and purchase clothing from anywhere in the world, while virtual fitting rooms allow us to try on clothes without ever leaving our homes.

Meaning of Clothing 

Clothing refers to any item or article that are worn on the body for protection, modesty, or decoration. Clothing can include a wide range of items such as shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, shoes, hats, gloves, jackets, and more. Clothing is an essential part of human life, and it serves various purposes beyond just covering the body.

One of the primary functions of clothing is to protect the body from the elements, such as cold, heat, rain, and wind. Clothing can also offer protection from injury or harm, such as protective gear for sports, work, or military purposes. In addition to its protective function, clothing also serves a social function by indicating one’s occupation, social status, gender, and culture. Clothing can also be used to express one’s personal style, identity, and creativity.

The history of clothing can be traced back to ancient times, when people used various materials such as animal hides, fur, leaves, and fibres to make clothing. Over time, clothing has evolved with advances in technology, manufacturing, and design, resulting in a vast range of styles, materials, and trends.

In contemporary society, clothing plays an important role in the fashion industry, which is a global business worth billions of pounds. Fashion is not just about following the latest trends, but it also reflects cultural values, historical influences, and social trends. Clothing has become a means of self-expression, and it can convey a message or create an impression about an individual or a group.

Reasons for Cothing

  1. Protection: We wear clothes to protect our bodies from various harmful elements such as insects, plants, and extreme weather conditions.
  2. Modesty: Clothes are worn to cover our nakedness and appear decent, especially in social situations where nudity is not acceptable.
  3. Appearance: Clothes are worn to improve our appearance, enhance our beauty, and make us look presentable.
  4. Role Identification: Clothes help to identify the role that a person plays in society, such as policeman, soldier, nurse, or student. This type of clothing is called a uniform.
  5. Status or Position: Clothes are worn to show the status or position that a person occupies in society, such as traditional rulers or religious leaders.
  6. Mood: Clothes are worn to reflect the mood of the wearer, such as wearing brightly colored clothes during celebrations and black clothes during mourning.
  7. Cultural Reasons: Clothes are used to express the culture of people and show where they come from, such as iro and buba, which is commonly worn by Yoruba women in Nigeria.
  8. Comfort: Clothes are worn for comfort, especially during physical activities like exercise or sports. The right clothes can provide support, ventilation, and flexibility, making it easier to move around.
  9. Functionality: Clothes are worn for their functionality and practicality, such as wearing a raincoat to stay dry during rainy weather or wearing safety gear for work.
  10. Tradition: Clothes are worn to preserve tradition and cultural heritage, such as wearing traditional clothing during festivals or weddings.
  11. Identity: Clothes are worn to express identity and personal style, such as wearing clothes that reflect one’s personality or subculture.
  12. Religious reasons: Clothes are worn for religious reasons, such as wearing specific garments for worship or prayer in different faiths.

Guideline for Choosing and Wearing Decent Clothes

Personal Clothing
  1. Available money: This tip emphasizes the importance of considering your budget when choosing clothes. You should only choose clothes that are within your budget, and not overspend or go into debt for fashion.
  2. Occasion: The second tip highlights the importance of choosing clothes appropriate for the occasion. You should consider the setting, dress code and expected level of formality when selecting an outfit.
  3. Quality of fabric: This tip stresses the importance of choosing clothes made from durable materials that can withstand repeated washing and wear. High-quality fabrics are also more comfortable and look better over time.
  4. Activity or work: This tip reminds us to choose clothes that are suitable for the activity or job we will be doing. We should select clothes that are comfortable and safe for the type of work we do, and avoid clothes that may pose a hazard.
  5. Choose clothes that fit well: Clothes should not be too tight or too loose, as this can affect our health and appearance. We should choose clothes that fit well and flatter our body type, while also being comfortable to wear.
  6. Personal complexion: This tip advises us to choose clothes that complement our skin complexion, to make us look our best. We should choose colors that enhance our natural features and avoid colors that clash or wash us out.
  7. Weather condition: This tip advises us to choose clothes appropriate for the weather, so that we are comfortable and protected. In hot weather, we should choose breathable fabrics and in cold weather, we should choose warm layers.
  8. Washability of fabric: This tip reminds us to choose clothes that are easy to care for and maintain. We should choose fabrics that can be washed and dried easily, and avoid fabrics that require dry cleaning or special care.
  9. Peer pressure: This tip reminds us not to choose clothes based on peer pressure, but to choose clothes that we feel comfortable and confident wearing. We should avoid clothes that may be inappropriate or uncomfortable, even if they are popular or fashionable.
  10. Sustainability: In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on sustainability in fashion. When choosing clothes, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of the materials and manufacturing processes used. Look for clothes made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, bamboo or recycled fabrics, and choose brands that prioritize sustainability.
  11. Personal style: Everyone has their own unique sense of style, and it’s important to choose clothes that reflect your personal taste and make you feel confident. Experiment with different styles and trends to find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to express yourself through your clothing choices.
  12. Comfort: Last but not least, comfort is key when choosing clothes. You should choose clothes that you feel comfortable wearing for extended periods of time, whether you’re sitting, standing or moving around. Avoid clothes that are too tight, itchy, or otherwise uncomfortable, as they can detract from your overall experience and confidence.

Care of Clothes

Personal Clothing

You can care for your clothes in the following ways:

  1. Mend your clothes as soon as they are torn: This means that if you notice a tear or hole in your clothing, you should repair it as soon as possible. This will help prevent the tear from getting worse and extend the life of the garment.
  2. Air your clothes before storing them to remove dampness on clothes: This tip suggests that you should hang your clothes outside or in a well-ventilated area before putting them away in your closet or drawers. This will allow any moisture to evaporate, which can help prevent mould or mildew from forming on your clothing.
  3. Do not store dirty or damp clothes: It is important to make sure that your clothes are clean and dry before storing them. Otherwise, they may develop a musty smell or attract pests like moths.
  4. Wash your clothes as soon as they are dirty and make sure you follow the instructions on the care labels: This tip suggests that you should wash your clothes as soon as possible after they become dirty, and carefully follow the instructions on the care label to avoid damaging the fabric or causing shrinkage.
  5. Do not repeat underwear, especially pants. Always wash the used one every day: This tip is specifically related to underwear and suggests that you should not wear the same pair of pants or knickers multiple times before washing them. It is important to wash your underwear after each use to maintain good hygiene.
  6. Sort your laundry by colour and fabric type: When washing your clothes, it is important to sort them by colour and fabric type to avoid colours bleeding and fabrics getting damaged. This can also help ensure that your clothes look their best for longer.
  7. Use the right amount of detergent: Using too much detergent can cause your clothes to become stiff or even damage the fabric, while using too little can result in clothes not getting clean. Follow the instructions on the detergent packaging and adjust the amount based on the size of your load.
  8. Hang your clothes to dry whenever possible: Tumble drying can be harsh on clothes and cause shrinkage or damage. Whenever possible, hang your clothes to dry in a well-ventilated area or outside on a clothesline.
  9. Iron clothes on the correct heat setting: Ironing clothes can help them look neat and fresh, but it’s important to use the correct heat setting for the fabric. Consult the care label to determine the appropriate setting, and test on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the garment.
  10. Store your clothes properly: When storing your clothes, make sure they are clean and dry, and fold or hang them neatly to avoid wrinkles. Use mothballs or other pest deterrents if necessary, and avoid overcrowding your closet or drawers to allow air to circulate.

Proper Storage of Clothes

Personal Clothing
  1. Store only clean clothes: It’s important to make sure that clothes are clean and dry before storing them, as any dirt, stains, or moisture can lead to damage, odours, and even mould growth. Wash or dry clean your clothes before putting them away for an extended period of time.
  2. Proper storage space or container should be used for personal clothes: When storing clothes, it’s important to use a suitable storage space or container that will protect them from dust, sunlight, insects, and other elements that can damage them. Examples of suitable storage spaces include boxes, drawers, wardrobes/closets, and wall hangers.
  3. Iron and air clothes before storage: Ironing and airing out clothes before storing them can help prevent creases, wrinkles, and musty odours. Hang clothes outside in a well-ventilated area for a few hours before storing them.
  4. Do not overcrowd your clothes closet or wardrobe: Overcrowding a wardrobe or closet can cause clothes to wrinkle, become misshapen, and even become damaged. It’s important to allow enough space for clothes to hang freely without touching each other.
  5. Keep your storage place clean: A clean storage space will help prevent dust, dirt, and other contaminants from getting on your clothes. Regularly clean and vacuum your storage space to keep it free of dust and other debris.
  6. Use moth repellents: Moths can cause damage to clothes, especially natural fibres such as wool, silk, and cashmere. Use moth repellents such as cedar blocks or lavender sachets to deter moths from laying their eggs on your clothes.
  7. Fold clothes properly: When folding clothes, make sure to follow the correct folding techniques for each item. This will help prevent creases and wrinkles from forming, and will also help clothes fit neatly into your storage space.
  8. Label your storage containers: If you store clothes in boxes or containers, label them with the contents so you can easily find what you’re looking for. This will also help prevent you from having to dig through all of your clothes to find a specific item.
  9. Rotate your clothes: To prevent clothes from sitting in storage for too long, rotate your clothes seasonally. For example, pack away your summer clothes when winter arrives, and vice versa.
  10. Use proper hangers: When hanging clothes in a closet, use proper hangers that are the right size and shape for the item. This will help prevent clothes from becoming misshapen or stretched out. Use padded hangers for delicate items such as silk blouses or dresses, and use wooden or plastic hangers for heavier items such as coats or jackets.

Care of Shoes

Personal Clothing

care of shoes” refers to the maintenance and upkeep of shoes to ensure their longevity and good condition. Here are some tips for taking care of your shoes:

i. Remove shoe lace if available: This step allows you to clean your shoes thoroughly without getting the laces dirty or wet.

ii. Remove dust, dirt, mud from shoes using damp clean cloth: Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt, dust, or mud that has accumulated on your shoes.

iii. Before wearing them again, clean with a dry clean cloth: Once you have removed the dirt and grime from your shoes, wipe them down with a dry cloth to ensure they are completely dry before wearing them again.

iv. If your shoes are wet, allow them to dry slowly away from heat, in a warm, airy place: Avoid placing wet shoes near a heat source as this can cause them to become misshapen. Instead, place them in a warm, airy place and allow them to dry naturally.

v. Shoes that require polishing should be polished with good and correct colour of polish: For leather shoes, use a good quality shoe polish that matches the colour of your shoes. Apply the polish evenly with a brush and then buff with a cloth to achieve a shiny finish.

vi. Avoid storing dirty and smelling shoes without treatment: Shoes that are dirty or have an unpleasant odour should be cleaned before storing. Leaving them untreated can cause the odour to become worse and damage the material of the shoes.

vii. To keep shoes in good shape when not in use, stuff them with clean old newspaper or shoe trees: Stuffing your shoes with newspaper or using shoe trees will help them maintain their shape and prevent them from becoming misshapen or creased. This is particularly important for leather shoes.

viii. Rotate your shoes: Wearing the same pair of shoes every day can cause them to wear out faster. Rotate your shoes and let them rest for at least 24 hours between wears to allow them to dry out and recover their shape.

ix. Use a protective spray: To protect your shoes from dirt, water, and stains, apply a protective spray specifically designed for the material of your shoes. Follow the instructions on the spray carefully and apply it in a well-ventilated area.

x. Have your shoes professionally cleaned and repaired: If your shoes are looking particularly worn or have been damaged, take them to a professional shoe repair shop. They can clean and repair your shoes, helping to extend their lifespan and keep them looking good as new.

Washing of Underwears 

Personal Clothing

Washing of under-wears to the act of washing and cleaning one’s intimate garments, such as underwear, bras, and panties. This is an important aspect of personal hygiene, and it is considered a basic responsibility of every individual, particularly females, to keep their undergarments clean and fresh.

Washing of under-wears is considered a private matter and is usually done by the individual or a female member of the household. It is generally not discussed openly, and it is considered inappropriate to air one’s dirty laundry in public.

In Nigeria, it is common to handwash under-wears as opposed to using a washing machine. This is because many households do not have access to washing machines, and handwashing is seen as a more effective way to get the garments clean

Laundry Equipment

Personal Clothing

Simple equipments and machines are essential tools for washing clothes, they make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some examples of simple equipment and machines used for washing clothes:

  1. Plastic or aluminum buckets: These are used for carrying water for washing and rinsing clothes.
  2. Pegs: These are small clips that are used to hang clothes on a line to dry.
  3. Tongs: These are used to pick up clothes from the washing machine or bucket and transfer them to the next stage of the washing process.
  4. Lines: These are used to hang clothes for drying after they have been washed.
  5. Iron: This is used to press and smooth out clothes after they have been washed and dried.
  6. Ironing board: This is a flat surface that is used to support clothes while ironing.

In addition to these simple equipments, there are also machines that are commonly used for washing clothes:

  1. Washing machine: This is an electrical appliance that is used to wash clothes automatically. It saves time and energy compared to manual washing.
  2. Dryer: This is an electrical appliance that is used to dry clothes after they have been washed. It is especially useful during rainy seasons or in areas with limited outdoor drying space.
  3. Spin dryer: This is a smaller version of a dryer that is used to spin excess water out of clothes before they are hung out to dry.
  4. Ironing press: This is a machine that is used to press and iron clothes automatically. It is commonly used in laundromats or commercial laundry services.

Washing Agents

Personal Clothing
  1. Detergents: Detergents are washing agents that contain surfactants, which are chemicals that help to remove dirt, grease, and stains from clothing. They are effective in both hard and soft water and are available in powder, liquid or tablet form. Detergents are preferred over soap as they can be used in hard water and don’t leave any residue behind.
  2. Soaps: Soaps are made from natural ingredients like animal or vegetable fats and oils, and are effective in removing dirt and grease from clothes. However, they are not effective in hard water as they form scum which can leave a residue on clothes.
  3. Water: Water is an essential washing agent that is used to wet the clothes, dissolve the detergent or soap and remove the dirt and stains. Hard water contains minerals that can reduce the effectiveness of detergents or soaps and cause deposits on clothes.
  4. Stain removers: Stain removers are used to remove stubborn stains that cannot be removed with detergents or soaps. Examples of stain removers include bleach, vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
  5. Stiffening agents: Stiffening agents are used to add stiffness to clothes, such as starch, which is commonly used for shirts, collars, and cuffs. They are dissolved in water and added to the final rinse cycle.
  6. Whitening agents: Whitening agents are used to brighten white clothes and remove yellowing or graying caused by age or use. Laundry blue is a commonly used whitening agent that is added to the final rinse cycle.
  7. Disinfectants: Disinfectants are used to kill germs and bacteria on clothes, especially those that have been contaminated with bodily fluids or other infectious materials. Dettol is a common disinfectant used in washing clothes.

Types of Soap

Personal Clothing
  1. Laundry soap – This type of soap is commonly used for washing clothes and is available in bars and cakes. Laundry soap is designed to be effective in removing dirt and stains from fabric, and typically contains a combination of natural oils and fats, as well as synthetic detergents.
  2. Soap flakes – Soap flakes are thin flakes cut from pure soap and are often used for hand-washing delicate fabrics or for making homemade cleaning products. Soap flakes are gentle on fabric and can be dissolved in warm water to create a solution for cleaning clothes.
  3. Soap powder – Soap powder is similar to laundry soap, but it comes in a powdered form. Most soap powders contain whitening or bleaching agents, and some are not suitable for fine materials or wool. Soap powders can be obtained in both liquid and powdered form and are made from petroleum products. They are effective in removing dirt and stains from clothes and dissolve more readily than soap in water.
  4. Synthetic detergents – Unlike soap, synthetic detergents are made from petroleum products and do not contain natural oils or fats. Synthetic detergents lather equally well in soft water, hard water, and seawater and do not form scum in hard water. These detergents are effective in removing dirt and stains from fabric and are commonly used in laundry detergents, dish soaps, and other cleaning products.
  1. Hand soap – Hand soap is designed for frequent use and is available in liquid or bar form. It contains moisturizing ingredients to prevent the skin from drying out with repeated use. Hand soap is effective in removing dirt and bacteria from hands and is an essential hygiene product.
  2. Antibacterial soap – Antibacterial soap contains ingredients that kill bacteria, making it a popular choice for use in hospitals, schools, and other public places. However, there is debate about the effectiveness of antibacterial soap in preventing the spread of illness, and some studies suggest that it may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  3. Glycerin soap – Glycerin soap is a gentle, moisturizing soap that contains glycerin, a natural humectant that attracts moisture to the skin. Glycerin soap is often recommended for people with sensitive or dry skin and is available in both bar and liquid form.
  4. Castile soap – Castile soap is a type of soap made from vegetable oils, such as olive oil, rather than animal fats. It is a mild, gentle soap that is often used for personal care products and as a base for homemade cleaning products. Castile soap is available in bar or liquid form and is a popular choice for people who prefer natural, eco-friendly products.

Steps in Laundry Work

Laundry work is the process of washing and cleaning clothes and other textiles. The following are the steps involved in laundry work;

  1. Sorting the articles to be laundered: This involves separating the clothes based on their color, type of fabric, and level of soiling. This helps to prevent color bleeding, damage to delicate fabrics, and ensures that the clothes are washed at the appropriate temperature.
  2. Mending torn articles: Any articles that are torn or have holes should be mended before washing to prevent further damage.
  3. Removing stains: Stains should be treated before washing to increase the chances of removal. This can be done using stain-removal products or natural remedies.
  4. Soaking color-fast articles: This involves soaking clothes that are prone to color bleeding in a solution of water and vinegar or salt to help set the color and prevent bleeding.
  5. Washing: This involves using detergent and water to clean the clothes. The washing machine or hand washing can be used depending on the type of clothes being washed.
  6. Boiling: This step is optional and is only necessary for items like face towels, pillow cases, and bed sheets. It involves boiling the clothes to remove any remaining dirt and kill germs.
  7. Rinsing: This involves using clean water to remove any remaining soap or detergent from the clothes.
  8. Blueing and starching: Blueing is optional and involves adding a bluing agent to the rinse water to brighten white clothes. Starching involves adding a starch solution to the clothes to make them stiff.
  9. Hanging and drying: The clothes are hung on a clothesline or clothes rack to air dry.
  10. Finishing/ironing: This involves pressing or ironing the clothes to remove wrinkles and create a smooth appearance.
  11. Airing: This involves hanging the clothes in a well-ventilated area to remove any lingering odors.
  12. Storing of finished articles: The clothes are folded or hung and stored in a clean, dry place until they are ready to be worn again.

By following these steps, clothes can be effectively cleaned and maintained, ensuring their longevity and keeping them looking their best.

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