The Invention of Clothing

It is not certain when people first started wearing clothes, however, anthropologists estimate that it was somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 years ago. The first clothes were made from natural elements: animal skin, fur, grass, leaves, bone, and shells. Garments were often draped or tied; however, simple needles made out of animal bone provide evidence of sewn leather and fur garments from at least 30,000 years ago.

When settled neolithic cultures discovered the advantages of woven fibers over animal hides, the making of cloth, drawing on basketry techniques, emerged as one of humankind’s fundamental technologies. Hand and hand with the history of clothing goes the history of textiles. Humans had to invent weaving, spinning, tools, and the other techniques needed to be able to make the fabrics used for clothing.

Ready-Made Clothing

Before sewing machines, nearly all clothing was local and hand-sewn, there were tailors and seamstresses in most towns that could make individual items of clothing for customers. After the sewing machine was invented, the ready-made clothing industry took off.

The Many Functions of Clothes

Clothing serves many purposes: it can help protect us from various types of weather, and can improve safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking. It protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters, thorns and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or heat. They can also provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from harmful UV radiation.

The most obvious function of clothing is to improve the comfort of the wearer, by protecting the wearer from the elements. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are generally more important. Shelter usually reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves, and other superficial layers are normally removed when entering a warm home, particularly if one is residing or sleeping there. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer seasons and regions than in colder ones.

Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions, such as individual, occupational and sexual differentiation, and social status. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion, gender, and social status. Clothing may also function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style.

Some clothing protects from specific environmental hazards, such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather, weapons, and contact with abrasive substances. Conversely, clothing may protect the environment from the clothing wearer, as with doctors wearing medical scrubs.

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Average height for women worldwide

The average height for a woman varies, depending on where she was born and raised. For a woman raised in the United States, the average height is currently 5 feet 4 inches.

This was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and applies to women over the age of 20. Meanwhile, the average height for men of a similar age in the U.S. is around 5 feet 9 inches.

Nutrition and other health factors may explain height differences among various populations, and some may have limits to potential height. Immigration may also influence these averages.

Fast facts on average height for women:

  • Each country has its own reporting methods. There is no global average for women’s height.
  • Height is dependent on a variety of factors.
  • On average, men are taller than women all over the world.

Average body shape and size change with time. For example, the average woman in the 1960s stood at 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed around 140 pounds. The average woman now weighs 168 pounds, showing an increase of 28 pounds.

Average height for women in the U.S. has only increased by an inch over the same period, indicating that weight is increasing much faster than height.

On average, height in the U.S. has increased at a slower rate than the global median.

The average height of a person in the U.S. has also increased more slowly than the height of their counterparts in other high-income countries, according to a 2016 survey.

This has not always been the case. In 1914, men in America were the third-tallest in the world and women the fourth-tallest.

A century later, these women were the 42nd-tallest in the world, and men the 37th-tallest.

Among men, the Netherlands had the tallest average, at 6 feet in 2014. That same year, the tallest average for women — 5 feet 7 inches — was reported in Latvia.

Authors of the 2016 survey noted that slowed increases in height among people in America may be related to worsening nutrition. They also mentioned immigration of people from countries whose people are typically shorter in height, and lower qualities of obstetric and pediatric healthcare as potential factors.

Many unofficial sources report a global average height for women as 5 feet 3 inches or an inch taller.

Here are some worldwide trends in height for women aged 18–40 from the website World Data:

  • The average height of European women is 5 feet 6 inches.
  • In many parts of Asia, including China, the average woman’s height is about 5 feet.
  • The average height for women in North America is slightly below the average for women in the U.S. Average heights for women in the U.S. and Canada are the same, while the same average in Mexico is just below 5 feet 2 inches.
  • According to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the shortest average heights for women are recorded in South Asia and Guatemala, at under 5 feet.

Some factors are natural, while others

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Welcome to Our Online Ring Art Gallery

Chances are good that you have never seen wedding bands that are made quite like this before. Featured artist Todd Alan has developed a singular, unusual style that combines various techniques and processes gold-braided-wedding-ringsto create a style of jewelry that is unique, unusual, distinctive, durable, beautiful and rare. As the basis for his unique wedding rings, he braids round strands of precious metals and torch-fuses the ends of the rings together.

Celtic Wedding Rings -Todd studied Celtic knot work as an inspiration for his rings. Celtic knot work generally does not work in wire so he used this inspiration to create designs that would be reminiscent of a Celtic style, creating his own Celtic wedding bands.

Unlike mass produced wedding rings, which are cast from a mold, Todd Alan makes each ring one-at-a-time as they are ordered. The result is a lasting, unique and timeless piece of jewelry that is personal, and a delight to look at.

Just call or email us to see how we can make something special for you!

We have many handcrafted braids. Click on a picture below to learn more about that braid. All rings can be created in different metals and sizes.

Search by metal type, click below to see our braids in the different metals we offer.


Come See Our Rings In Person

Come to our a gallery in Sarasota, Florida to see our entire selection of wedding rings. See all of Todd’s work in person including original pieces not featured online. We encourage you to call/email ahead to make sure we are open and able to meet with you. 941-217-4969.

Todd Alan Gallery

506 S. Pineapple Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34236

Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 12:00am – 5:30pm.

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Featured artists, Pino, Eric Shupe, David Rhyne and Sheryl Shakinovsky, are part of the gallery’s rotating display available for purchase.


Platinum braided wedding rings handmade from the same braid.Unique Wedding Bands Woven From the Same Braid

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Gift Cards –


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Unlike gift cards and gift certificates from some retailers that must be used within a certain time period, a CARiD Gift Card never expires, so your hard-earned dollars will never end up being wasted on a gift card that’s no longer valid. And if the card is lost, just contact us and we’ll gladly replace it if it was never used. Any discounts, coupons, or promo codes that apply to a product will be honored with the gift card, and if there’s a problem and a product is returned the process is no different from purchases made by any other payment method. If the gift card recipient wants to buy a gift card for a fellow enthusiast, that card and any other purchases he wants to make can be put on his gift card, and a gift card can be returned for a full refund as long as it wasn’t purchased with a gift card.

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America’s Malls and Department Stores Are Dying Off

The Schuylkill Mall in Frackville, Pa., is open for business, but you have to look hard to know it. The stores that have shuttered–Sears, Kmart, Spencer Gifts, Hallmark Cards–far outnumber the dozen businesses that remain. The customer-service office is cordoned off by a metal gate. The plants underneath the skylight droop toward a ring of yellow caution tape, and the piped-in music echoes off barren walls. The mall used to have a dance club. Now it’s a dialysis center.

A decade ago, the Schuylkill Mall and its 90 stores, restaurants and knickknack kiosks was a nexus of daily life in this part of Pennsylvania coal country, where teenagers met to flirt as warm-up-suited seniors walked laps around them. Crowds thronged to the annual Easter egg hunt and Lithuanian Days festival, a nod to the region’s ancestral ties. “I had to say excuse me a million times to get to work,” says Jane Krick, a waitress at Suglia’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, the last full-service restaurant standing. “It was full of people. Now we get a million phone calls a day asking, Are you still open?”

It won’t be for long. In early May, management gave the remaining tenants 60 to 90 days to close up shop. Tenants expect the property to be demolished. The wrecking ball will put the mall in good company around the nation. By 2022, analysts estimate that 1 out of every 4 malls in the U.S. could be out of business, victims of changing tastes, a widening wealth gap and the embrace of online shopping for everything from socks to swing sets.

This year alone, more than 8,600 stores could close, according to industry estimates, many of them the brand-name anchor outlets that real estate developers once stumbled over themselves to court. Already there have been 5,300 retail closings this year, including Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney and Kmart stores. Sears Holdings–which owns Kmart–said in March that there’s “substantial doubt” it can stay in business altogether, and will close 300 stores this year. In April, Payless Inc. announced it would close 400 of its shoe stores as part of its bankruptcy plan–on top of a separate 400 it had already scheduled to close. The mall staple RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 twice in two years. So far this year, nine national retail chains have filed for bankruptcy.

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Local jobs are a major casualty of what analysts are calling, with only a hint of hyperbole, the retail apocalypse. Since 2002, department stores have lost 448,000 jobs, a 25% decline, while the number of store closures this year is on pace to surpass the worst depths of the Great Recession. The growth of online retailers, meanwhile, has failed to offset those losses, with the e-commerce sector adding just 178,000 jobs over the past 15 years. Some of those jobs can be found in the massive distribution centers Amazon has opened across the country, often not too far from malls the company helped shutter. One of them is

Lilly’s Vintage Costume Jewelry

Welcome to the wonderful world of Lilly’s Vintage Jewelry!

Newly Added Vintage Jewelry!

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Try our new Floral
Jewelry Pages

My name is Lilly.  I have been collecting
vintage costume or fashion jewelry since I was young without ever realizing it.    I have been studying,
researching, and selling Vintage Costume Jewelry since 1999.  
Some of you may know me by


on eBay or my recently closed eBay store,

Jewels to Auto
.  I also had a store on
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Lilly’s Vintage Jewelry!

Vintage Costume Jewelry is a perfect way to go
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better.  Vintage jewelry is amazing.  It was originally made for a
season and considered throw away jewelry.  The quality and craftsmanship is
a huge testament to the time that it has lasted.  The United States has
lost most of this industry and the outcome is obvious.  Most of today’s
fashion jewelry really is throw away in comparison to jewelry from the past.

I try to have a wide variety of pieces for
everyone’s different style.  You may find a few contemporary or some “real”
pieces, but my main focus is vintage costume or fashion jewelry.  I love
the flashy glitzy jewelry of the past.  The thermoplastics and Lucite and
bakelite pieces catch my attention.  The modernist jewelry is always
interesting.  The patriotic jewels are always a favorite.  You will
find the whimsical to the “real” look going through my site.  So you
never know what I’ll be adding next.  Also remember that most, if not all,
of the pieces I find, I only have 1 of.  So if you’re thinking about it and
planning to come back later – it may be gone!  We also take orders with
payments by checks and money orders.  Please see our

order info
page for
more information.

I guess you can say that I’m as addicted to
the research and books of vintage jewelry as much as the jewelry itself. 
Check out my new Book Pieces page, I have a lot of books!

am a proud member of The Jewelry Ring, Vintage Fashion and Costume Jewelry,
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~ New Features



Avon Jewelry

Monet Jewelry

Weiss Jewelry

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Coro Jewelry

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Book Pieces:

Vintage Costume Jewelry that has been shown in

History of Costume | European Fashion Through the Ages

Once again I shall make a glossary of clothing terms, this time from the Renaissance.  Some of the terms I defined for Medieval clothing were also used during the Renaissance and I will most likely use some of those terms in current posts, so their definitions can be found here.

basquine — boned bodice made of whalebone and leather, gave the appearance of wider shoulders tapering to a tiny waist (women)

beret— thin, loose hats that usually tilted towards one side of the head

Renaissance beret

bombasting — stuffing for trunk hose, peascod-belly, and leg-of-mutton sleeves, composed of rags, flock, and other materials

bourrelet — wider version of the farthingale adapted in France, more cylindrical in shape rather than conical (women)

bum roll/bolster — roll of padding tied around the hip line to hold the skirt out from the body, less restrictive than the farthingale (women)

camicia — undershirt usually made of white linen (men)

canions — upper stocks worn from the doublet to the knee (men)

chopines — shoes that elevated the wearer, eventually developed into high heels

crescent cap — circular/heart-shaped cap worn towards the back of the head with a velvet veil covering the rest of the hair

codpiece — padded triangle of fabric worn laced to the front of the trunk hose over the groin (men)

copotain — high bell-shaped hat

doublet — man’s bodice

duckbill shoes/scarpines/ox-mouth shoe — large, wide, square-toed shoes often decorated with jewels or slashes (men)

enseigne — disc-shaped hat ornament, usually extremely detailed with jewels/carvings (men)

farthingale — topmost petticoat, hooped to give shape to the skirt (women)

finestrella sleeves — sleeves where the outer fabric was slit horizontally and the sleeves of the undergarment were pulled through (women)

flat cap — flat hat with soft crown and moderately broad brim (men)

funnel sleeves — sleeves that were fitted at the upper arm and ballooned out, fitted tightly around wrist

gorget— neck ornament

Kennel or Gable Headdress

jerkin— short velvet or leather jacket, usually sleeveless (men)

kennel/gable headdress — pentagonal piece worn over the top of the head with veil/bag cap of dark velvet attached to the back and covering hair (women)

leg-of-mutton sleeves — puffed sleeves that extended the entire length of the arm

neck wisk — a falling ruff that was open at the front, resembling a collar

nether stocks — trunks worn under breeches, long enough so that the bottoms could be seen (men)

pantofles — wooden platforms attached to the sole of the shoe with pieces of fabric to protect them from rain, snow, and mud

peascod-belly doublet — doublet rounded at the abdomen to give the appearance of a filled-out belly (men)

points — resembled shoelaces, used to attach trunk hose to doublets or sleeves to doublets or bodices (lacing/trussing)

pokes — apron-like pockets tied to the doublet (men)

ruff — starched (often with different colors) and wired collar pleated into ruffles, could be made of lace or jeweled, usually had

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Beautiful Wedding Invitations & Stationery

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