In many parts of the world, people need protection from the weather. Therefore the type of climate influences the type of clothes that people wear.
The materials used for clothing vary around the world. Some textiles are better suited to a particular climate. For example, knitted wool is more useful in cold climates, and thin woven cotton is more useful in warm climates.
For most of history, the textiles people used depended on the raw materials available locally, such as flax in Egypt, cotton in India, and silk in China.
Beyond considerations of utility and availability, however, people tend to derive regional or national identity from their most characteristic textiles, just as they do from their typical foods. Thus, a European businessman defines himself in part by his woolen suit, an Indonesian farmer by his cotton sarong (skirt of brightly colored cloth, worn wrapped about the waist).
For centuries, silk-wearing Chinese people despised wool, which they considered the fabric of uncivilized people. Today, such considerations of identity have weakened amid international trade and international cultural exchange.
In cold climates, people wear warm garments made of fur, wool, or closely woven fabrics. They also wear warm shoes or boots. These materials are usually good insulators of heat because they tend to have many tiny hairs in them and these hairs trap air.
As air is a bad conductor of heat, heat is unable to pass through and the person is kept warm. The Eskimos for example, made most of their clothing of caribou skin. They wear two suits, with the inner suit of caribou skin or sealskin suit.
In warm climates, people wear materials made of lightweight materials like cotton or linen, which have a fairly open weave. These materials absorb perspiration and allow air to flow around the body.
People in these climates sometimes wear white or light-coloured clothes because such colours reflect the suns rays. For example, India, most of the people wear light, loose clothing because of the hot climate. Bright colours and white are common.
They may also wear sandals, which are more comfortable than shoes or heavy boots in warm weather. Large hats made of straw serve as sunshades.
This is especially evident in places in the tropical regions like in Southeast Asia where daily temperatures range from 23 to 34 degrees Celsius and where the weather is very humid.
In an African village, villagers may wear only a loincloth around the waist.
In temperate regions, people wear different types of clothing because of the four different seasons: summer, spring, autumn and winter. Their types of clothes vary with each different season.
In summer, they may choose to wear clothes made of cotton so that they will not feel too warm during this period when temperatures are high.
During winter, they would switch to wearing coatsand jackets made of thicker materials like wool to keep themselves warm in the cold weather.
In many places, people must wear clothes for protection against several kinds of weather. For example, people of the Arabian deserts wear loose, flowing garments that shield their bodies from the blazing sun.
The same garments protect them against the cold night air. Even in less severe climates, people may require protective clothing during the hot and cold seasons.