Antifashion, a recurrent theme in the history of dress, was probably first taken up as a sign of status by the nobility, perhaps originally out of necessity. Impoverished, threadbare noblemen could take pride in their lack of style while middle-class upstarts were deeply considering the cut of their coats. This strain in aristocratic style persists. The essential presumptuousness of fashion—its constant pushiness, its middle-class mobility—is one of the things that make people hate and fear it, especially very radical and conservative people. The constant dress-reform movements of the nineteenth century in England and America were attempts, in different modes, to resist and even to abolish fashion.... If elaborate fashion was the outward sign of bourgeois prosperity, antifashion had to be invented as a necessary means of indicating objections to existing social, economic, and sexual standards.