Clothing (also called clothes and attire) is fiber and textile material worn on the body. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of nearly all human societies.
The amount and type of clothing worn depends on body type, social, and geographic considerations.
Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements and can enhance 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 hot conditions. Further, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body.
Clothing also provides protection from ultraviolet 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. A shelter usually reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves, and other superficial layers are typically 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 can and has in history been made from a very wide variety of materials.
Materials have ranged from leather and furs to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn (such as purses), worn on a single part of the body and easily removed (scarves), worn purely for adornment (jewelry), or those that serve a function other than protection (eyeglasses), are usually are considered accessories rather than clothing, as are footwear and hats.
Clothing protects against many things that might injure the uncovered human body. Clothes protect people from the elements, including rain, snow, wind, and other weather, as well as from the sun. However, clothing that is too sheer, thin, small, tight, etc., offers less protection. Clothes also reduce risk during activities such as work or sport.