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In my world, there are anthromorphic animal people, similar to the ones in Skyrim. There are many types, so I will just call them all this. Due to them having fur, most specifically the cat people and dog people, I was wondering how I can have them wear clothing like humans, and if the clothing can help the users in any way.

Note: This is just for clothing, armor does not count since it would have a use.

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    $\begingroup$ I know it is bad to demonize but your best bet is to ask a wolf... $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Apr 21 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ Having fur is not particularly relevant. You're not asking awkward questions about why we wear clothing. Our modern sensibilities are very different from other cultures throughout time - for example, in ancient Rome, slaves generally didn't wear clothes. The well-to-dos often exposed a breast or two. Weather and climate has relatively little to do with it either - just consider the difference between a person on a beach and another a kilometre away in the city. Swap their clothes and awkwardness ensues. But all of that is purely cultural. It's a display. Why wouldn't non-humans do that? $\endgroup$
    – Luaan
    Apr 21 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Luaan Do you have a source for "often exposed a breast or two"? I'm aware of Minoan dresses that exposed the breasts, but I never heard of anything like that for Rome. A quick Google search didn't really turn up anything like that either. As far as I'm aware Roman patricians rather covered up their wives and daughters. $\endgroup$
    – Tonny
    Apr 21 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen Obviously there are plenty of examples. But Luaan makes the claim explicitly for ancient Rome. And that is something that doesn't fit with my knowledge so I would like to know on what Luaan bases his/her information. $\endgroup$
    – Tonny
    Apr 21 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ Turn the table around. How do WE justify wearing clothes? It's not like we actually need them in most climates. $\endgroup$ Apr 21 at 18:38

9 Answers 9

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Cleanliness & Safety:

Do you want to get goo all over your fur? Is the mud hard to comb out? Do you really HATE taking baths, and the hours trying to get your fur back the way you like? Clothes cover up to protect. Do you work in a hospital? Are you afraid of strangers coughing all over you? Wear PPE. Fireman? You better have the gear.

Status:

Do you like it? It cost a fortune, but you really do have to set yourself apart from the commoners. I heard the deer people don't even WEAR clothes. Poor, pathetic losers. Do you think a deerskin vest would look good? Fur is murder, but it's SO trendy!

Identity:

Those French cats wear short skirts and berets. You can always tell the African tigers from the Indian ones by the sarongs. It's hound, not dog, any proper British hound wears a vest and carries a pocket watch. What, are we German DOGS to be running around in leather like some kind of werewolf?

Dying your fur is complicated and messy, so if you want to show your colors, or team spirit, and still be able to go to work in Monday, it's easier to put a shirt or a robe on.

Religion & Belief:

The prophet said to wear robes, and whatever the prophet says, goes. Civilized people wear clothes, and just because your ancestors didn't, does that make it right?

Setting yourself apart from the Beasts:

Dogs are mangey beasts with no clothes. Just because there's a resemblance, doesn't make me a DOG. Humans wear clothes, monkeys don't. Wearing clothes sets you apart from the beasts.

Uniforms:

A police officer is recognizable because of how he dresses. A preacher wears vestments. A doctor without a coat gets no respect.

Covering sexual signals:

I CAN'T STAND the males staring at my eight nipples all day! You'd swear they never saw a female before. The boss runs around waving THAT THING in everyone's face, and we're not supposed to complain? He rubs up on my ass, that perv, and there's nothing between me and him. THAT'S IT! I'm buying a dress.

Accentuating Sexual Signals:

Fur can cover up one's natural shape, so a tight-fitting body suit accentuates your muscular thighs and is slimming around the waist. Perhaps some mystery around genitalia is alluring. Or maybe puffy fur is sexy, and a faux fur coat makes you look REALLY hot. Human clothes could be a fetish, or a female wearing the skin of a prey animal might excite some guys.

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    $\begingroup$ It certainly makes humanimal movies more snappy when the man in the white coat doesn't need to introduce himself. "Hello I am Science man Jenkins. I went to Poly-Incorporated University and have a degree in Theoretical Science with Applications. And you need to stop touching that doodad right now before it zaps you." $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Apr 21 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ Certain clothes and materials can be significant representations of status was well. While the common-folk use cotton and recycled fur strand garments, the upper classes sport silks and more complex clothing, some may even have their own fur weaved into the garments to achieve visual affects otherwise not possible (a head dress that spikes your fur in interesting patterns rather than laying flat underneath) $\endgroup$ Apr 22 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @DangerLake That sounds like an answer. I'd upvote that (flesh out a bit). $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Apr 22 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Feel free to add it to this one if you wish. I see it as an extension of setting apart from beasts (setting apart from the lower class) lol $\endgroup$ Apr 22 at 17:09
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Cultural habit

The animal people started out as humans and in human society, branching off by genetic engineering. They never got rid of the social pressure to wear clothing. If humans are still around, those baselines might impose their demand for clothing on them even.

Individuality & Uniformity

How do we tell others at a glance who we are? Clothing is an easy way to show who we are or which social group we belong to. How to identify the Police? Their Uniform of course! How to know they are military? Uniform! How to spot the punk or goth or anime fan? Their choice of clothes is telling!

Pockets

The best reason to wear some clothes is pockets. Pockets are needed to carry around all the amenities of society and their demands, such as money and ID. The pockets might be a piece of clothing on their own, or they might be part of the clothing.

Laws

Laws demand to cover up some areas of the body in public. They might be ancient and predate the advent of animal people.

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    $\begingroup$ From what I can tell, pockets are surprisingly recent... Like, no ancient, classical, "medieval", or even "renaissance" civilization really had them. It was bags, packs, and purses all the way back $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Apr 20 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ @PipperChip pockets are about... 1700 onwards, true, but OP did not tell us a timeframe this is set in. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Apr 20 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ @PipperChip is it really "civilization" if they didn't have pockets, though? $\endgroup$ Apr 21 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ @pipperChip Including a fun period when women usually had a bunch of tools hanging off of hooks on a belt. $\endgroup$ Apr 21 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Pockets sewn into garments are recent but the oldest known belt pouch is from about 3300 BCE and the word pocket was used long before sewn-in pockets. I would cross pockets off of the list of reasons to wear clothing. (Plus the not-sewn-in-kind are arguably better, 1, they're cheaper/easier to make, you don't have to add special steps to every garment, 2, you can make them bigger since the strain doesn't go onto the garment, 3, you can just move your whole pocket when you change clothes instead of taking your stuff out and transferring it.) $\endgroup$ Apr 21 at 20:06
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To Look FABULOUS!

Same reasons we humans wear makeup, dye our hair, and also wear types of clothes. Not to mention whiten our teeth as well as coloring other parts of our bodies (like ancient Egyptians dying eyes, ancient Japanese dying teeth black, etc.).

Look, I am trying to say it's fashion. Different fashions exist for different cultures with different values. Clothes can display status, show off wealth, and increase attractiveness. All good reasons to be fashionable when not strictly needed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Japanese teeth blackening was actually a means that protected against teeth rotting - the teeth black was incidentally also good at killing bacteria that damage teeth. However, ohaguro was not meant to look fabulous but to show that you were a mature person. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Apr 20 at 22:58
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    $\begingroup$ @trish that's cool, but I do not know if they knew it or if it was the motivation to do so. $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Apr 20 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ read more here: livejapan.com/en/article-a0001026 . Outside of japan, teeth blackening actively was used to preserve teeth, as Wiki claims. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teeth_blackening $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Apr 20 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ Nevertheless, they thought they looked FABULOUS with it. There's a Japanese work in which an eccentric woman doesn't blacken her teeth and her attendants on how UGLY it looks. $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Apr 21 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ Clothes are a way of hiding our insecurity to the world. $\endgroup$ Apr 22 at 13:31
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It is cold.

warm dog

Best reason for clothes I can think of.

Bad fur.

bald spots

source

I have some friends who must wear clothes to hide their bodies from the world. It is how it is. They have great personalities. So too your dog people. Some are mangy or have compulsive fur licking habits. These wear clothes to avoid having people gawk at them when out and about.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would work definitely for the cat people for sure. $\endgroup$
    – Crafter
    Apr 20 at 22:46
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    $\begingroup$ Yes - if a species cannot make clothes then they are restricted to the climate that is within their body's ability to self-regulate temperature. Once a tool-using species can make clothes then they can survive colder and hotter climates and dominate more of the planet. $\endgroup$ Apr 20 at 23:43
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Why do humans wear clothes in most cultures, even when there is no practical reason for it?

In many parts of the world it’s warm enough – at least some time of the year – that going naked would be possible or even advantageous.

But in most locations and cultures it’s frowned upon or even outlawed.

So I don’t think you need any rational reason at all for clothing.

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The animals have initially developed a sense of prudery which have them cover themselves and their secondary sexual features, and later, like in humans, the clothing itself has become a way of calling for attention or giving non verbal communication.

Imagine what a scented attire could do for a canine person, for example, or what a multispectral gown could do for a bee person, in non verbal communication with con-specifics.

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Sweaty Smelly Hum-Animals

enter image description here

Everyone knows dogs and cats don't sweat. But Humans do. And horses do.


Extra: Some horses already wear clothes. The owners shave their horses when it is hot:

![enter image description here

Then on cold days they use a horse blanket

enter image description here

Some people only shave the part that goes under the blanket.


Hum-Animal people sweat too. Even the cat and dog people. They are closer to pure humans in this regard.

Civilised hum-animals do not like the smelly sweaty smell that smells sweaty, any more than humans enjoy the body odour of other humans.

The cat and dog people bath frequently. But with their long hair it takes days to dry off. Instead they trim their coats on their body to be short and easier to clean, and cover it up with clothes to keep warm.

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  • $\begingroup$ Clothing would also protect against the rain and other precipitation. Wet snow is particularly nasty even when clothed. $\endgroup$ Apr 22 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @computercarguy Fur coats also protect against the weather. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Apr 25 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they do, but they still let the rain and snow get against the skin. Wearing clothes would better protect the hum-animals. Even in your picture, you can see the hair matted to the skin. An extra layer would prevent that. Cattle huddle together so they can avoid the wind and precip, even with their fur. People put blankets and other cloth over their animals to keep them warm and dry. Just do a search for "horse blanket". $\endgroup$ Apr 25 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @computercarguy In the image the hair is matted from sweat. The moisture comes from the inside and not the outside. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Apr 25 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ In a storm, do you really think that matters? Also, searching for "sweaty horse" shows horses sweating in a different manner and even color than what your pic shows. You pic looks more like the horses being in a rainstorm, like I'm talking about. horsejournals.com/horse-care/seasonal-care/summer/… This shows a horse being in the rain, and the 2nd pic shows exactly the same fur pattern as your image. horsejournals.com/horse-care/seasonal-care/spring/… $\endgroup$ Apr 25 at 16:05
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Clothing has alot of purpose besides just covering one's skin. After all, in many places it is now acceptable for men to be shirtless, and in some for women to be shirtless, and yet the vast majority still wear their shirts all the time.

Clothes help protect us from minor injuries like scratches and scrapes, as well as from the heat or the cold. It's true that these animal people would likely have fur (or at least many of them, idk if you're including reptiles or furless mammals), but even those with fur such as dogs still have places which can be rather sensitive such as the lower belly, the genitals, and the paws. Gloves/shoes and shorts would be very protective clothing.

Clothes are also an excellent way to wear your belongings which otherwise would have to be carried. Your wallet, a favorite pen, an ID, a handy tool, a weapon, and more can be carried in pockets or bags, built-in or attachable (or wearable as a separate piece, like a purse). Clothing is sometimes used to include jewelry as well, such as necklaces.

Lastly, clothes can be a great way to really trim out your look. Letting your hair grow wild can be an attractive option to some, but some people keep themselves trimmed up, and some like to wear specific clothes simply for how it changes their look. Animal people, to me, would essentially behave like people but look like animals; therefore, they would care very much about how they appear to others. If the right gloves could give you a look of superiority or finesse, I can't imagine some of them not wanting to wear them.

(Edited "most" to "many" in the first paragraph for better accuracy)

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    $\begingroup$ “After all, in most places it is now acceptable for men to be shirtless, and in some for women to be shirtless, and yet the vast majority still wear their shirts all the time.” Not really. It’s legally allowed in many jurisdictions but not really accepted by most societies. Are there any places where it would be okay to come to your office job shirtless? Heck, in many countries you are not even allowed to go shirtless in the gym! Being completely naked is a whole other level too. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Apr 22 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ In private businesses, they often want the setting to be more formal than outside and will have the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy. If you're walking down the road or jogging or in a public swimming area or even strolling through town shirtless, any of these situations are acceptable in many places. $\endgroup$
    – Blue Dev
    Apr 22 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ At least in Europe just walking barefoot through a village or city is enough to earn you lots of strange looks and occasionally funny (or rude) comments. Here in Austria I’ve also been denied entry in several restaurants and supermarkets or been thrown out. And that’s just for naked feet. Being barefoot and shirtless is not illegal, so nobody is going to call the police if you do it in public places. But it’s certainly far from accepted. Kind of similar to how openly homosexual behavior was being treated some years ago. Technically legal but far from accepted. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Apr 22 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I see. Different cultures for different areas, of course. To represent everyone equally, there are a handful of places where full nudity is acceptable. Generally speaking people require at least the genitals to be covered, and more often, for the upper legs and torso to be covered as well. Where I live in the US, bare feet is not uncommon but generally private businesses want you to wear shoes. I don't live in a city though, and it seems the more populated an area is, the more clothing you have to wear to fit in. EDIT: Construction crews often have shirtless members in my area. $\endgroup$
    – Blue Dev
    Apr 22 at 17:28
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Minor Evolutionary Adaptations

Over time, some parts of their bodies have lost some of the fur coatings that they otherwise would have had, similar to how hominids had lost theirs, though maybe not to the same extent. As a result, the imperfect coverage requires some clothing to maintain climate protection.

These kinds of adaptations can happen simply because of advantages due to comforts of civilization, posture changes, or even just chafing from walking upright. Regardless of how it happened, now if they don't wear clothing, they tend to feel rather drafty in public, and do show some skin here and there, but still have a good deal of residual fur.

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