The story of clothing in Western Australia during the twentieth century reflects the changes in Australian fashion and the influences of European and North American
At the time of Federation clothes reflected a person's position - their occupation, and
social status. Such clear social stratification is less immediately evident in the clothes worn by Western Australians one hundred years later.
The changes in fashion reflect the social, cultural and political developments which have taken place in our community. The adoption of casual clothing, sports wear and
leisure wear for every day use says much about those changes. For example, stylistic developments in women's clothing reflect their liberation from the constraints of the
restrictive clothes worn in the 19th century. The heavy fabrics - gussets, corsets, starched collars - worn by those Western Australians celebrating the creation of the
Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 would seem alien to those celebrating the centenary of federation in 2001.