In Act III, scene iv of Much Ado About Nothing, Hero and Maragaret have a conversation about clothes:
Troth, I think your other rabato were better.
No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
By my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant your
cousin will say so.
My cousin's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear
none but this.
I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair
were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare
fashion, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's
gown that they praise so.
O, that exceeds, they say.
By my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect of
yours: cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with
silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves,
and skirts, round underborne with a bluish tinsel:
but for a fine, quaint, graceful and excellent
fashion, yours is worth ten on 't.
God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is
'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.
Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?
A "rabato" is a "collar," and a "tire" is a "headdress." When Hero says, "that exceeds, they say," she means that [the gown] "is amazing." So, the conversation is but a filler on fashion while Beatrice is fetched, but it reveals the class distinctions between engaged upper-class Hero (who can afford expensive gowns and hair) and unmarried, lower-class Margaret (whose nightgown is "quaint" by comparison). Margaret ends the conversation by making a dirty joke, so clothes are used to attract a husband as well.
Earlier in the play, "masks" were the focal point of the party. During such masquerade balls, expensive and elaborate costumes were worn by men and women as part of pagan revelry. Here, Don Pedro woos Hero for Claudio, and Benedick and Beatrice argue in disguise. So, clothing is not only used to show one's gender, status, and wealth, but also one's inner feelings and secret motivations. Don John, a bastard, for example, would most likely wear black to show his melancholy, while Hero, a virgin, would wear white. As an example, Beatrice says this of Benedick:
Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as
the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the
Giving outward clues of inward motivations is a kind of "pathetic fallacy" or an "objective correlative." What we see outside mirrors what one feels inside.