LUXURY GOODS: In economics, a luxury good is a good for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises, in contrast to a "necessity good", for which demand is not related to income.
Luxury goods are said to have high income elasticity of demand: as people become wealthier, they will buy more and more of the luxury good.
Furthermore, aside from Europeans’ persistent emphasis on the Persian love of fashion and the expense involved in satisfying it, there are scattered references to class distinctions in dress, providing valuable insights into a little-documented aspect of Persian social history.
The limited range of surviving garments (compared to the numbers and variety of contemporary rugs and textiles), especially from the Safavid period, is owing in part to heavy wear (Du Mans, p. 2), the perishable nature of fine silks and cottons, the habit of burning court garments to recover the gold and silver used in them (Moḥammad-Hāšem, II, p.
Persian museum and family collections are another source that has so far been little used (see Ashmolean, pp. Pictorial sources for both the Safavid and Qajar periods provide a comprehensive survey of costume types and are thus an important tool, as long as it is remembered that Persian painting is often idealized and standardized (see ix, above).212), and especially the destruction of the Safavid court wardrobes during the sack of Isfahan in 1135/1722.Introduction of European fashions and consequent disregard for traditional costume in court circles have also contributed to the scarcity.Detailed and often quite frank rendering of women in their domestic costume is particularly useful in this respect, for, as women were usually veiled in public, few observers (at least until the late 19th century) were able to describe their dress at first hand.Furthermore, the importance of photographs, which provide a totally accurate record of costumes from the mid-19th century, cannot be underestimated.A typical man’s costume consisted of a collarless silk shirt, white or colored, fastened at the right shoulder, and loose trousers tapering to the ankles. Over the shirt and trousers a jacket or long robe was worn; it either opened down the front or was fastened under the armpit (for reconstructions of this and other garments, see Scarce, 1987a, p. A narrow velvet or leather belt with jeweled rosettes or a similarly narrow sash encircled the waist.