Throughout the inductions and first three acts of this play, it is clear that clothing expresses a lot about the person wearing it. Even within the first induction we see Christopher Sly, a poor man passed out drunk in ratty and torn clothing. In order for the lords trick to work (making him believe he is of higher status than he really is), the lord needs to have Sly bathed and change his clothing; "O monstrous beast! How like swine he lies. Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image...What think you: if he were conveyed to bed, wrapped in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers..." (Induction 1, lines 30-34). Through this section alone, we see just how important clothing was in this time. Clothing was an expression of status and wealth, and also shows a lot about a characters personality.
Clothing also plays an important part between the marriage of Petruccio and Katherine. Petruccio decides to travel to Venice in order to complete some wedding details, one of which happens to be his wedding attire. Not only does Petruccio show up late to his own wedding, but he shows up in secondhand, worn out clothing. To say that he looks like a complete mess would be an understatement; "Why, Petruccio is coming in a new hat and an old jerkin, a pair of old breeches thrice-turned, a pair of boots that have been candle-cases, one buckled, another laced..." (3.2.41-43). The fact that clothing is a representation of status should have influenced Petruccio's choice of clothing, especially on his wedding day. Clothing represented wealth and status, which were two of the most important qualities in life and marriage back then. Petruccio offers the explanation that "Therefore ha' done with words. To me she's married, not unto my clothes. Could I repair what she will wear in me...When I should bid good morrow to my bride, and seal the title with a lovely kiss!" (3.2.109-116). Petruccio is saying that Katherine is not marrying his clothes, she is marrying his personality. This is an odd thing to say due to the importance of clothing and wealth in that period of time.
Following Petruccio's arrival like this, Kate and him get married. Gremio describes the wedding; "...he stamped and swore As if the vicar meant to cozen him...This done, he took the bride about the neck and kissed her lips with a clamorous smack...Such a mad marriage never was before..." (3.3.40-55). The fact that he shows up to his wedding in this type of clothing and the wedding is described in this manner could be foreshadowing what is in store for the newlywed couple. Clothing is clearly a motif in "The Taming of the Shrew".