In the first place, there is a great need for a general law and decree in the German nation against extravagant and costly dress, because of which so many nobles and rich men are impoverished. God has certainly given us, as he has to other countries, enough wool, hair, flax and everything else necessary for the seemly and honorable dress of every class. We do not need to waste fantastic sums for silk, velvet, golden ornaments, and foreign wares. I believe that even if the pope had not robbed us with his intolerable fleecing, we would still have more than enough of these domestic wants to be like everybody else, and pride and envy are thereby aroused and increased among us, as we deserve. All this misery and much more besides would be happily left behind if only our desire to be noticed would let us be thankful and satisfied with the good things God has already given us.
Martin Luther, To The Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate, 1520.
Translated by Charles M. Jacobs, Revised by James Atkinson, from Selected Writings of Martin Luther Volume 1: 1517-1520 edited by Theodore G. Tappert.