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Wednesday, 16 March 2011


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great post, so much substance! We need to understand the processes by which we are 'told' what to wear so we can work out what we want to wear to best express outselves!


Thanks for all the background info on the history of dressing! It is fascinating that shows like What Not to Wear also send a message that just buying an entirely new wardrobe can CHANGE YOUR LIFE(!). While clothes can certainly help confidence levels, I find such language really troubling, mainly because it enforces the consumerist notion that we can't really do anything unless we feed the capitalist system. Great post.


Excellent post! I like how you divide personal style from the consumption of fashion. Your analysis of different cultures and times is really interesting.


Your post is so well informed by history. Even when feminists claim to wear what they WANT to wear, until we are all comfortably going naked, there is plenty to ask of why we want what we want.


a) that is a delicious shade of suede

b) smart post.


Fantastic and so interesting. I agree with the tribal need to belong and the fear of not wearing what one should. There's such liberation in casting aside convention and going your own way, we Westerners are lucky to have the freedom to do this and still be accepted by society by doing so. x


I loved reading this! And I totally agree, being able to dress for yourself and not for a significant other, to keep up appearances with friends, what the magazines tell you, etc. is so, so important! Fashion should be used as a tool for empowerment. I liked your last paragraph about carving out your own niche rather than trying to fit into a mold of someone else's determining. Amen. :)

Pearl Westwood

I studied archaeology/anthropology and you do see in all cultures examples like the one you give here. People have a need to belong. I enjoyed writing my post and reading everyone elses because everyones take on this is so different! If only you could 'wear what you want' and be free of any lables but of course no matter what you wear someone some where will interprete it a certain way.


"In modern day society, identity is prepackaged, bundled up and re sold back to you." YES!! This is the difference between fashion (as in what is in fashion, which is always changing) and style, which is personal, can't be bought or sold, and is timeless. Great post!


Great analysis! I love how you trace the rules and restrictions back in time and how you trace self-expression across cultures. Those examples really capture the gist of it: the difference between the Vietnamese tribal women who choose to express their social status and affiliation through their clothing from an empowered position (they are the ones making the clothes) and the 19th-century (viz. modern) Western women who are forced (told) to wear clothes that send messages about these things.

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