Men and Women: Dressing the Part

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kidwell (coauthor of Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America ), costume curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and Steele ( Paris Fashion: A Cultural History ) examine fashion in a cultural context, directing their attention to utilitarian clothes (such as the garments worn by football players, who ``laid aside their hats, and coats and vests'' to play unprotected when the game took hold in the 19th century) and to the androgynous, controversial apparel of avant-garde '60s designer Rudi Gernreich. Focusing on the interplay of gender and attire, the authors conclude that ``certain symbols resist change stubbornly,'' just as ideas of masculinity and femininity do, and offer multiple illuminating examples. Their comprehensive, succinct discussion of the many facets of dress and sexual roles treats the clothing of children, wardrobes worn on the job, fads and experiments (e.g., bloomers, a 19th century precursor of feminine trousers). Illustrated. (June)
Library Journal
The editors have assembled the most remarkable book on the history of fashion available today. More than just a history, it analyzes what changes in fashion say about gender, class, and morality, noting, for example, that the point at which parents begin dressing children specifically as girls or boys has changed over time. Pink and blue have not always held the connotations they do today: until about 1920 reds and pinks were considered masculine and blues feminine. Changing hair styles and body types are also examined, with the medieval preference for slenderness and the Renaissance ideal of solidity and weight duly acknowledged. The book also covers work clothes, sports clothes, military uniforms, blue jeans, and lingerie. A concise and lively book that works on all levels, for casual reader or scholar. Highly recommended.-- Daniel J. Lombardo, Jones Lib., Inc., Amherst, Mass.
Explores the relationship between changes in fashion and ideas about masculinity and femininity. Among the subjects covered here are sports uniforms, work clothes, children's clothes. Many contemporary illustrations, a few in color. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874745597
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1989
  • Pages: 226

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