Fashion and the Construction of Gender


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Essay #: 055560
Total text length is 11,182 characters (approximately 7.7 pages).

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The beginning:
Fashion and the Construction of Gender
Historically, fashion has continuously played a role in the ways in which gender is demarcated as an observable characteristic. Oftentimes, fashion has also acted as a way in which to physically mark masculinity and femininity upon the actual body of the individual or group in question, For instance, when corsets were popular as a woman’s fashion accessory during much of the nineteenth century, they were recommended as a way to “exaggerate” the “natural differences between men and women, that is, women’s more pronounced waistline” (Steele 53). Yet they could also delimit a woman’s range of motion, ability to eat, and even ability to breathe. Thus, the traits of frailty, modesty, and quietness that...
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Crane, Diana. Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. “Fashion History, Costume History, Clothing, Fashions, and Social History.” Accessed 20 November 2009. <>
Fields, Jill. An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality. Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. “The History of Women’s Suffrage.” Accessed 20 November 2009. <>
Steele, Valerie. The Corset: A Cultural History. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001.