We have received several reader comments asking for book recommendations on the history of fashion or fashion theory writings. We all have varying experiences with these topics, from working with writings on clothing, performativity, and self-representation in our gender and feminist studies readings to researching drag or the semiotics of clothing for course papers or our dissertation work. The spectrum is broad and the contributions to this domain vast. In response to your questions, we have compiled some of our favorite readings on these topics in the bibliography below.
As always, please add any sources or reading recommendations of your own in the comments section of this post.
Arnold, Rebecca. “Fashion.” Feminist Visual Culture. Ed. Fiona Carson and Claire Pajaczkowska. New York: Routledge, 2001. 207-22.
Ash, Juliet. “The tie: presence and absence.” The Gendered Object. Ed. Pat Kirkham. New York: Manchester University Press, 1996. 162-171.
Barthes, Roland. The Fashion System. Trans. Matthew Ward and Richard Howard. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.
Boydell, Christine. “The training shoe: ‘pump up the power’” The Gendered Object. Ed. Pat Kirkham. New York: Manchester University Press, 1996. 121-132
Crane, Diane. Fashion and Its Social Agendas. Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Davis, Fred. Fashion, Culture, and Identity. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Hanson, Karen. “Dressing Down Dressing Up: The Philosophic Fear of Fashion.” Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective. Ed. Hilde Hein and Carolyn Korsmeyer. Bloomington: Indiana U. Press, 1993.
Hollander, Anne. Seeing through Clothes. NewYork: Viking Press, 1978.
Luck, Kate. “Trousers: feminism in nineteenth-century America.” The Gendered Object. Ed. Pat Kirkham. New York: Manchester University Press, 1996. 141-152.
Perrot, Philippe. Fashioning the Bourgeoisie. A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century. Trans. Richard Bienvenu. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
Stern, Radu. Against Fashion: Clothing as Art, 1850-1930. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.
Summers, Leigh. Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset. New York: Berg, 2001.
Wright, Lee. “The suit: a common bond or defeated purpose?” The Gendered Object. Ed. Pat Kirkham. New York: Manchester University Press, 1996. 153-161.