Dressing the Elite by Susan Vincent
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Dressing the Elite
By Susan Vincent

Dressing the Elite

Clothes in Early Modern England

By (author) See other recent books by Susan Vincent
Format: Paperback

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Dressing the Elite by Susan Vincent

Book Description

Clothing occupies a complex and important position in relation to human experience. Not just utilitarian, dress gives form to a society's ideas about the sacred and secular, about exclusion and inclusion, about age, beauty, sexuality and status. In Dressing the Elite, the author explores the multiple meanings that garments held in early modern England.Clothing was used to promote health and physical well-being, and to manage and structure, life transitions. It helped individuals create social identities and also to disguise them. Indeed, so culturally powerful was the manipulation of appearances that authorities sought its control. Laws regulated access to the dress styles of the elite, and through less formal strategies, techniques of disguise were kept as the perquisites of the powerful.Focusing on the elite, the author argues that clothing was not just a form of cultural expression but in turn contributed to societal formation. Clothes shaped the configurations of the body, affected spaces and interactions between people and altered the perceptions of the wearers and viewers. People put on and manipulated their garments, but in turn dress also exercised a reverse influence. Clothes made not just the man and the woman, but also the categories of gender itself. Topics covered include cross-dressing, sumptuary laws, mourning apparel and individual styles.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781859737514
ISBN-10: 185973751X
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 12mm)
Pages: 234
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Susan Vincent

Susan Vincent Independent Scholar

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