Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice

Thesp Seminar – Fashion and Age: Dress, the Body and Later Life

Speaker: Julia Twigg, University of Kent

 Date: Thursday 29th January

 Time: 12-1

 Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 12.25

Dress can seem a lightweight topic, not deserving serious academic analysis in relation to old age, where frailty and decline can seem to present more pressing concerns both for individuals and society. The seminar will in fact argue that clothing and dress are highly relevant to the analysis of age; and that they intersect with some central issues in relation to later life and its cultural formation, opening up the complex ways in which ageing is both a bodily and a cultural phenomenon. Throughout history certain forms and styles of dress have been deemed appropriate – or more significantly inappropriate – for people as they age. Older women in particular have been subject to pressures to tone down, to adopt self effacing, covered up styles. More recently there have been signs of change. The session will explore the extent and significance of these.


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