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Dress Code

Auteur(s): Véronique Hyland
Narrateur(s): Jennifer Jill Araya
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In the spirit of works by Jia Tolentino and Anne Helen Peterson, a smart and incisive essay collection centered on the fashion industry—its history, its importance, why we wear what we wear, and why it matters—from Elle Magazine’s fashion features director.

Why does fashion hold so much power over us? Most of us care about how we dress and how we present ourselves. Style offers clues about everything from class to which in-group we belong to. Bad Feminist for fashion, Dress Code takes aim at the institutions within the fashion industry while reminding us of the importance of dress and what it means for self-presentation. Everything—from societal changes to the progress (or lack thereof) of women’s rights to the hidden motivations behind what we choose to wear to align ourselves with a particular social group—can be tracked through clothing.

Veronique Hyland examines thought-provoking questions such as: Why has the “French girl” persisted as our most undying archetype? What does “dressing for yourself” really mean for a woman? How should a female politician dress? Will gender-differentiated fashion go forever out of style? How has social media affected and warped our sense of self-presentation, and how are we styling ourselves expressly for it?

Not everyone participates in painting, literature, or film. But there is no “opting out” of fashion. And yet, fashion is still seen as superficial and trivial, and only the finest of couture is considered as art. Hyland argues that fashion is a key that unlocks questions of power, sexuality, and class, taps into history, and sends signals to the world around us. Clothes means something—even if you’re “just” wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Veronique Hyland (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lindsay
  • 2022-04-20

Fashion history, social critique, sociology, feminism.

I really loved the first half of the book which detailed a lot of fashion history in context of its historical relevance. Such an interesting field of study. I googled designer’s collections as I listened— fun. The second part of the book entered into more social political critique which felt a bit preachy— not that she’s wrong, but was less fun. Would have really loved for her to have taken on a little more with the Q yoga moms and the Shamen guy’s dress in the capitol— just because I don’t know anything about that— would like to learn how it’s seen through her lens.
Narrator was solid.

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