September 2021|

A tailored history of who wears what -- and why

Richard Thompson Ford
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About the speaker

Richard Thompson Ford
Richard Thompson Ford
Law professor, fashionista
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Richard Thompson Ford is a professor of law at Stanford.
Richard Thompson Ford's Resource List
Richard Thompson Ford | Simon & Schuster, 2021 | Book

Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History

This is my book-length treatment of the subject, tracing the importance of laws, rules and social norms regarding clothing from the “birth of fashion” in the late Middle Ages to the present day.
Anne Hollander | Claridge Press, 1994 | Book

Sex and Suits: The Evolution of Modern Dress

Hollander was an art historian and she brings her expertise to bear on the relationship between clothing and the modern sensibility. Brilliant insights into how fashion shapes and reflects gender and social class.
JC Flugel | International Universities Press, 1971 | Book

The Psychology of Clothes

An early 20th-century advocate for dress reform, Flugel was the first to identify and explain the 18th-century shift in men's attire from conspicuous adornment to understatement and sobriety. He explains the relationship between fashion, gender and political ideals. I particularly recommend the chapter "The Great Masculine Renunciation and Its Causes."
Roland Barthes | Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983 | Book

The Fashion System

The great French philosopher, social critic and semiotician analyzes fashion as a system of communication.
Shane White and Graham White | Cornell University Press, 1999 | Book

Stylin': African-American Expressive Culture, from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit

An insightful look at African-American art, music, fashion and style leading up to the civil rights and Black Power era.
National Women's Law Center, 2018 | Article

"Dress Coded: Black Girls, bodies and bias in D.C. Schools"

A pamphlet describing the experiences of school girls with vague, capricious and insensitive dress codes. If you think dress and dress codes are trivial, this will change your mind.

Behind the Talk