Being yourself: dress as a change agent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Dressing is a process of mental and physical preparation that enables the wearer to be grounded in a particular situation and to successfully interact with others. When required to traverse situational boundaries, the ability of dress to perform this ‘grounded’ function can be problematic and cause a confusion of identity. This chapter considers the transformative functions of dress in the relationship between the wearer, the body and the situational context by examining the lived experience of two women who are undergoing changes to their bodies; one in pregnancy and the other after a mastectomy. Dress plays an important role for the women in dealing with their changing sense of self, in adapting to their changing bodies and in enabling their social acceptance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFashioning Identities: Cultures of Exchange
EditorsSarah Heaton
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)781848882119
ISBN (Print)9781848882126
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • dressing
  • dress
  • clothing and fashion
  • self-identity
  • women


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