Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

A Global History of Secondhand Clothing (Make-up Post)

Posted by muranfox on May 6, 2014

I got on the Spreadable Media Website and read the essay entitled “A Global History of Secondhand Clothing” by Hanna Rose Shell.

The essay begins by  telling the purpose of clothing, the idea behind clothing, what exactly they are. Their multiple purposes, and how they both serve for aesthetics and also protection. The writer retells the history and stories of clothing, which I find beautiful, I like it when things hold stories. How clothing is passed through a life time, and holds stains of an event that happened years ago or a rip, how many events the clothing has been present for, and how many things it is connected to that you can feel connected to simply by wearing or touching it. Clothing, before mass production became more efficient, required extreme manual labor and material resources. This meant clothing lasted an individual much longer, and the clothing was more personal, more tailored for their specific body and taste. It is a really beautiful concept, honestly.

Then the writer gets into how fast fashions begin changing, how the products cheapened, and clothing was thrown away for lesser and lesser reasons. Then secondhand clothing began being sold by merchants, often times Jewish and Italian immigrants. Clothing which meant one thing to an individual upstreet who then stained it and tossed it, meant another thing entirely to whoever picked it up at the shop, and oftentimes was worn differently. Cultures, classes, styles, fashions, everything began to merge and flow into a more general thing.

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3 Responses to “A Global History of Secondhand Clothing (Make-up Post)”

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