Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

History of Secondhand Clothing 

Posted by taylorbelcher on February 13, 2017

I found the essay “A Global History of Secondhand Clothing” by Hanna Rose Shell very interesting because l am currently taking a Perspectives of Dress fashion class where we talk about fashion throughout history. There was one quote that I came across that said, “The clothing wore its owner as much as the owner wore the clothing, bearing comparable markers of a personal narrative.” This is true because clothing does tell a story. I also found the paragraph talking about the article’s purpose was to be portable and mobile quite fascinating because I had never heard that before. It does make sense though to pass down items for that reason, turning jackets into vests and such. Also, I thought I knew most information about fashion, but I did learn something new. This essay talked about a “shoddy,” which is “a durable fabric woven out of a yarn spun of shredded refuse woolens.” I love how the essay included the story about a wealthy man wearing a suit jacket from the Upper West Side and then ending up with someone from the Lower East Side, and it said, “The jacket took the shape of its wearer and carried his weight.” Lastly, I also love how it says, “Clothing’s portability grants it a history of embodiment and transmutation, moving among bodies, cultures, nations, and economies,” because I feel like most people focus on how clothing most of the time repeats itself, for example bell bottoms, but I don’t think many people really see how not only does history play a part but other cultures also.I had planned to talk about each of the essays because they were also insightful, but I just love fashion and clothing so much.

One Response to “History of Secondhand Clothing ”

  1. kaufmansw said

    I also agree with quote “The clothing wore its owner as much as the owner wore the clothing, bearing comparable markers of a personal narrative.” I truly believe you can learn a lot about a person by how they dress. I’ve never seen fashion under such a microscope until I came to college.

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