Historically-inspired dress as a personal style choice
Smith, Dina Cherise
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While elements of Retro or revival dress, or for the purpose of this study, historically-inspired dress are considered characteristic of postmodern fashion, there are some individuals who appropriate retro/revival dress not due to its popularity but as a result of sartorial symbolisms (Barnard, 2002; English, 2007; Vinken, 2005; E. Wilson, 1985). Qualitative case studies were performed to explore the motivations for wearing historically-inspired dress on a daily or near-daily basis. Two approaches were utilized based on previous literature. Historically-inspired dress bears or does not bear significant meaning in connection with the time period in which it is associated. Findings indicated that one approach alone was insufficient in explaining this practice. Findings also indicated that historically-inspired dress had less in common with historic costume and/or reenactment dress because participants do not use it to portray a historic or semi-historic persona. Instead, it serves as an alternative style choice.