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New Release ‘Dress Like A Woman’ Celebrates Working Women’s Workwear Over The Last Century

  • IWB Post
  •  March 15, 2018

Clothes symbolise “the choices made, the dreams and aspirations implied, the contributions represented, the social progress (or not) made,” says the introduction of the book – Dress Like a Woman: Working Women and What They Wore.  

The book, released on February 27, is written by authors Vanessa Friedman and Roxane Gay. It covers the evolution of working women’s roles and their business attire over the last 100 years through a series of fascinating 300 photographs. It also has a few essays from The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman and feminist author Roxane Gay. The book is a fresh reminder of how women have been in the workforce for a long time.

Gay adds detail in the introduction and writes, In this collection, you will see how women have dressed for their work, both in and beyond the traditional workplace. You will see how that dress has evolved as the role of women in contemporary society has evolved. And you will see that sometimes, dressing like a woman means wearing a pantsuit; other times, it means wearing a wetsuit, or overalls, or a lab coat, or a police uniform.

Talking about what “dressing like a woman” means to her, Gay writes, Dressing like a woman means wearing anything a woman deems appropriate and necessary for getting her job done.

In the 300 portraits in the book, we can see day laborers, burlesque dancers, auto mechanics, U.S. First Ladies, disc jockeys, tattoo artists, and Olympic gold-winning gymnasts. Few well-known names like Amelia Earhart and Michelle Obama are mentioned in the book but mainly the photographs are of ordinary working women from many backgrounds and professions.

“Clothing is uniform and armor and in the workplace, it represents the compromise between those two concepts as determined by the individual and as determined by the institution,” writes New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman in the book’s introduction.

H/T: The Pueblo Chieftain

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