Shaping femininity : Foundation garments, the body and women in Early Modern England

Book


Bendall, Sarah A.. (2021). Shaping femininity : Foundation garments, the body and women in Early Modern England Bloomsbury Publishing. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350164147
AuthorsBendall, Sarah A.
Abstract

Shaping Femininity is the first large-scale study of the materiality, production, consumption and meanings of foundation garments for women in sixteenth and seventeenth-century England, when the female silhouette underwent a dramatic change. During these centuries the desirable female body was achieved by using stiffened garments called bodies and farthingales. It was this structured female silhouette first seen in sixteenth-century fashionable dress that existed in various extremes in Western Europe and beyond in the form of stays, corsets, hoop skirts and crinolines until the twentieth century.

With a nuanced approach that incorporates transdisciplinary methodologies and a stunning array of visual and written sources, the book reorients discussions about female foundation garments in English and wider European history. Far from being vain victims of fashion, women were calculated consumers who wore foundations garments for a variety of reasons: for practical considerations relating to the fit of everyday dress, to bodily beauty ideals, social status and modesty. The book argues that a history of bodies and farthingales is a history of the female body and these garments helped to shape and define changing notions of femininity in early modern England, notions that continue to influence western ideals today.

Beautifully illustrated in full colour throughout, this book offers a fascinating insight into dress and fashion in the early modern period, and offers much of value to all those interested in the history of early modern women and gender, material culture, and the history of the body, as well as curators and reconstructors.

Keywordsfemininity; gender; dress history; women’s history; embodied experience; experimental history; consumption; clothing production; foundation garments; corsets
ISBN9781350164116
9781350164109
9781350164123
9781350164130
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350164147
Research or scholarlyResearch
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 Aug 2021
Print2021
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jan 2022
Year2021
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
New York, NY
Dublin, Ireland
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