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How The Laws Of Fashion Made History

Renee Bright / KUER

In his new book, author Richard Thompson Ford examines the history of how we dress and how clothing affects individuals and society — for the good and the bad.

For as long as we’ve clothed ourselves, what we wear has offered an immediate look into who we are and where we come from. But beyond what clothes say about us, how we choose to dress — and how we’re told to dress — reveals just as much about who has the power in society. In the 18th century, if Black Americans dressed “above their station,” South Carolina’s Negro Act stated that a white person could confiscate their clothing on the spot. More recently, some workplaces have banned certain hairstyles, affecting how many people, especially people of color, are able to express themselves in public. We'll talk about the rules of clothes on Friday at noon with Richard Thompson Ford, author of Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History. [Amazon|Bookshop]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.