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Richard Thompson Ford On How The Laws Of Fashion Made History

Renee Bright

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 at noon with Richard Thompson Ford, author of Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History. [Amazon|Bookshop] (Rebroadcast)