This research explored the ongoing, underpublicized, tension between the feminist world and the fashion world. An aspect of the Second Wave of Feminism included a critique of appearance management, characterizing this behavior as a signifier of vapid, oppressed women. This viewpoint supported a notion that one could not be traditionally feminine while also believing in feminism. It persists when professional women in the fashion industry are perceived as unintelligent and uneducated, supported by a belief that women who take pride in their appearance are doing so only to please men. This study investigated the premise that fashion and feminism can coexist. Methods included content analysis of scholarly articles in both fashion and feminist journals coupled with surveys were used to examine the way feminists view women in fashion. It encourages a new way of thinking that feminists can accept and embrace the fact that women dress for themselves.
My name is Stephanie LeDonne, I have a BS in Women's Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. I'm currently working on a Post-Undergraduate Degree in Fashion Merchandising here at Kent State.