"She was buried in her purple dress and her red hat and all of our members wore full 'Red Hat Regalia' to celebrate her life": Dress, embodiment and older women's leisure: Reconfiguring the ageing process

Careen Yarnal, Julie Son, Toni Liechty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a significant literature on women's dress and clothing, women's dress and identity, and women's dress and body image. However, the way that dress shapes the self, gives public meaning to the body, and situates it within culture-its embodiment-is understudied. Older women's voices on how dress-up in leisure contexts is linked to embodiment are absent. Using data from an online survey of the Red Hat Society®, a leisure-based social group with over 1. million members, we examined the relationship between older women's dress and embodiment. Data analysis revealed three themes: 1) Dress and embodiment, doing "dress-up"; 2) Dress and embodied subjectivity, linking the personal with the social; and, 3) Dress and perceptions of ageing, fashioning to freedom. We extend the embodiment and leisure literatures by: (a) including older women's viewpoints on dress; (b) understanding linkages between embodiment and older women's leisure; and, (c) illustrating how public displays of dress contribute to older women's development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Development
  • Dress
  • Embodiment
  • Older women's leisure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy

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