In Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2021), Einav Rabinovitch-Fox examines how clothes empowered women, and particularly women barred from positions of influence due to race or class. Moving from 1890s shirtwaists through the miniskirts and unisex styles of the 1970s, Rabinovitch-Fox shows how the rise of mass media culture made fashion a vehicle for women to assert claims over their bodies, femininity, and social roles. She highlights how trends in women's sartorial practices expressed ideas of independence and equality. As women employed new clothing styles, they expanded feminist activism beyond formal organizations and movements and reclaimed fashion as a realm of pleasure, power, and feminist consciousness. Dressed for Freedom examines how fashion and clothing are everyday feminist practices.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.