Despite increasing academic interest in both the study of masculinity and the history of consumption, there are still few published studies that bring together both concerns. By investigating the changing nature of the retailing of menswear, this book illuminates wider aspects of masculine identity as well as patterns of male consumption between the years 1880 and 1939. While previous historical studies of masculinity have focused overwhelmingly on the moral, spiritual and physical characteristics associated with notions of 'manliness', this book considers the relationship between men and activities which were widely considered to be at least potentially 'unmanly' - selling, as well as buying clothes - thus shedding new light on men's lives and identities in this period.
’… a welcome contribution to the emerging study of men and consumption.’ Business History Review ’…a valuable addition to the growing literatures of gender, fashion, and consumption in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.’ Enterprise & Society ’Overall, this book represents an important contribution to our understanding of retailing and of consumption practices, drawing on a wealth of material not available elsewhere.’ EH.NET ’… the chapters on menswear during the First World War, on democratisation of male attire, and on selling menswear, are outstanding; the quality of the research throughout is exceptional; and the whole makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of the importance of garments, and their consumption, to the making of masculinity. Ugolini has dug deeply into the historical evidence to provide an informative and engaging - even entertaining - assessment of male sartorial sensibilities.’ English Historical Review
Contents: General editor's preface; Introduction; Part I Consuming Menswear: Identities, 1880-1939; Non-conformity, 1880-1939; Menswear and war,1914-1918; The democratisation of menswear? 1919-1939. Part II Selling Menswear: Tailoring and manliness, 1880-1914; Menswear retailing and war, 1914-1920; The struggle for survival, 1920-1939. Part III Buying Menswear: Shopping decisions, 1880-1939; Making a purchase, 1880-1939; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.