Date of Degree
American Material Culture | Fashion Design | Sociology of Culture
CHILDRENSWEAR, CHILDREN'S FASHION, CONSUMER STUDIES, FASHION, AFFECTATION, EMBODIMENT AND ENGAGEMENT
This paper examines the child’s relationship with children’s fashion, the clothing they wear, and their fashion consumption practices. Using a wardrobe approach to fashion, and an understanding of the child as the expert in their own lives, the author questions how the child engages, interacts, and experiences children’s fashion considering that how they use, think, and speak about their clothing is minimally consulted. Situating this research within a theoretical foundation set by Goffman and Simmel (social behavior), Featherstone (consumer culture), and Merleau-Ponty and Entwistle (embodiment), this text examines fashion from the point of view of the child, hypothesizing how future studies may provide valuable insights to the stakeholders of the industry. Incorporating semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observations, the child’s voice and creative explorations, this study presents an exploratory empirical study on how the child participants think and feel about their clothing. The findings of reveal decision-making factors influencing their everyday lives, the emotional value they place on certain aspects or
items of clothing, and where they place fashion within their sense of self-concept and self- growth. The participants included five middle childhood-aged child participants and a corresponding adult. As a small case study, this research evaluates the value that the child brings to children’s fashion as the expert in their own lives and proposes future studies to gain a more insightful understanding of how acknowledging the child as the end-product consumer of children’s fashion can aid in making the children’s wear industry a more sustainable, child- consumer centric industry.
Byam, Melinda, "Situating the Child’s Voice within Children’s Fashion: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Child’s Engagement with the Clothing They Wear" (2023). CUNY Academic Works.