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The feeling of being dressed: affect studies and the clothed body.

Ruggerone, Lucia


Lucia Ruggerone


In sociological and cultural studies the relationship we have with our clothes has been mostly analyzed in terms of fashion and identity, with a focus on the ways in which we use clothing to represent ourselves to and in the world. The article argues that in all these analyses one important aspect is still missing: the feelings we experience about and in our clothes when we are dressed. It proposes a change of paradigm to find ways to incorporate in our analyses what is here called the “feeling of being dressed.” This change can be performed by transgressing the boundaries of semiotic, structural and sociological explanations and by abandoning the mind‒body dualism which shapes the description of our relationship with clothes as mainly intellectual and our choices of garments as the result of a dialogue within our minds. It then shows how affect studies open up opportunities for the investigation of the body‒clothes assemblage; in particular, the notion of body as a composition of forces and the approach to practices (in this case dressing practices) as ways of becoming are central for this endeavor.


RUGGERONE, L. 2017. The feeling of being dressed: affect studies and the clothed body. Fashion theory [online], 21(5), pages 573-593. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 26, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 21, 2016
Publication Date Sep 30, 2017
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 22, 2018
Journal Fashion theory
Print ISSN 1362-704X
Electronic ISSN 1751-7419
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 5
Pages 573-593
Keywords Body; Clothes; Identity; Affect; Becoming
Public URL


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