Abstract/Details

“For neatness, true fitting, shape and fashion”: The craft and consumption of stays in eighteenth century America


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

This paper examines the craft and consumption of stays in eighteenth-century America. To date, most costume historians have only gone as far as to describe how women wore them and neglected the question of why. The social and cultural implications of wearing stays are greater than scholars have acknowledged. This thesis pushes the subject further than object analysis of material, construction, the stay making trade and their general use. Their study and contextualization is key to understanding the relationship between the bodies they changed and the social constructs that directed their utilization. It does so by exploring the cultural consequences of wearing the undergarment: understanding the public consumption of women's "stayed" bodies.

Stays functioned to refine the female body into an ideal physical form. Their almost ubiquitous use among women suggests that stays be considered a symbol of shared cultural values among women; one of personal and social refinement, while at the same time enabling a particular sense of self and social awareness. In short, the women who wore them adhered to a physical philosophy.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American history;
Home economics;
Design
Classification
0337: American history
0386: Home economics
0389: Design
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Beauty; Costume; Craftsmanship; Stay maker; Stays; Women
Title
“For neatness, true fitting, shape and fashion”: The craft and consumption of stays in eighteenth century America
Author
Dorsey, Samantha Hall
Number of pages
164
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0060
Source
MAI 47/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549755388
Advisor
Eversmann, Pauline
University/institution
University of Delaware
Department
Department of History
University location
United States -- Delaware
Degree
M.A.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1457163
ProQuest document ID
304632350
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304632350
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