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"It's Like Planet Holiday" – Women's Dressed Self-presentation on Holiday

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This article outlines a dramaturgical analysis of women's holiday clothing relationships. A preliminary analysis showed ways in which holiday clothing illustrated fluid boundaries between the everyday and non-everyday in women's holiday experience. Most women noted that holidays allow an escape and enable them to realize better selves. Women regarded their clothing as having a key role in allowing them to make the transition to the holiday realm, “Planet Holiday”. Here the authors examine in more detail the ways that women's clothed presentation is achieved on holiday, using TseĆ«lon's approach to self-presentation in women. Dressing reflects an attempt to create an image that balances personal, audience and situational factors; and the article explores how these factors are balanced on holiday. The authors demonstrate the complexity of realizing the holiday performance and show that clothed self-presentation involves levels of effort. They found that participants needed to select clothes that created and managed the distinctions between day-time and night-time performances. Women did not view their efforts as a chore, rather a positive part of their experience. Banim et al. argue that “Planet Holiday” provides the space for the development and performance of different and potentially better aspects of self, realized through clothing and display. It also offers women the opportunity to try out new images that would project aspects of their identity not normally revealed at home.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/136270405778051121

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Fashion Theory takes as its starting point a definition of “fashion” as the cultural construction of the embodied identity. The importance of studying the body as a site for the deployment of discourses has been well established in a number of disciplines. Until Fashion Theorys launch in 1997 the dressed body had suffered from a lack of critical analysis. Increasingly scholars have recognized the cultural significance of self-fashioning, including not only clothing but also such body alterations as tattooing and piercing.

    Fashion Theory provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena. Its peer-reviewed articles range from foot-binding to fashion advertising.
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