Skip to main content

Clothing, age and the body: A critical review

Twigg, Julia (2007) Clothing, age and the body: A critical review. Ageing & Society, 27 (2). pp. 285-305. ISSN 0144-686X. E-ISSN 1469-1779. (doi:10.1017/s0144686x06005794) (KAR id:54619)

PDF (Clothing, age and the body: A critical review) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (304kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Clothing, age and the body: A critical review]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


Clothes are central to the ways older bodies are experienced, presented and understood within culture, so that dress forms a significant, though neglected, element in the constitution and experience of old age. Drawing on a range of secondary literature, the article traces how clothing intersects with three key debates in social gerontology: concerning the body, identity and agency. It examines the part played by clothing in the expression of social difference, exploring the role of age ordering in determining the dress choices of older people, and its enforcement through moral discourses that discipline the bodies of older people. Dress is, however, also an arena for the expression of identity and exercise of agency, and the article discusses how far older people are able to use clothing to resist or redefine the dominant meanings of age. Lastly it addresses questions of the changing cultural location of older people, and the role of consumer culture in the production of Third Age identities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/s0144686x06005794
Uncontrolled keywords: body; identity; agency; resistance; dress; clothing; consumption;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Lucie Patch
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 12:13 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year