This paper aims to contribute to the developing body of literature spanning dress, fashion and sociological theory which is concerned with unpicking the way in which the category of ‘old age’ is enacted within a symbolic economy of difference. More specifically it is concerned with challenging how this identity category can - and all too often does - serve to homogenise and diminish those thus labelled.
It will outline the findings of a pilot study examining the dress and consumption practices of a group of 'older' female consumers in the UK. In so doing it will argue that the clothing industry must actively engage with this rapidly growing consumer demographic if it is not to alienate it and that researchers must perforce embrace more nuanced, localised languages and responsive methods if they are to comprehend the situated knowledges and needs of their ageing subjects.
Franklin, A. (2017, October). Age-appropriate dress?. Paper presented at Aging and Society, International Interdisciplinary Conference