Old Clothes, New Looks: Second Hand Fashion

Fall 1948, Balenciaga silk taffeta cocktail dress that was purchased in a New York City second hand shop. This dress was worn by two owners over a ten year period. Gift of Miss Nancy Thompson. ROM 987.153.1

History of the second hand fashion trade

Alexandra Palmer is co-editor with Hazel Clark, of a collection of essays by leading international scholars writing on the history of the second hand fashion trade in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and Africa. The book covers the time frame from the 18th century to the present day. This book highlights historical and contemporary issues related to the second-hand clothing trade, consumption and the practice and meanings of wearing secondhand dress. The chapters deal with merchants, consumers, trade patterns, fashion, and issues of gender, race and class from a multicultural perspective. This book will be of interest and value to undergraduate and graduate level students in women's studies, gender studies, design and fashion history, and cultural history.

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