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We are in an age of sexual confusion. It is a pleasant surprise to find a book devoted to celebrating a form of clothing that defines femininity. Moreover, a book that does so unabashedly and unapologetically.
“Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century,” by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is a history and an appreciation of the dress, in all its forms.
Chrisman-Campbell opens the book by celebrating dresses and their role in enhancing femininity. She shows how dresses feed into women’s desire to express pride in being female, and help them express their sexuality. She discusses how dresses can be simultaneously demure and forward. She also examines their role in defining women in all of their modes, mother, temptress, and ingénue.