Voices From Women's Wardrobes: Mid-Life and Self-Image
Current fashion research has not explored adult women's perceptions of available clothing choices in relation to changes they experience during midlife. Physical and cultural shifts such as menopause, divorce, or the premature death of a partner may significantly disrupt a woman's disposition. In response, clothing may become a vital expression of their personal and public personas. To better understand embodied dress practice, the ways that women in mid-life negotiate the fashion system to develop their self-image were investigated using Photovoice. Women (n=11) between the ages of 45-55, took full-body selfies dressed in their favourite daywear outfits and discussed the photographs in a semi structured interview. Results were categorized according to common themes: past and present fashion influences, shopping behaviours, wardrobe building strategies, as well as common strategies used to navigate the fashion system in order to establish a wardrobe that reflected their self-image. Findings are important to fashion designers, retailers and marketers.