© 2017

The Aesthetics of Dress


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Ian W. King
    Pages 1-6
  3. Ian W. King
    Pages 7-20
  4. Ian W. King
    Pages 21-39
  5. Ian W. King
    Pages 41-53
  6. Ian W. King
    Pages 55-70
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 75-77

About this book


This book explores the relationships between how the body appears and feels in everyday life through aesthetics.  The recent shift away from Kantian aesthetics towards a more enacted route places at its core the realization that the world is experienced as possibilities for action, and critical to this understanding is how the body’s movement generates multiple pre-linguistic experiences and meaning.  This route therefore realizes the importance of the body’s role in working in conjunction with cognition in generating these experiences.  Nevertheless, this attention has predominantly focused on how the body ‘feels’ through engagement, rather than how it appears.  This might be problematic as it is essential to appreciate that the body is not naked in everyday life, and therefore through dress we look to restore the balance between appearance and feel.

We ‘dress’ our bodies to communicate – to express our confidence (or not), identity, status, aspirations, affiliations etc. We dress according to the situation/audience etc. It might be to attract attention, to protect or to hide the body. It might be to accentuate height, or religious belief, or simply to shock or conform. Essentially, it is not simply clothing that we wear that achieves this – for example, hair, makeup, jewellery, handbags, shoes, piercings, tattoos – cumulatively these constitute how we ‘dress’ our bodies. Thus, the appearance (as well as the feel) of the body is significant if we are to appreciate an enacted approach to aesthetics.


Aesthetics of fashion enacted aesthetics aesthetics of the body everyday fashion appearance and self

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.FashionUniversity of the Arts, LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Starting out in theatre, Ian King completed by his PhD in 1990 and turned towards academics. He has organised arts-based events in over 30 countries across the world and is presently organizing a series of fashion colloquia to accompany fashion weeks.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Aesthetics of Dress
  • Authors Ian King
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Philosophy
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-54321-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-54322-2
  • Series ISSN 2211-4548
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-4556
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 77
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Aesthetics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site