This story and the objects inspired me to return to the subject of what we wear to work, or don’t wear to work, in order to develop an undergraduate dissertation project. Using Thorp’s story, I want to invite students to consider their own experience of dressing for work as a starting point for investigating the role of clothes and fashion within the broad context of work, whether that be occupation, profession, vocation or employment. Working dress is an area that has receives little and sporadic scholarly attention, which is why I think it would be great to encourage students to look more closely at something that most of us do everyday.
I am very keen to know more about archives or collections of dress that emphasise workwear and the experience of working, ideally in London so it would be possible to visit with students. I would also be grateful for any recommendations concerning permanent museum displays that focus on dress in the workplace. Anything that might be of interest, please get in touch using the comments below.
Top image credit: http://pictures.abebooks.com/JIMSOLDBOOKS/14188855583_2.jpg