Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes: Introduction

Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy From Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes (Cambridge University Press), August 2013

11 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013 Last revised: 17 Dec 2013

Ruthann Robson

CUNY School of Law

Date Written: July 11, 2013

Abstract

The intertwining of our clothes and our Constitution raise fundamental questions of hierarchy, sexuality, and democracy. From our hairstyles to our shoes, constitutional considerations both constrain and confirm our daily choices. In turn, our attire and appearance provide multilayered perspectives on the United States Constitution and its interpretations. Our garments often raise First Amendment issues of expression or religion, but they also prompt questions of equality on the basis of gender, race, and sexuality. At work, in court, in schools, in prisons, and on the streets, our clothes and grooming provoke constitutional controversies. Additionally, the production, trade, and consumption of apparel implicate constitutional concerns including colonial sumptuary laws, slavery, wage and hour laws, and current notions of free trade. The regulation of what we wear – or don’t – is ubiquitous.

This is an INTRODUCTION and TABLE OF CONTENTS to a book that examines the rights to expression and equality, as well as the restraints on government power, as they both limit and allow control of our most personal choices of attire and grooming.

Suggested Citation

Robson, Ruthann, Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes: Introduction (July 11, 2013). Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy From Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes (Cambridge University Press), August 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292714

Ruthann Robson (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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