Date of Award

Spring 4-18-2024

Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Dr. Ann Kakaliouras


Fashion acts as both a reflection of, and as a lens through which to view history, culture, and perceptions of gender over time and across the world. To explore this observation, this essay will examine in detail the historical, cultural, and gendered contexts of 19th-century fashion in three different cultures: Northern Wales, the Fante people in Southern Ghana, and Jewish people living in the western sections of what was called the Pale of Settlement, and what is now Poland. These cultures were chosen due to the drastically different parts of the world that they represent and because they all have been threatened by colonialism, imperialism, and the imposition of cultural homogeneity. Fashion trends in each location will be narrowed down as much as possible to what would likely have been worn in a specific year (i.e., 1845, 1896, and 1867). Although the times and locations are all different, there are similarities that may allow researchers to better understand how historical events can affect fashion and how fashion can teach us how women in particular were viewed around the world during the 19th Century.