Third Age Men’s Experience of Fashion and Clothing: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Ania Sadkowska, David Wilde, Tom Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper is set within the context of the current shift in focus around aging from an objective to a subjective stance, placing the emphasis on individuality (Bennett and Hodkinson 3-4; Powell and Gilbert 7) and resulting in the emergence and development of cultural gerontology. Human biographies have the potential to be interpreted through the relationships between personal and structural factors, and individual and collective experiences. Fashion and clothes, as communicators and mediators between self and society (Entwistle, Dressed Body 137-142; Craik 10-16) can therefore be seen as key factors in understanding aging identities.

Contemporary research on fashion and aging concentrates mainly on older women (Twigg, Fashion and Age 4). Whilst this research has told us much about how aging women experience fashion, it excludes the parallel considerations of aging men. This paper addresses this gap by presenting research that investigates how older men negotiate their aging bodies through the mediums of clothing and fashion. Data were collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with five older men and were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The findings reveal the experience of fashion and clothing of five older men who, during their lives, have actively engaged with fashion, considered in the contexts of time, space, and “others” (Kaiser 172).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-70
Number of pages36
JournalAge Culture Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • fashion and clothing
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
  • mature men
  • ageing

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