Where I Go: Meeps Vintage

Finding Liberation in a D.C. Clothing Shop

Washington, D.C., is a beautiful, tidy town. For the better part of my years there, I was mostly very sad.

It was not a city I thought I’d first move to in my 40s, after 13 years in New York City and a peripatetic decade in academia. Washington is a good town for nerds but tough on freaks, and I have thought of myself as a freak since high school, which wasn’t cured by coming out as a lesbian many years ago. Washington has no shortage of queers, with or without …

Why “Real Men” Wear Davy Crockett Caps

Even as White Frontiersmen Battled Native Americans, They Adopted Their Symbols of Masculinity

In recent years, fashion leaders have provoked criticism for incorporating Native American imagery in their designs. In 2011, Urban Outfitters introduced a line of Navajo-themed clothing and accessories that included …

When Burlap Underwear Was Fashionable

From the Mid-1800s Onward, an Ethic of Thrift and Ingenuity Was Woven Into American Clothing

In 1928, when President Calvin Coolidge visited Chicago, the ladies of a Presbyterian church presented him with a set of pajamas made from flour sacks dyed lavender and finished …

Why and When Did Americans Begin to Dress so Casually?

Hint: It's All About Freedom

I study one of the most profound cultural changes of the 20th century: the rise of casual dress. I study casual dress as it evolved on the beaches of Miami. …

The Healing Power of Junk

Finding Solace (and Sparkly Shades) Among the Racks

Treasures. Thousands of them. Rows, shelves, hooks, nooks, closets, rooms, and corners full of treasures. I always knew I had an addictive personality. My veins bleed 12 steps and amends, …