How Textiles Became the Fabric of Summer

And What Rally Towels, Picnic Blankets, and Pride Flags Tell Us About Being Human

Wedding dresses and bridal veils. Graduation caps and gowns. The Stars and Stripes and the rainbow Pride flag. Rally towels and baseball caps. The flags and fashions of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Checked picnic blankets and striped beach towels. The red, green, and black of Juneteenth celebrations.

Summer wouldn’t be summer without textiles.

Blessed with an abundance of cloth, we tend to take textiles for granted, all the more so when we aren’t bundled up against the cold. But textiles are among the oldest, most essential, and most pervasive of human inventions. …

From Cleopatra to Clinton, Politics Is Never Out of Style | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

From Cleopatra to Clinton, Politics Is Never Out of Style

Fashion Is a Powerful Tool of Communication—And One Ripe for Leverage

Back in 2008, Michelle Obama was scheduled to be a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno right after campaign finance reports revealed that Sarah Palin’s new wardrobe, priced …

Where I Go: Meeps Vintage | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

The One-Size-Fits-All Sock That’s a Democratic Fashion Statement

Originally Marketed as Sportswear, the Tube Sock Became a Stylish Accessory Thanks to Farrah Fawcett and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

If you’re an American down to your toes, those toes have probably been clad in tube socks at one time or another.

These once-ubiquitous, one-size-fits-all socks are a product of …

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 …

How Iranian Women Turn “Pious Fashion” Into Under-the-Radar Dissent

By Personalizing Headscarves and Painting Their Toes, They Challenge the State's Power to Define Female Morality

In 2018, Islamic clothing is officially cool. CoverGirl has a hijabi ambassador. H&M sells a popular modest clothing line. Even Barbie wears a headscarf on a doll modeled after the …