If you’re into fashion, hair, and their intersection with western societal rules, Dressing Constitutionally is worth a follow. A team of two CUNY law students and a law professor run this blog about how our laws control and influence the ways we’re allowed and expected to present ourselves.
A description of the author’s recently published book gives a more detailed sense of what the blog is about.
“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”
The blog sounds very niche, but it isn’t, really, it’s just focused. If you care about prejudiced dress codes and conventions, about where your clothes are made, about the demonization of Black hair, you’re probably into this blog already and don’t know it!
It covers the stuff you’d expect: Trayvon Martin’s clothing, Rastas fighting for their dreadlocks in a job setting or in prison, the “look what she was wearing” excuse for harassing women, kids being sent home for wearing something the school doesn’t like. Where possible, these issues are looked at with a legal eye, citing court decisions, laws, and regulations.
But, given its unique focus, the blog also picks up and comments on stories that you probably haven’t heard yet.
Some light shilling of the professor’s book goes on in the posts, but it’s tolerable. This is a pretty fascinating blog, well worth your time if you’re at all interested in their areas of expertise.