Leave the Sweatshirt at Home. Dining Dress Codes Are Back


Publish Date:
May 17, 2022
The New York Times
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“Dress signifies a lot of highly contested issues: gender identity and gender roles, race, class, status,” said Richard Thompson Ford, a professor at Stanford Law School and the author of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History.” “When we can’t really talk about these issues openly, we struggle through proxies, like clothing.”

It’s hard to separate dress codes from their history as a tool of division and control, said Mr. Thompson Ford, the Stanford law professor. While they have existed throughout history, modern versions proliferated in the mid-20th century, when standards of proper public dress began to relax.

Dress codes, he said, were a “filtering device to make certain groups of people feel unwelcome, or to signal that this is not their kind of place.”

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