Second-Hand Dresses and the Role of the Ragmarket

  • Angela McRobbie
Part of the Youth Questions book series (YQ)


Several attempts have been made recently to understand ‘retro-style’. These have all taken as their starting point that accelerating tendency in the 1980s to ransack history for key items of dress, in a seemingly eclectic and haphazard manner. Some have seen this as part of the current vogue for nostalgia while others have interpreted it as a way of bringing history into an otherwise ahistorical present. This article will suggest that second-hand style or ‘vintage dress’ must be seen within the broader context of post-war subcultural history. It will pay particular attention to the existence of an entrepreneurial infrastructure within these youth cultures and to the opportunities which second-hand style has offered young people, at a time of recession, for participating in the fashion ‘scene’.


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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Angela McRobbie 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela McRobbie

There are no affiliations available

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