Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. and Mary Jo Deegan. 2002. “Introduction: Charlotte Perkins Gilman on the Symbolism and Sociology of Clothing.” Pp. ix-xxvii in The Dress of Women: A Critical Introduction to the Symbolism and Sociology of Clothing, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, edited by Michael R. Hill and Mary Jo Deegan. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.


Copyright 2002 Michael R. Hill and Mary Jo Deegan


In The Dress of Women, Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a nonfiction analysis of the symbolism and sociology of clothing. Originally published in Gilman's monthly journal, The Forerunner, in 1915, The Dress of Women was serialized, month by month, at the same time as Gilman's well-known novel, Herland, and a year prior to Gilman's companion work, With Her In Ourland: Sequel to Herland. The Dress of Women, published here for the first time in book form, is a lively, nonfiction guidebook to many of the gender issues presented in Gilman's Herland/Ourland saga and provides Gilman's intellectual, philosophical, and sociological insight into the ethical situations and plot developments that are simultaneously explored in her two didactic novels.