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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > E-Theses > E-Theses > The Non-Elite Consumer and ‘Wearing Apparel’ in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 1800-1850

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/41780
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Title: The Non-Elite Consumer and ‘Wearing Apparel’ in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 1800-1850
Authors: Toplis, Alison
Advisors: Ugolini, Laura
Wanklyn, Malcolm
Ponsonby, Margaret
Publisher: University of Wolverhampton
Issue Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/41780
Abstract: The routine consumption patterns of ordinary consumers in the first half of the nineteenth century, particularly those in the provinces, have been neglected. This thesis sheds light on this area by investigating one particular commodity, clothing. To undertake this, a range of archival sources, visual evidence and surviving dress relating to the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been examined. The data has enabled an analysis of the consumption of clothing in different locations within the two counties, including county towns, industrial regions and villages, to be carried out. The results have highlighted the many different methods of clothing supply available to the non-elite consumer, which included shop retailing, itinerant selling, illicit networks and clothing distributed via the Poor Law and charity. The thesis demonstrates firstly that the non-elite consumer could obtain clothing from a variety of outlets, using different acquisition methods. Secondly, it shows that this clothing varied in both style and the way it was manufactured, often depending on the supply network utilised. The thesis questions assumptions about the availability of ready-made clothing, the nature of retailing clothing in rural areas, the decline of hawking and peddling, the non-elite use of clothing shops and non-elite consumers’ relationship with fashion. It emphasizes that non-elite consumers had a complex relationship with their clothing, influenced in part by personal preference, gender, economic circumstances and stage in the life-cycle. This thesis shows the multifarious ways non-elite, provincial consumers acquired and wore their clothing.
Type: Thesis or dissertation
Language: en
Description: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords: Clothing
Textiles
Retail history
Ready-made
Non-elite
Consumer
Herefordshire
Worcestershire
Working classes
Shops
Appears in Collections: E-Theses

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