Codes of Power: Transforming the Dress and Appearance of Female Asian Politicians

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Women in politics have always faced public scrutiny in manners of their dress, and it seems evident that the rise of female politicians in Asia offers special challenges. Currently, political fashions are dominated by the norm of male leaders through a westernized two-piece or three-piece business suit completed with conservative collared, button-down shirt and a long neck tie, popularized in the American ‘dress for success’(Molloy 1974) movement of the mid-1970s and 1980s and adopted around the world. The suit, and especially the suit coat or jacket connotes masculinity, authority, discipline, convention and formality associated with the ideals of democratic political systems (Craik 2008; Hollander [1994] 2016). This standard ‘uniform’has become spread around the world, where donning ‘the suit’conveys an acceptance of western political ideology in countries that straddle the sartorial conventions between East and West.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFashion, Women and Power
Subtitle of host publicationThe Politics of Dress
EditorsDenise Rall
Place of PublicationBristol, UK
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781789384635, 9781789384628
ISBN (Print)9781789384611
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

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