Sartorial Styles of the Counterculture

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Sex and UnisexSex and Unisex: Fashion, Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution
by Jo B. Paoletti
Indiana. 216 pages, $25.

 

THE AUTHOR of Sex and Unisex begins by quoting Republican candidate Rick Santorum from 2008: “You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the ’60s were a good thing or not. If the ‘60s was a good thing, you’re left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re right.” Jo B. Paoletti takes up this proposition by analyzing the clothing, hairstyles, and fashionable body types of the 1960s and early ’70s. Her major themes include: the “unisex” look as an expression of gender equality; the “peacock revolution” among males as æsthetic rebellion against macho conformity; and short skirts on young women as a sign of youth, sexual assertiveness, and independence from adult authority.

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