Rocamora, Agnès and Smelik, Anneke. 2016. Thinking Through Fashion. London: I. B. Tauris
This selection of essays is a comprehensive study of fashion through different social and cultural theories. Exploring issues such as the relationship between body, dress, society, production, and consumption, etc. This book will help you understand how theories that have nothing to do with fashion can actually provide new fascinating readings. Suggested essays: Smelik’s “Gilles Deleuze: Bodies-without-Organs in the Folds of Fashion”, Tynan’s “Michel Foucault: Fashioning the Body Politic”, Tseëlon’s “Jean Baudrillard: Post-modern Fashion as the End of Meaning”. Preview available here.
Barnard, Malcom. 2007. Fashion Theory: A Reader. London: Routledge
The bible of fashion theory. A massive collection of essays and book chapters by great sociologists, philosophers, and fashion theorists, divided by topics. Read it all from the preface to index for an extensive study of fashion or just some parts for targeted research. Thanks to this book you will be able to get a general idea about an author or a topic without needing to read or buy any further material. Suggested parts: “Fashion: identity and difference”, “Modern fashion”, “Post-modern fashion”, “Fashion, fetish and the erotic”.
Entwistle, Joanne. 2015. The Fashioned Body. Cambridge: Polity
Must-read for anyone (thinking of) starting a course that includes a theoretical study of fashion. This book is a juicy summary of the most important theories around fashion. It explores the relationship between dress and the body and how fashion is relevant in discourses of gender, identity, sexuality, and body politics. 245 pages that represent the quintessence of fashion knowledge. Preview available here.