Fashioning the Self: An Exploration of Appearance Management Practices Among French and American Women




Larson, Larissa Faith

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While there have been many non-fiction best-sellers about French women, there are not any scholarly articles that examine how French and American women compare in their appearance management practices. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to interview French and American women about where, when, how, why and with who they shop, how they think of style and fashion, how and where they are influenced and how their lifestyle affects their style and to then compare their answers. Findings revealed a diverse array of appearance management practices among women from both the U.S. and France with similarities and differences existing between the two cultures. Fashion and style were defined similarly across both cultures and their shopping patterns seemed to be more personality based rather than culturally dependent. The key differences between the American and French were in the ways in which the women derived their sources of information and validation of their appearances with American women seeking validation from others around them and French women relying less on the approval of others in constructing their appearances.



appearance, fashion, fashion merchandising, French, France, women, dress appearance management, identity, Honors College


Larson, L. F. (2012). Fashioning the self: An exploration of appearance management practices among French and American women (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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