Fletcher/Klepp (eds.): Opening up the Wardrobe

Fletcher/Klepp (eds.): Opening up the Wardrobe

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A Methods Book

This book presents a unique collection of 50 methods for exploring the actions, relationships and material contents of wardrobes. Organised as a practical guide to gathering information about people and their clothing beyond the point of purchase, it includes visual, tactile and verbal methods and others which involve making together, loitering and a session in the gym.

With contributions from four continents from both in- and outside academic circles, this book and the real lives of wearers of clothes that are its focus, create a powerful new narrative of a more diverse, resourceful, emancipatory and holistic fashion and clothing system.

Kate Fletcher is a Research Professor at University of the Arts London exploring design for sustainability in fashion.

Research Professor Ingun Grimstad Klepp works at Consumption Research Norway, sifo at Oslo and Akershus University College with consumption of clothing.


List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors


Glossary of new terms for wardrobe research

Part i: investigating wardrobes

Mapping contents

Method 1. Recording items of clothing retired from use: Klepp and Laitala,‘Wardrobe study of clothing going out of use’
Method 2. Auditing a section of a wardrobe: Klepp and Skuland, ‘Wardrobe studies, wardrobe sections studies’
Method 3. Auditing total fashion assets: counting clothing and the tools and resources of clothing care: Fletcher, Harrison, Klepp and Jørgensrud,‘Whole fashion audit’
Method 4. Drawing the life, flows and associated relationships of a wardrobe: Harrison and Fletcher,‘Mapping my clothes’

Mapping wardrobes across time

Method 5. Study of historical textile books: Klepp,‘Textual analysis of textile craft books’
Method 6. Analysing texts about laundering from the nineteenth century: Klepp,‘Text analysis of dirty laundry’
Method 7. Using probate inventories to examine status, gender and age through time: Ulväng,‘Count and calculate. The probate inventory and the historical wardrobe’
Method 8. Drawing‘experience curves’that express individuals’ five-year-long attachment to clothes: Valle-Noronha, Kujala and Niinimäki,‘User Experience Curves (ux Curves)’

Mapping the space of the wardrobe

Method 9. Mapping retail spaces and counting shopping bags along a transect: Fletcher and Harrison,‘Mapping, counting, loitering’
Method 10. Essay writing to understand a place and the relationships to clothing there: Tranberg Hansen,‘Student essays about clothing’

Wardrobe know-how

Method 11. Clustering garments in heaps and then sorting through them to reveal patterns or formulas for dressing: Skjold, ‘Biographical wardrobe method’
Method 12. Ranking dresses on a rail by relative quality and by the perceived likelihood of failure: Yuille,‘Consumer material perceptions’

Keys to the wardrobe

Method 13. Practices of garment use: Fletcher,‘Craft of use’
Method 14. Examining one garment type (jeans) in multiple wardrobes: Lindblad,‘Study of Denim/Wardrobe Studies’
Method 15. Most and least favourite knitwear: Twigger Holroyd, ‘Garment-led interviews’
Method 16. Self-selection of items in six audit categories: Whitson-Smith,‘Wardrobe audit’
Method 17. By brand: Connor-Crabb,‘The wear and tear of clothing – perceptions on clothing longevity’
Method 18. Exploring intimate items: Holmes,‘Underwear drawer narratives’
Method 19. By notions of what is valuable: Haugsrud, ‘Wardrobe studies’

Part ii: exploring individuals, practices and dynamics through clothing

Method 20. Through photography to capture images of daily dress and examine the experience of wearing clothing: Emma Hoette, ‘Daily catalogue’
Method 21. A process of‘languaging’to create change for individuals around clothing: Tham,‘Languaging fashion moments’
Method 22. Mapping‘personhood’for dementia sufferers: Mooney,‘Caring through clothing: the“map of me”’


Method 23. Diary keeping about laundry behaviours using gifted garments as‘cultural probes’: Rigby,‘Laundry probes’
Method 24. Diary keeping about user experiences using gifted garments: Valle-Noronha and Niinimäki,‘Design probes applied as fashion design probes’
Method 25. Diary keeping about consumption habits and practices: Hedtjärn Wester and Petersson McIntyre,‘Consumption diaries: making sense of wardrobes’
Method 26. Participant-led photographing and ethnographic discussion of wardrobe contents: Hall,‘Multi-sensory, multi-method wardrobe research’
Method 27. Video interviews of second-hand clothes: Martin and Grose,‘Goodwill label research’


Method 28. Interviews exploring what constitutes‘acceptable’ fashion courtesy of witness statements from victims of the fashion police: von Busch,‘Fashion police witness statement’
Method 29. Using performance to understanding use of garments and inform the design of enduring items: Rissanen, Krappala, Kela, Aho and Ziegler,‘Performing wardrobes’
Method 30. Exploring fashion and the wardrobe as part of a larger system: Brun Petersen and Riisberg,‘Actor Network Theory’
Method 31. Using ethnography to influence design: Bjerck, ‘Mediating user experiences’

Part iii: transforming wardrobes

Doing together

Method 32. Knitting: Twigger Holroyd,‘Reknitting workshops’ Method 33. Mending: Towers,‘Wear > Craft > Mend’
Method 34. Repairing with young people: Collins and Dixon, ‘Practice-based workshop interviews’


Method 35. Questioning the role of consumption in contemporary life by undertaking to wear only the clothes already in a wardrobe for a lifetime: Middleton,‘The pledge (an ‘ontoexperiment’)’
Method 36. Using experimental garment forms to query current behaviours and how to change them: Day Fraser and Doyle,‘Critical use’


Method 37. Style advice, wardrobe organisation and streamlining: Roper,‘The Wardrobe Angel’
Method 38. Inviting designers into wardrobes to give a wearer a fresh look at their wardrobe: Whitty and McQuillan,‘Wardrobe Hack’



Method 39. Awareness and personal practices in fashion learning and teaching: Parker,‘Wardrobe inquiry as an educational tool’

Part iv: materiality


Method 40. Testing the smell of a range of fabrics, quantitatively and qualitatively: Laitala and Klepp, ‘Sensory odour testing by a consumer panel’
Method 41. Testing people’s materials knowledge and experience: Klepp and Hebrok,‘Sensory material test’
Method 42. Trialling clothing pieces by wearers: Klepp and Laitala,‘User trials’
Method 43. Documenting awareness of the sense of touch and wearer’s sensuous experiences of cloth: Bang and Riisberg,‘Tangible Dialogue Tools’
Method 44. Using photographs to elicit memories and recollect places, people and objects, including garments: Turney,‘Look books’

Handling and examining garments

Method 45. Methods of unpicking clothing to disclose the material and fashion system embodied within: Ruby Hoette, ‘Unpicking the Fashion System – Practice as Research’
Method 46. Scrutinising historical re-fashioning and re-purposing techniques to understand lifespan in contemporary garments: Aspinall,‘Re-interpreting, re-fashioning’
Method 47. Auditing discarded and damaged garments leftover from clothes swaps: Whitson-Smith,‘Clothes exchange waste audit’
Method 48. Laboratory testing of textile material properties: Laitala,‘Textile material tests in a laboratory’
Method 49. Using subjective and objective measures to better understand clothing properties: Laitala and Klepp,‘Method triangulation’
Method 50. Combining textile testing and design-led approaches: Woodward,‘Interdisciplinary material methods’

Conclusion: the family tree of wardrobe methods Image credits


ISBN 978-82-7099-893-7, 195 pp., paperback
Format: 17x24 cm, weight 0,6 kg, year of publication 2017, language: English

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