A Crime of Fashion

Social Mobility and the Second Hand Clothing Trade in Early Modern England

  • Abby Riehl MacEwan University


With the rise of the Consumer Revolution during the 18th century, England saw an influx of material goods that were not only affordable, but highly disposable. Due to this new found disposability, finer materials made their way throughout all levels of society and eventually found new importance as a form of currency amongst the lower sorts who previously did not have access to these kinds of goods. With this new access came the theoretical possibility of social mobility through the displaying of accumulated fine goods, much to the concern of the elite classes. Despite this, the reality of social mobility was a slim one, and was only realistically attainable to single men who already possessed some degree of wealth.


Faculty Mentor: Rob Falconer

Department: History