Dressing for the Internet: A study of female selfpresentation via dress on instagram

Claire Shumaker, David Loranger, Amy Dorie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Social networking sites (SNS) and social media (SM) have evolved into important methods of communication in modern society. A number of SM platforms are imageoriented sites such as Instagram, which provide tools to edit and post images of one’s self in place of verbal communication. These tools are especially critical in the lives of younger generations who have been reared on technology. SM provides the ability to curate one’s image and receive feedback in an almost instantaneous and customizable manner. In this two-stage, qualitative grounded theory study, a stage-one initial survey (n=208) indicated that nearly half of the respondents used dress as a communication tool when posting images on SM and that Instagram was the most used SNS. In stage-two, in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of (n=15) undergraduate students to investigate participants’ usage of Instagram, along with their self-proclaimed use of dress as a method of communication through images posted on the SNS. Results indicated that participants used dress as a tool to communicate aspects of experiences, feelings, lifestyles and beliefs when posting images on Instagram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-382
Number of pages18
JournalFashion, Style and Popular Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Dress
  • Identity construction
  • Instagram
  • Self-presentation
  • Social media
  • Social networking sites

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