Sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen criticized the “conspicuous consumption” of the fashionable woman.  However, fasihion can also have positive benefits, offering a way to establish and confirm identity. Hillary Radner sees fashion as a form of authority, allowing a woman to “establish and maintain her position within the social hierarchy.” The Navy uniform is an example of this idea in action: the well-designed outfit gave WAVES and SPARs, regardless of economic background, a type of social power.


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