Keyser, Amber J. Underneath It All: A History of Women’s Underwear. Non-fiction. 21st Century, 01/2018. 96pp. PLB $37.32. 978-1-5124-2531-4. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES 8-12.
This look at the social history, political impact, and evolution of women’s undergarments throughout history will especially be enjoyed by female teen readers. Arranged chronologically, each chapter discusses women’s underwear for different social classes in different historical eras, while the final three chapters cover the current impact of female clothing. Although the narrative jumps around a little, and takes many tangents, the political aspect is of particular interest—for example, how certain undergarments like hoopskirts prevented women from working or from engaging in activities, or how school dress codes target girls more than boys regarding what undergarments they should wear and keep hidden. There are many color and b&w photos, an index, source notes, and bibliography. This is likely to be popular and inspire thought and some political advocacy on the part of teen girls. Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool