Call for Papers | “Updating the Wardrobe: Exploring contemporary issues around uniforms, clothing, and fashion in leisure studies”, Special Issue of Annals of Leisure Research | Call ends March 15, 2024

Special Issue Editor: Julie Brice, California State University, Fullerton

Historians have long explored the powerful role clothing and fashion have played in the development and advancement (or lack therefore) of women’s participation in sports and physical activity (Goodrum, 2012; Schultz, 2014; Warner, 2006). While some academics have focused on the impact of bulky and immobilizing clothing, other scholars have explored the lack of clothing within many sports (beach volleyball, gymnastics, surfing) and how uniforms (and associated policies) continue to reify binary and hegemonic gender norms (Cantelon, 2010; Weaving, 2012). Outside of a primary focus on gender, research has also looked towards individuals’ personal experiences and relationships with uniforms and leisure spaces, interested in understanding how apparel plays a powerful role in the production of sporting identities and spaces (Anderson, 2016; Dashper & St. John, 2016).

The research around clothing, fashion, and dress is multi-faceted and varied, with new issues emerging in the 21st century warranting continued exploration. For example, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup alerted the world to the controversies around white sport uniforms and period anxiety with many countries removing white shorts from footballer’s kits. Outside of professional sport, there has been an intersection of technology and sport/activewear with some clothing integrating smart technologies to monitor heart rate and athletic performance. Ongoing challenges over diversity, equity, and inclusion have the highlighted the need for gender inclusive and modest clothing in recreational youth sports and physical education. There is also an urgent need to re-evaluate leisure clothing consumption and production practices, particularly in light of the increasing threat of climate change and pollution.

In this special issue, I seek to explore such contemporary debates and issues around the politics of clothing, fashion, and dress within leisure spaces.

In this special issue, I seek to explore such contemporary debates and issues around the politics of clothing, fashion, and dress within leisure spaces. Specifically, I hope to speak to and understand: “What are the political, cultural, and social concerns and debates around clothing in leisure spaces in the 21st century? How have discussions, policies, ideas, social understandings of clothing and leisure changed over the past 50 years? Why have debates around clothing and leisure continued to maintain such a global presence?” In so doing, this issue aims to speak to both historical and contemporary issues in leisure studies by focusing on how understandings and debates around clothing in sports/leisure have been rethought, as well as the diversity of new issues around dress that have arisen in the 21st century.

I welcome cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, cross-geographical submissions that can speak to issues surrounding clothing, fashion, and leisure, from a range of academic fields. This can include (but is not limited to) sociology, history, philosophy, cultural studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, and leisure studies that utilize a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to explore the various connections between dress, fashion, uniforms and leisure cultures.

Empirical and conceptual papers are invited. I welcome proposals for full papers (8000 words) and research notes (3000 words). Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

      • Sport uniforms as a site of cultural contestation
      • The sports industry, sustainability, and apparel
      • Celebrity sponsorship and promotion of retail leisure clothing
      • Intersections of technology and (leisure) clothing
      • Physical education exclusive/inclusive clothing policies and practices.
      • Fashion, “Gameday Fit checks” and Gender Norms
      • Gender nonbinary activewear clothing sites and/or the binary nature of leisure clothing
      • Uniform and the policing of athlete identities (e.g., sex/gender,’race,’ and religion)
      • Continuities and shifts in the sexualization and objectification of athletes through uniform policies/clothing
      • Sportswear companies and cultural appropriation
      • Sportwear/uniforms and the reproduction of white colonial power

Important dates

Submission of a 250-word abstract to by 15th March 2024.
Full paper submission: 15th September 2024.
NB: Invitation to submit a full paper is not a confirmation of publication.


Anderson, J. (2016). On trend and on the wave: carving cultural identity through active surf dress. Annals of Leisure Research, 19(2), 212-234.
Cantelon, M. (2010). Sex-A-Side: Volleyball uniforms and the reproduction of female objectivity. In L. Fuller (Ed.), Sexual sports rhetoric: Global and universal contexts (pp. 13-24). Peter Lang.
Dashper, K., & St. John, M. (2016). Clothes make the rider? Equestrian competition dress and sporting identity. Annals of Leisure Research, 19(2).
Goodrum, A. L. (2012). A severity of plainness: the culture of female riding dress in America during the 1920s and 1930s. Annals of Leisure Research, 15(1), 87-105.
Schultz, J. (2014). Qualifying times: Points of change in US women’s sports. University of Illinois Press.
Warner, P. (2006). When the girls came out to play: The birth of American Sportswear. University of Massachusetts Press.
Weaving, C. (2012). Babes Boxing in Skirts:’ A Critique of the Proposed AIBA Uniform Rule. Problems, Possibilities, Promising Practices: Critical Dialogues on the Olympic and Paralympic Games,

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