Dr Katherine Appleford


I have been in the Department of Criminology and Sociology at Kingston University since 2013 where I have been involved in teaching Sociology and Gender Studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have previously taught Cultural and Historical Studies at the London College of Fashion. In 2014 I was nominated for a student-led teaching award.  

My research interests straddle Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Fashion and I am particularly interested in factors which inform women's fashion practices and fashion tastes. My doctoral research considers the relationship between fashion and class in contemporary British women's dress. More recently research has focused on the changing discourse and representations around plus/outsized fashion and the relationships between body image, race and celebrity.

I am keen to supervise students interested in exploring fashion, identity, body image, class, cultural practice and arts engagement.

Academic responsibilities

Senior lecturer in Sociology


  • PGCTLHE - Kingston University
  • PhD - London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • MA Social Research Methods - Durham University
  • BA (Hons) Sociology & Law - Durham University
  • Level 2 Counselling, East Surrey College


My doctoral research focuses on class distinctions in contemporary British women's fashion practice and fashion discourse, and highlights important differences in women's understandings of fashion, space and femininity. The research brings together aspects of Cultural Studies theory, Human Geography and Sociology in exploring how fashion practices and tastes operate as a significant means for understanding and evaluating social class, and identifies mothers and other maternal figures as particularly important influences in the cultivation of fashion habitus. 

More recently, my research has considered fashion discourse and practice in relation to body image. This work highlights important intersections with race, as well as gender and class, and notes the increasing significance of celebrity culture and digital media in cultivating young people's beauty standards and aspirations.

PhD Supervision:

Ellie Mumford - AHRC TECHNE Funded 'Non-binary Performances: The relationship between fashion, identity and the body in individuals with non-binary gender identities' http://www.techne.ac.uk/for-students/techne-students/techne-students/techne-students-2018-19/mumford

Research student supervision


Number of items: 9.


Appleford, Katherine [Reviewer] (2020) Book Review of: 'Negotiating femininities in the neoliberal night-time economy' by Emily Nicholls. Sociology, 54(3), pp. 648-650. ISSN (print) 1469-8684

Appleford, Katherine [Reviewer] (2018) Book Review of : 'Fashioning memory : vintage style and youth culture' by Heike Jenss. Sociology, 52(4), pp. 849-850. ISSN (print) 0038-0385

Appleford, Katherine (2016) "This big bum thing has taken over the world" : considering Black women's changing view on body image and the role of celebrity. Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, 7(2), pp. 193-214. ISSN (print) 2040-4417

Appleford, Katherine (2016) Being seen in your pyjamas : the relationship between fashion, class, gender and space. Gender, Place & Culture, 23(2), pp. 162-180. ISSN (print) 0966-369X

Appleford, Katherine (2015) Book Review: Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson (eds), Fashion Cultures Revisited. Sociology, 49(5), pp. 1002-1004. ISSN (print) 0038-0385

Appleford, Katherine (2014) Like mother, like daughter: lessons in fashion consumption, taste and class. Families, Relationships and Societies, 3(1), pp. 153-157. ISSN (print) 2046-7435


Appleford, Katherine (2021) Classifying fashion, fashioning class : making sense of women's practices, perceptions and tastes. London, U.K. : Routledge. 222p. (Routledge Advances in Sociology) ISBN 9780415784122

Book Section

Appleford, Katherine (2015) 'You're not going out dressed like that!': lessons in fashion consumption, taste and class. In: Taylor, Yvette and Casey, Emma, (eds.) Intimacies, critical consumption and diverse economies. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 145-170. (Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life) ISBN 9781137429070

Appleford, Katherine (2013) Fashion and class evaluations. In: Black, S. , De la Haye, A. , Entwistle, J. , Root, R. , Rocamora, A. and Thomas, H., (eds.) The handbook of fashion studies. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 102-120. ISBN 9780857851949

This list was generated on Mon Mar 4 06:55:57 2024 GMT.