What do tattooed Egyptian mummies of 2000 BC have in common with modern sub-cultural styles? From mini-skirts to skin decoration, make-up to hair, dress is imbued with symbols that reflect different meanings in different contexts. Calefato picks apart the multiple functions of modern dress, considering the psychological, cultural, spiritual and symbolic significances at play. What we wear is a vehicle for the (often contentious) expression of politics, gender and identity and therefore clothing is at the root of a complex set of messages, many paradoxical. Clothing may, for example, liberate through the pleasures of masquerade and at the same time "cage" or control the body. The Clothed Body shows how semiotics can provide a convincing template for understanding dress in a wide range of contexts.