Deirdre Clemente

Associate Director, Public History program
Expertise: 20th century American Culture, Fashion and clothing, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Museum studies


Deirdre Clemente is a historian and curator of 20th century American culture, specializing in fashion and clothing. She is an expert in the use of fashion in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and served as a historical consultant for costume in Baz Luhrmann's film, The Great Gatsby.

Clemente is the associate director of the UNLV public history program. She holds a master of arts degree in Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon. Her research on the intersection of clothing and social change has been published in the Journal of Social History, New England Quarterly, Journal of American Culture, and others. Her book Dress Casual: How College Kids Redefined American Style was published in spring 2014 from UNC Press. The book explores how and why collegians pioneered the adoption of casual dress – one of the most pervasive cultural shifts of the 20th century. Clemente is currently working on her second book titled, Chic Streets: Urban Development, Shopping, and the American Fashion Industry which considers the evolution of New York's Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive and Miami Beach's Lincoln road as places where American clothing was made and marketed.

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Deirdre Clemente In The News

The Social
October 24, 2019
A lot of people are no longer wearing suits to work. Companies are ditching the requirement of ties and blazers in order to give employees greater flexibility when it comes to their workwear.
The Loop
October 24, 2019
According to analysts, sale of suits and ties are down in favour of a more “casual environment.”
October 22, 2019
The elegant, well-groomed suits used to be a symbol of power and indispensable attire of successful people, but now they are losing their identity and power in society. Even many people now only wear suits when they are applying for jobs, praying to someone or having trouble.
The Hollywood Reporter
October 18, 2019
While athleisure pieces comprise the wardrobe foundation of many Americans — pants and leggings alone drove a $1 billion business in 2018 — the concept of workout-wear-meets-business-casual has not penetrated Hollywood as an acceptable executive staple. Until now.

Articles Featuring Deirdre Clemente

People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus NewsNovember 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
A group of four UNLV nursing students work on a manikin at the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas.
Campus NewsSeptember 25, 2019
A collection of news stories capturing the excitement of UNLV’s campus in June, July and August.
John F. Kennedy
Arts and CultureSeptember 27, 2016
History professor Deirdre Clemente chronicles the increasingly casual nature of presidential fashion.
Homecoming royalty from 1976
ResearchSeptember 1, 2016
UNLV history professor Deirdre Clemente's newest book highlights a convergence of fashion and consumerism on college campuses.