Research & News/Events

Dr. Parsons Named CSA Fellow

Posted: Jun. 3, 2020

Jean ParsonsThe Costume Society of America (CSA) Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by CSA. It recognizes the dedication, commitment, leadership, and outstanding contributions of our members to the organization and to the field of dress and appearance. Class of 2020 CSA Fellow Jean L. Parsons is a professor at the University of Missouri and curator of the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection. A recognized scholar in both design and history, her research includes digital textile and apparel design and the history of the apparel industry.

Dr. Michael Eugene Mamp nominated Dr. Parsons. He noted, "Dr. Parsons is highly accomplished; she is a talented designer, an insightful historian and has been a mentor to many, including myself. She develops life-long supportive relationships with her former students as she seamlessly helps them transition from her student to her respected colleague. This is one of the most valuable gifts she imparts. She has made a tremendous impact through the rigor of her work, the thoughtfulness of her advice, and her sheer tenacity, output, and dedication to our field of study."

Dr. Parsons is an example of a dedicated scholar, educator, and designer. We enthusiastically congratulate her for her contributions to our field.

Adaptive Versus Inclusive — Words Matter When it Comes to Apparel for People Living with Disabilities

Posted: May 28, 2020

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, Mizzou News

Kerri McBee-BlackMU researchers found that people living with disabilities wish to purchase clothing that is designed and marketed like any other apparel

Retailers and brands such as Kohl’s, Nike, Target, Tommy Hilfiger and Zappos have recently launched adaptive apparel lines, and economists have predicted that the U.S. adaptive clothing market could grow to $54.8 billion by 2023. However, brands should consider the language they use when marketing products to this group of consumers, according to a new study from the University of Missouri. Researchers say that "adaptive" makes the apparel seem separate from the market.

"Terms such as ‘adaptive apparel’ are popular with companies," said Kerri McBee Black, instructor of textile and apparel management. "However, calling an item of clothing adaptive can alienate and exclude people living with disabilities. Like all consumers, this population wants to feel embraced by a brand, not excluded as someone different."

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Spring 2020 TAM Newsletter

Posted: May 15, 2020

See what's new at the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management with the Spring 2020 Newsletter.

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TAM Cuts Over 35,000 Mask Fabric Pieces for MU Health

Posted: Apr. 15, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread, face masks are becoming more difficult to find, and health systems are turning to community members for help to make sure they have masks for as long as the outbreak lasts. That includes MU Health Care. The University is joining the effort and making mask kits that will be made into masks for the health system to use.

MU Health Care workers gathered supplies to assemble kits so community members could help make masks. The team at MU Health Care soon discovered the needed more helpers to cut the fabric for the kits. So, they turned to Professor Pamela Norum, chair of MU’s Department of Textiles and Apparel Management, for help.

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TAM Making Masks for MU Health

Posted: Apr. 23, 2020

In response to COVID-19, the Department of Textile and Apparel Management is working with MU Health Care to help cut materials for 100,000 masks. Yesterday, 10,000 cut masks were picked up.

TAM Students Win Mizzou '39 and Mizzou '18 Awards

Posted: Mar. 4, 2020

Congratulations to TAM students Hannah Farley and Lida Aflatoony on winning Mizzou '39 and Mizzou '18 Awards. We are so proud of you!

Hannah FarleyHannah Farley - Mizzou '39 Award Recipient

Lida AflatoonyLida Aflatoony - Mizzou '18 Award Recipient

Fall 2019 TAM Newsletter

Posted: Dec. 5, 2019

See what's new at the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management with the Fall 2019 Newsletter.

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TAM and Alumni Featured in HERLIFE

Posted: Nov. 6, 2019

The inaugural issue of HERLIFE, a new Columbia magazine, features TAM alumna Jennife Ouellette on the cover, (with a story on page 33). Jennifer runs a successful millinery business in New York City. This issue also features a story about TAM on page 10, followed by stories about TAM alums Michelle Dando, Ashley Gibson Long, and Nicole Zabriskie.

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Jennifer Ouellette

TAM Ranks Among the Top in the Nation

Posted: Oct. 25, 2019

Textile and Apparel Management


#7 in the nation and #1 in the state of Missouri by College Factual

college factual top 15% in textile studies

College Factual ranks programs offered by 4-year U.S. Colleges and Universities and recently updated their 2019 rankings.


#8 Fashion Management School in the U.S. by

TOP 8% Fashion Merchandising Program in the U.S. and #5 in the Midwest compiles a list each year of the top Fashion Merchandising Schools and Colleges in the United States. Rankings are based on factors like the schools’ admission data, graduation success, reputation and an extensive proprietary survey conducted with school & industry stakeholders.

Monkey Business: MU Acquires Colobus Coat

Posted: Aug. 13, 2019

Story by Sarah Everett, Columbia Missourian

For 15 years or more, a boxy, black fur coat hung in the MERS Goodwill office in St. Louis.

It was jet-black and heavy, with long strands of what was originally thought to be gorilla fur. The shoulders were large and square, emblematic of late 1930s haute couture.

Monkey fur coats were made popular by Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and were only for wealthier clientele. In the Depression era, fur coats sold for around $200-300.

"It was a status symbol," said Jean Parsons, curator of MU’s Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection.

Today, the coat, which is actually made of colobus fur, would be worth thousands, if it were legal to sell.

Today, Parsons said, "for some people it might be a status symbol, and for some people it might be the other way around. They consider it a horrible thing to be wearing it."

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a coat made from monkey furPhoto credit: Kate Seaman

A coat made from the fur of a Colobus monkey that was donated 15 years ago to MERS Goodwill is now being preserved as a part of the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection in Stanley Hall at MU. The jacket cannot be sold because selling fur coats made from primate species is illegal. Because it can’t be sold, the coat has instead been donated to the collection for educational purposes.

Volcano Pants: The Latest Fashion Trend from MU Geologists and a Graduate Student

Posted: Jun. 25, 2019

By Jordan Yount, MU College of Arts & Science

What do you wear when exploring a volcano?

This is a question that professors and students in the MU Department of Geological Sciences face regularly.

In 2010, Alan Whittington, then an associate professor in the department, and a student, Genevieve Robert, now an assistant professor of geology at Bates College in Maine, were unexpectedly stuck overnight on a volcano in Guatemala. To take their minds off of being tired, cold, and hungry, they began griping about things that were bothering them, including the kind of clothing they typically wore during fieldwork. For example, side pockets tended to be located low enough on the leg that their field notebooks rubbed against their leg.

"At the end of a week of field work I usually end up with a pretty sizable bruise on my leg," he says. "I also tend to lose weight during fieldwork, so I have to tighten my belt and end up with pleats. We needed something that is easily adjustable, something that is not too heavy, and something with abrasion resistance, which is a huge deal when working on lava, which is really sharp."

Stuart Kenderes and Brenna Halverson, doctoral students in the MU Department of Geological Sciences, field test "volcano pants" created by Abby Romine, a master's student in Textile and Apparel Management, during a recent research trip to Colorado.

A Chance Meeting, and a Solution

Whittington, now the E.B. Branson Professor of Geological Sciences and department chair, says he would think about the kinds of things he and his students would like to see in rugged, outdoor clothing during field trips over the next few years, but would forget about it once the trip was over.

Then in 2017, Whittington happened to be talking to Professor Pam Norum, chair of the Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. She told him she knew someone who might be interested in creating the type of clothing Whittington was seeking for geological fieldwork: Abby Romine.

"She introduced me to her, so I talked about the original idea and what our complaints were, and Abby just ran with it," he says.

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Jean Hamilton PryJean Hamilton Pry 1943-2019

Posted: Jun. 18, 2019

Dear TAM Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we say good bye to our dear friend and colleague, Jean Hamilton Pry. Jean was a Kemper award winning faculty member beloved by both faculty and students. Visitation will be this Saturday, June 22 from 9:00 am - 10:30 am followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am, both to be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 904 Old 63 South. More details will follow.