By publishing The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the subject provided future generations with the contextual material with which he should be considered. So an

exercise that focuses on the dressed body of Malcolm X, whose hagiographic status increased during the late twentieth century owing to extensive critical and poetic reference to him, is not to reduce his effective and affective cultural currency and political prowess to that of mere fashion icon, but it is an attempt to augment his iconic status in the presentation of another aspect of him, the dressed-Malcolm X. I argue that this aspect of Malcolm X was and is constituent to his telling-of-self, a technique he applied to produce a new self out of a life he defined as ‘a chronology of changes’ (Malcolm X 1968: 454) . Alexandra Warwick and Dani Cavallaro have declared that the analysis of an individual through dress can lead to a broader intelligent understanding of that individual:

[I]t could be argued that it is only by analysing the superficial language of dress that one may arrive at certain, albeit provisional, conclusions regarding both singular and group identities. Ignoring the surface would leave us with no hints as to the cultural and psychological significance of a sign system which is by definition superficial and whose depth lies precisely on the surface . . . Dress, in this respect, is a manifestation of the unconscious at work, in that it is a superficial phenomenon, like symbolic language, which, also like language, speaks volumes about submerged dimensions of experience. Clothing, then, does not just operate as a disguising or concealing strategy. In fact, it could be regarded as a deep surface, a manifestation of the ‘unconscious’ as a facet of existence which cannot be relegated to the psyche’s innermost hidden depths but actually expresses itself through apparently superficial activities.