Friday, March 2, 2012

Fashion, Style, Clothes

I often wonder, why do I like clothes so much?  For myself, I see the appeal as having two main aspects: how clothes enhance (hopefully) one's appearance, and then the beauty of the garments themselves (although probably a plain t-shirt and jeans don't rate very highly in the later category). Because I sew, there is also the creative pleasure that begins with an irresistible fabric and culminates in a style of my own choosing, contrived by my own hands.

So, as someone in whose life clothes occupy a prominent place, I was eager to read The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant which I discovered via an older post in Biblioblog.  (Make sure you read her – ahem – thoughtful review.)  And it is a thought-provoking book which I recommend, whether you consider your own interest in clothes highly developed or extremely minimal.  In fact, I would especially recommend it for the fashion-averse, who might come away with a better perception of how and why clothes matter, why clothes are lusted for and loved by so many of us.

Not that I always agreed with everything in the book.  Certainly, this Englishwoman and daughter of immigrant parents is going to have a different experience of dress than I have had and therefore some very different ideas.  But it seems to me that at least part of the point of this book is to create a dialog in the reader's mind about clothes, about fashion, about style.  Along the way she imparts some fashion history and uses the personal story of a Holocaust survivor to illustrate her thesis about the importance of personal adornment.  Occasionally I did find the book somewhat repetitive and felt that it showed its genesis in an eponymous blog (which was active from 2007 to 2010 and is interesting in its own right).  Nevertheless, I think it is worthwhile reading.


  1. Thanks for the "bump" Julia! I just finished "The Clothes on Their Backs" by the same author. Interesting read, though flawed as a novel in some small ways.

  2. Julia C.,

    You have been awarded The Versatile Blog Award! Display the badge on your blog by using the HTML code below. I have removed the first left vee < and you will need to add it back in when you use the code. Go to for the simple rules. Congratulations, Mary

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