Last week I read: The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant
The Thoughtful Dresser is about clothes, fashion, how and why we dress the way we do and why clothes matter. It’s an academic and intellectual look at why what we wear defines our identity, and how the way we look and the things we wear tell a story.
Complete with some of her mothers famous words, “The only thing worse than being skint is looking as if you’re skint,” “A good handbag makes the outfit,” and, “Only the rich can afford cheap shoes,” it’s a treasure trove of anecdotes, excerpts and facts as to why fashion is not just for and about vain, brain-less women.
Grant writes extensively on the changing face of dress over the years, the impact of clothing during World War II, and there’s even an entire chapter devoted to fashion and clothing post 9/11. Such examples only drive home the message that there’s more to clothing than purpose. Almost every moment in history that Grant refers to has been defined by costume and dress – and she offers some persuasive explanations as to why.
The Thoughtful Dresser is, indeed, a thoughtful look at the pleasure involved in dressing and adornment, and the joy of shopping and finding the perfect dress or handbag.
It’s a welcome change from the flirty and, dare I say it, girly writings on clothes and fashion – this is a serious book, sometimes entirely exhaustive with information, on the serious matter of dress.