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“You can’t have depths without surfaces,” says Linda Grant in her lively and provocative new book, The thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman’s guide to what we wear. For centuries, an interest in clothes has been dismissed as the trivial pursuit of vain, empty-headed women. Yet, clothes matter, whether you are interested in fashion or not, because how we choose to dress defines who we are. How we look and what we wear tells a story. Some stories are simple, like the teenager trying to fit in, or the woman turning fifty renouncing invisibility. Some are profound, like that of the immigrant who arrives in a new country and works to blend in by changing the way she dresses, or of the woman whose hat saved her life in Nazi Germany.

The Thoughtful Dresser
celebrates the pleasure of adornment and is an elegant meditation on our relationship with what we wear and the significance of clothes as the most intimate but also public expressions of our identity.

Topics: Fashion, Essays, Contemplative, Touching, Design, and Consumerism

Published: Scribner on Apr 20, 2010
ISBN: 9781439171646
List price: $11.99
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This is a collection of essays, broadly linked by the argument that clothes, and an interest in them, is an essential part of humanity not a frivolous pastime. I enjoyed reading the individual pieces but overall found it a little thin. There are some striking stories about how the pursuit of style and beauty can enhance our individualism and humanity, but I found the frequent references to high-end designer clothes and shoes a bit grating.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I enjoyed a lot of the anecdotes here, but the framing narratives were weak at best. A lot of the book felt like an attempt at defending high-class consumption and celebrated the need to spend as much as possible on clothing.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Initially its interesting, academic defence of fashion made me want to dress up a little, but the underlying theme moves to the forefront and it becomes a very different book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a lovely book, if not life-changing. Grant's take is that no one, no one at all, doesn't care about what they wear, that what we put on our bodies makes us human. She holds that clothes are our identifier, life's communicator, an event and a story in every case. It is a history of fashion, a social commentary, a soliloquy to creative wears, a collection of stories of what clothes have done, and can do, in lives. As a whole, this book didn't come together as I would have liked it to, but I did enjoy its stories and thoughts. I simply put it down wishing for a bit more cohesiveness.Available at Teton County Library in Nonfiction, call number: 391.2 Grantread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

This is a collection of essays, broadly linked by the argument that clothes, and an interest in them, is an essential part of humanity not a frivolous pastime. I enjoyed reading the individual pieces but overall found it a little thin. There are some striking stories about how the pursuit of style and beauty can enhance our individualism and humanity, but I found the frequent references to high-end designer clothes and shoes a bit grating.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I enjoyed a lot of the anecdotes here, but the framing narratives were weak at best. A lot of the book felt like an attempt at defending high-class consumption and celebrated the need to spend as much as possible on clothing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Initially its interesting, academic defence of fashion made me want to dress up a little, but the underlying theme moves to the forefront and it becomes a very different book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a lovely book, if not life-changing. Grant's take is that no one, no one at all, doesn't care about what they wear, that what we put on our bodies makes us human. She holds that clothes are our identifier, life's communicator, an event and a story in every case. It is a history of fashion, a social commentary, a soliloquy to creative wears, a collection of stories of what clothes have done, and can do, in lives. As a whole, this book didn't come together as I would have liked it to, but I did enjoy its stories and thoughts. I simply put it down wishing for a bit more cohesiveness.Available at Teton County Library in Nonfiction, call number: 391.2 Grant
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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