Book review: The Thoughtful Dresser

by Tia on March 29, 2011

If I believed that when writing “The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes MatterLinda Grant had one single purpose in mind – to liberate us from the notion that caring about clothes and appearance is trivial and shallow – I would  simply say that there was no better way to prove her point than to write on the subject in her deeply intelligent way and leave it at that. Grant, however, has set out to talk about “what is  already known, but rarely thought about by the ordinary mass of humanity who is interested in fashion and might, quite wrongly, feel a little ashamed of this passion”. And so she shares, in a line up of somewhat loosely connected  essays, varying in cut and texture not unlike a runway collection, her knowledge of the history of clothes and our relationship with them, which turns out to essentially be the history of humankind. Honest and effortlessly engaging, her writing provides more than just respite from the scorn of those, who may  deem fashion superficial. Her clear-witted narrative makes for an indulgently satisfying read independently of its subject.     

You can read Linda Grant’s articles for The Guardian at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/lindagrant

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