224 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 0.6 in
April 20, 2010
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1439158819
ISBN - 13: 9781439158814
About the Book
"The Thoughtful Dresser" is a thinking woman's guide to our relationship with what we wear: why we want to look our best and why it matters.
Read from the Book
IN WHICH A WOMAN BUYS A PAIR OF SHOES Dress has never been at all a straightforward business: so much subterranean interest and complex feeling attaches to it. As a topic, it is popular because it is dangerous—it has a flowery head but deep roots in the passions. On the subject of dress almost no one, for one or another reason, feels truly indifferent: if their own clothes do not concern them, somebody else’s do. ELIZABETH BOWEN TWELVE YEARS AGO I saw a red high-heeled shoe from an earlier era. Glorious, scarlet, insouciant, it blazed away amid the rubber soles and strong cotton shoelaces as if to say, “Take me dancing!” At night, when I cannot get to sleep, I sometimes distract myself by inventing its imaginary owner. I see her waking one morning in a foreign city, and as she raises the blinds on a spring day, the sun striking the copper rooftops, she realizes that she must go out this very moment and buy a pair of red shoes. A wide-awake girl in a white nightgown parting the shutters on a Paris day, drinking a cup of coffee, lighting a cigarette, thoughtfully smoking it before she quickly eats a roll, puts on her lipstick, and leaves the house. Or I wonder, instead, if she is somewhat older—say, thirty-eight—in a gray wool coat and lines descending each side of her mouth, a small ruddy birthmark on the side of her right cheek, which she fruitlessly tries to cover up by curling her hair in waves below her ears, but the wind always catches it and exposes the strawberry stain
From the Publisher
“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.