Women in Clothes

Women in Clothes

Book - 2014
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Penguin Putnam

Women in Clothes
is a book unlike any other. It is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities—famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old—on the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives.

It began with a survey. The editors composed a list of more than fifty questions designed to prompt women to think more deeply about their personal style. Writers, activists, and artists including Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon, Kalpona Akter, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Tavi Gevinson, Miranda July, Roxane Gay, Lena Dunham, and Molly Ringwald answered these questions with photographs, interviews, personal testimonies, and illustrations.

Even our most basic clothing choices can give us confidence, show the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, bond us with our friends, or function as armor or disguise. They are the tools we use to reinvent ourselves and to transform how others see us. Women in Clothes embraces the complexity of women’s style decisions, revealing the sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always thoughtful impulses that influence our daily ritual of getting dressed.

Baker & Taylor
"An exploration of the questions we ask ourselves while getting dressed every day, and the answers from more than six hundred women"--Back cover.

& Taylor

Collects essays, interviews, photographs, and other contributions inspired by surveys asking women of different backgrounds from throughout the world about clothing, fashion, personal appearance, and what they mean to each individual.
A tribute to self-expression is based on the expertise of more than 225 contributors and invites women to think about their personal style, sharing interviews, essays, sketches and photos that explore key aspects of body image and self-esteem. Original. 50,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York, New York : Blue Rider Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), [2014]
ISBN: 9780399166563
Branch Call Number: 391.2 W842
Characteristics: 514 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm


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Jan 14, 2017

I found this endlessly fascinating. I am a female and seldom understand other women. This gave me some welcomed insight into the minds of the others. I can't usually dress how I like- since I've gotten older and physically damaged I feel like 'why bother' so the essay by the woman who seemed to have some physical differences-which she mentioned in passing-but who took much care to please herself with her clothes made me think about my own perspective a little differently. I should please myself. Which may seem obvious to many but although I accept the aging I'm not so old I expect to have deteriorated yet. Blah, blah- read this- information dense and represents most types of us. It would be great for the new young ones who don't have someone to guide them. Or just say "be you".

Sep 26, 2016

I have mixed feelings about this book and I'm not even sure how to articulate them, perhaps because it is such a giant, all-encompassing tome.

1) The essay with the line about capitalism being reliant on making women feel miserable.

2) The interview and coat room visit with the perfume expert. So fun to read about her interpretations of people based on smelling their jackets- even if it seems a bit silly- I could have read PAGES of this and desperately wanted MORE.

3) The line somewhere about dressing being about making yourself more like yourself.

1) The conversation between a couple with a male partner who is quite controlling of the female partner's look. Really didn't know what to make of this, but it felt uncomfortable and I'm not sure why.

2) For all the variety in contributors, reading the bios in the back sure makes a hell of a lot of the participants sound like white, middle class, American, creative professional women in their mid 30s with design-y / arty / literary taste. And the book itself seems to come from this particular sensibility. Which isn't in and of itself necessarily problematic. It just raises some questions to me about what that means in the curation of the pieces and the implications of the diversity or lack there of in the participants. I guess it's that the pieces in the book that are not from this prototypical cultural perspective are still put into the framework of one particular dominant narrative- so I'm not sure it feels truly multicultural in perspective, despite presumed (rightly or wrongly) efforts to do so.


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