What I wear, what we all wear to some extent, is mediated by how we feel. To ask other readers questions about Women in Clothes , please sign up.
How do you feel about your breasts and your hair? Oct 17, RH Walters rated it it was amazing Shelves: This thick book was due back at the library before I could finish it, but it contained some unforgettable, thought-provoking stuff. I particularly enjoyed Lena Dunham's idea of the perfect outfit velvet or stiff taffeta party dress, nubby tights, flats and big wool coat with a hood in case she needs to go out on a secret mission ; the struggles of a transgender woman trying to look feminine in the summertime; women admiring pictures of their mothers before they had children; a Muslim woman's qu This thick book was due back at the library before I could finish it, but it contained some unforgettable, thought-provoking stuff.
I particularly enjoyed Lena Dunham's idea of the perfect outfit velvet or stiff taffeta party dress, nubby tights, flats and big wool coat with a hood in case she needs to go out on a secret mission ; the struggles of a transgender woman trying to look feminine in the summertime; women admiring pictures of their mothers before they had children; a Muslim woman's question why western men are buttoned up to the neck for serious occasions while women are exposed; the experiences of refugees having only two outfits while growing up; garment workers who buy the cheapest possible garish clothing while sewing luxury goods for export; the scent expert guessing things about stranger's coats based on their fragrance; a little girl explaining her fashion sense and the fun of switching underwear with a little boy; women who say they feel the most beautiful when they're absorbed in making art or spend the whole day working outside.
It would be a fun book to keep around and flip through. Reading it is inevitably a rather fragmentary experience, as each snippet is only a few pages of the five hundred total. There are also plenty of illustrations, giving the air of a lengthy, intellectual magazine. At first I preferred to read only a small amount of it at time, before getting immersed.
A few seemed insufferable, while others were wise or tragic, but the vast majority were thought-provoking. Also the photos of mothers before they had children, which addressed the generational elements of style and dressing. By contrast, I found the diagrams of clothes scattered on the floor horrifying, as I am very tidy and would NEVER leave clothes on the floor.
Whenever past housemates left their clothes on the floor, I picked them up. The strongest element and the backbone of the whole project, however, are the survey responses and interviews. The wide range of voices give a fascinating overall impression. As previously mentioned in my review of The Curated Closet: Yet I kept it, because I like the shape, colour, and fit.
Now I realise that I never want to wear it again, so must give it to charity. I have other things to remind me of happy times with my Nana, rather than the distress of her funeral. The book also spurred me to look through past years of outfit photos that I used to take regularly. Recalling , , and through outfit selfies was a striking experience.
What I wear, what we all wear to some extent, is mediated by how we feel. I started wearing a lot of big, soft woollen jumpers in , during my PhD, because I felt unhappy and they were reassuring. The interviewee who talked about how garments feel on the skin really struck a chord with me - I care a great deal about clothes feel on my body, perhaps more than I care about how they look.
Indeed, I think the two are linked. As well as the individual importance of garments, the book engages somewhat with the fashion industry and the damage it causes.
There is a moving and horrifying interview with a survivor of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a catastrophe in which more than a thousand people died. Several other interviewees focus on the ethical quandaries of dressing. One of them reassured me by stating firmly that second hand clothing is the way forward - we need to stop buying so much new stuff.
Buying ethical new clothes is fraught with difficulties: I always feel guilty about new purchases. Buying clothes from charity shops, by contrast, is about fun, discovery, and experimentation.
It would be ideal to dip into, though, and I think anyone with even a modicum of interest in clothes, make-up, perfume, embodiment, or femininity would find a lot to think about. The survey responses have a sincere, honest air.
Although some across as pretentious or over-privileged, they all have something compelling to say. I can probably come across as pretentious myself when talking about clothes. To me, and certain interviewees, clothing still retains the quality of dressing up in a costume that it possessed during childhood. A tiny pleasure that enhances the mundane working day is to choose an outfit to be someone slightly different, a character in some story more dramatic than your office job.
It needn't be perceptible to anyone but you. I took to heart a comment I once read online: Dress for the dystopia you want, not the one that you have. Jan 23, Daniel rated it really liked it Shelves: More than anything in my life I have been interested in human expression. Clothing is one of the most efficient forms of communication and expression. People with great style, Nagel says, are constantly relearning.
I am in the process of this relearning. I wish I had better methods of implementing this. My current pair of boots are black suede and leather and they immediately got a hole in the suede, but I still wear them anyways because it is the most powerful item of clothing I own, it changes me completely in terms of gait and confidence; I've never felt sexier. After boring teenage years and colorful college years I am finding myself in a punk phase, a phase that is completely inappropriate to my job and life but maybe I am still young enough to pull it off?
This book has conversations about all of these topics with approximately women and a handful of men. Excerpts from Women in Clothes: Hope you like it! Plato says that feeling of absolute knowing can inspire the beholder to quest after a similar revelation in other disciplines of life—poetry or music or science, for example.
The ultimate experience of eros, then, is one that inspires you to live in a questioning, questing way, seeking truth in all areas of life. Ergo, true beauty turns you into a philosopher! I want them back. I want my dog back. I miss having clothing that I feel connected to. The text of a dream.
Jan 13, Phyllis rated it liked it Shelves: This book is unlike any other book on style and fashion I've ever read. Primarily a collection of survey questions compiled by the authors, it also features essays, photographs, interviews, and transcripts of conversations.
At its best, it really illuminates the weird intimate relationship women have with their clothes in a way I've rarely seen in print. But for every really incisive, amazing section there was another one that was just kind of fatuously navel gazing. At over pages, this was This book is unlike any other book on style and fashion I've ever read. At over pages, this was a dense roller coaster ride that at one moment would speak to my soul and my closet at the same time and the next minute annoy the hell out of me.
There's a recurring feature in the book of women's collections of tote bags or shoes or navy blazers, and I was FEELING this, because I tend to build my wardrobe around similar but different items like black pencil skirts or leopard print tops, and to the unobservant it would seem like I'm just hoarding multiple copies of the same outfit, but they're actually all totally different, man. What the heck was that? Anyway, in conclusion, this book was an oddball combination of being truly groundbreaking and fascinating and being kind of banal and irritating.
This is one of those times I really wish goodreads had half-star ratings, because I feel like three stars is totally stingy, but I'm not ready to commit to a four star rating for this book. Just picture that fourth star half shaded in, OK? Oct 11, Beth rated it liked it. This is not a book to borrow from the library as I did after hearing the authors interviewed on NPR. It is interesting research about how women develop their dressing style and their reasons behind what motivates them to buy what they buy and dress as they do.
It is a book for those who want to understand women's psychic or those who like women's magazines and will wish to read an article now and then. They could get a "fix" many times during a year because there is so much food for thought in t This is not a book to borrow from the library as I did after hearing the authors interviewed on NPR. They could get a "fix" many times during a year because there is so much food for thought in the survey answers and interviews. What the book doesn't have for me is a summary chapter or New York Times style book review in it to clear my understanding of the topic.
I can't focus a message from it in my mind. That is the beauty of it and the confusion too. The authors have made a worthy research effortthat will provoke thought in those interested in this kind of research.. It's difficult for me to not watch an entire movie. Except, of course, Gladiator. I had no trouble walking out on that one. Books are the same.
Even if I don't like it, I have to finish it. This is like reading the research for someone's thesis. The only problem with reading the notes for a thesis is that it's difficult to get the point. Aug 29, Andrea McDowell rated it it was ok Shelves: I finally finished this book.
It took me several months to make my way through it; this was not, for me, a pick-it-up-and-finish-it-in-one-go kind of book. That's not necessarily a bad thing; I have a lot of books in the slow-read category that I work my way through in bits and pieces over the long haul, sometimes years. But in the case of Women in Clothes, it wasn't necessarily a good thing, either. It aims to legitimize the concerns about dress--what to wear, when, why, and what that clothing co I finally finished this book.
It aims to legitimize the concerns about dress--what to wear, when, why, and what that clothing communicates--that specifically women have as something that it is possible for serious, intellectual and successful women to think about. It certainly makes the case that women largely do think about this whether they should be or not, and that women put a fair bit of thought into what their clothing says about them, their lifestyles, their aspirations, and so on.
But the sheer variety of voices somewhat undercuts the success of this central message: It raises the question, what's the point? Unfortunately this question--and others raised by the book--is never answered. The book is a very large collection of completed surveys you can find it here by about women, as well as essays, photo essays, stories, conversations and interviews with women about clothes.
There's sure to be something in there that interests and resonates with you. Unfortunately, there isn't a conclusion, or any kind of unifying discussion. I'm sure that was their point, but it was also a drawback. The book would have been vastly improved if it were cut in half and organized in some fashion--by theme, perhaps, or socio-economic group.
It's an interesting book in parts, anyway but it could have been a lot better. Sep 09, Cassie rated it it was amazing. They asked a wide variety of women age, location, race, religious affiliation, etc. I had never asked myself most of these questions nor considered the wide-ranging answers to them.
So many of the women answered relatively simple questions about clothes with deep, vulnerable answers involving past relationships, rape, their hopes for their careers and their families. Dec 01, Rekha rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jan 01, Becky Shaknovich rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the best book I've ever read.
Sep 26, Naomi rated it it was amazing Shelves: I couldn't wait to get home from work every day so I could pick it up and continue exploring the lives of others through their clothes and views of clothes. Yes, there were particular individuals whose viewpoints I disagreed with, or other sections that I found to be pointless, but then I had to remind myself that this isn't written to be from a specific viewpoint.
This wasn't written with a specific agenda to convince me to agree with a certain viewpoint, instead, it was written to I adore this. This wasn't written with a specific agenda to convince me to agree with a certain viewpoint, instead, it was written to showcase the viewpoints and beliefs of a wide range of women from varying backgrounds. So of course I wouldn't like everything that was said or written.
If I had answered the survey which, I think it would have been fascinating to take part in, although I found some of the questions to be incredibly difficult to answer and had been included, I am sure there would be readers who would have disliked my responses as well.
This made me think about clothing in different ways. As a means of protection, as a way to hide, as a way to stand out, as a way to mourn. It also showed the great divide between those who can afford designer clothes and those of us who cannot.
I love looking at designer collections online, but I could never afford to purchase any of the items, or even if I could, I wouldn't be able to stomach such a purchase when I would prefer to, say, travel. So it was almost like this book gave me the ability to glimpse into the lives of those who can purchase expensive, and yes, hopefully well made, articles of clothing.
And you know what? I like the way things are for me when it comes to that. And I loved that there were many included in this who I could relate to. If you're at all interested in clothing, if you're interested in learning more about the viewpoints of others women and not just about clothing, but also about politics, roles, societal pressures, etc. You won't regret it. Jun 30, Emily rated it really liked it.
I love the premise, but I wish this was better edited. Some of the interviews and essays stand out as exceptionally strong. I loved Julia Wallace's interviews with Cambodian garment workers about how they choose the clothing that they wear, and their thoughts on the clothing they produce.
Emily Gould's piece on a status purse--its significance, her relationship with money, and how they changed over the years--was excellent. I also enjoyed the piece where a smell scientist analyzed the smells of c I love the premise, but I wish this was better edited. I also enjoyed the piece where a smell scientist analyzed the smells of coats, and made guesses about the wearers. I loved the collection of photos and vignettes that various writers sent in of their mothers as young women.
The part I began to dread mid-way through, though, were the interviews. There was far too much repetition, especially in the definitions of "taste and style," women discussing mimicking other women's fashion. I feel like a large number of the interviews or responses could have been cut.
Only a few of the questions elicited unique, intriguing responses across the women interviewed. Particularly, the explorations of the topic of modesty, and the idea of clothing as protection were effective. Still, this format, in particular, lent to far too much repetition.
Overall, it's a fun book to pick up and read portions at a time. Still, I wish that the editors had executed this concept better and chosen from a wider variety of perspectives, and more interesting stories.
View all 3 comments. Aug 31, Lori rated it liked it Shelves: I was a good reads first reads winner of this book. I would give this a 2. I will admit this is not what i thought it was when I tried out for the giveaway. I thought it was essays and short stories by women and in a sense this is a bit like that.
I did not realize this is about clothes and the women who wear them. I am a blue jean and tennis shoe kind of person and not much for fashion. It is hard to know what category to put this book in. I would call it "hodgepodge" myself. For me this book just was not my cup of tea. I would say this is one of the most unusual quirky books i have read. Dec 08, Denise rated it liked it Shelves: This book is good in a way that's soooo close to excellent it's painful!
There was some weird anti-Midwestern sent This book is good in a way that's soooo close to excellent it's painful! There was some weird anti-Midwestern sentiment in here too, not sure what that's about. Perhaps some stab at thinking about how Americans can dress so different. I'd have killed to hear more about uniforms, what a USPS mail delivery worker thinks about her uniform, or a National Park Services Ranger, or anyone in the military, as uniforms are all clothes that are highly symbolic, highly political, and essentially men's clothes slap-dash altered to fit women.
More truly thoughtful stuff like that, less waffle about wearable-art. Nov 24, Holly rated it liked it Shelves: Am I really reading this? I can't believe I'm reading this. I am sort of reading this Not the sort of book I expected to read. I am truly not interested in fashion, and the woman in this book who claims I must be lying to say that, well she is wrong.
I kept moving th Am I really reading this? I kept moving through this big book because I'm also someone who always wants to know what the conversation-over-there is about, and I felt as if I were obsessively eavesdropping on women's secret ideas some boring, silly, offputting; others strangely fascinating. I did basically skim much of what I thought was vapid or that I understood nothing about designers and such.
But less than fashion much of this book was about clothes and how we feel in clothes. Lo and behold, that is in fact how their book starts. But not before Sheila Heti explains the real impetus for the book: And what of those who believe, myself included, that thinking about dressing well is the absolute antithesis of style?
There are illustrations and a few photos throughout. While fellow Girls star and creator Lena Dunham weighs in with her signature aplomb, whereupon she lays out her dressing rules: Not everyone needs that added layer, but it helps me.
Topics Books Rebecca Carroll column. Tavi Gevinson Lena Dunham blogposts. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.
WOMEN IN CLOTHES by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. Forthcoming from Penguin in 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 kejal-2191.tks: 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/5.
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is proudly powered by WordPress