Stitches in Time: The Story of the Clothes We Wear by Lucy Adlington
|Stitches in Time: The Story of the Clothes We Wear by Lucy Adlington|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A history of clothes may not seem the most interesting idea to sustain a whole book, but Lucy Adlington expertly combines the changing wardrobes of the world with the changing attitudes, political landscapes and popular cultures of times gone by, in order to paint a fascinating portrait of quite what a huge part clothing has played in our history. With shoes sparked by a dance craze, knitted bathing suits, restraining corsets, and the style of dress that may well have killed Marie Antoinette – this is a well-researched and intriguing read.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: October 2015|
|Publisher: Random House Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Stitches in Time is a lively history of clothing. Riffling through the wardrobes of years gone by, costume historian Lucy Adlington reveals the stories underneath the clothes we wear in this tour of the history of fashion, ranging from ancient times to the present day. With beautiful illustrations and full colour photographs, Stitches in Time is a reminder of how the way we dress is inextricably bound up with considerations of aesthetics, sex, gender, class and lifestyle – and offers the reader the chance to appreciate the extraordinary qualities of the clothing we wear, and the rich history it has led.
I like clothes – I always have. As a child I shunned the tracksuits of my classmates, and insisted I be dressed in rollneck jumpers, blazers, slacks and brogues. It didn't make me popular, but I sure as hell looked dapper. Growing up, I've become somewhat more relaxed on that front – but I can't say that I've ever given thought to where exactly my clothes came from. Do I base my choice of boxers or briefs on historical events? I don't think so – I tend to go for what I find comfortable, and I imagine most will do the same. You may well change your minds after giving Stitches in Time a read though…
Lucy Adlington has done something very impressive in making this a lively, vibrant and constantly interesting history – with each chapter focusing on a different area of the clothing, and the vastly different history that accompanies each item. Some of the stories here are utterly fascinating, some rather upsetting, and some surprisingly moving – not what you would expect from a history of clothes. This is no dry history tome – and the layout really means you miss quite how many facts and figures are being fed to you throughout – but needless to say you'll come away far more knowledgeable, and have a different viewpoint next time you open the wardrobe.
This isn't the kind of book you'll be racing to read through – it's a lovely volume to keep on a desk and have a look through every now and then, as there are many stories, voices and ideas that deserve your time. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy. For further reading I would recommend The Ancient Guide to Modern Life by Natalie Haynes – a book that, like Stitches in Time, mixes both our current world with that of years gone by, in order to provide intriguing revelations and facts that fascinate, entertain, and stay with you.
You can read more book reviews or buy Stitches in Time: The Story of the Clothes We Wear by Lucy Adlington at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Stitches in Time: The Story of the Clothes We Wear by Lucy Adlington at Amazon.com.
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