March 07, 2011

The Thoughtful Dresser - Linda Grant

I may not have mentioned it on this blog before but I have a totally materialistic and deep love of clothes and fashion. I am far from a fashionista (I don't have the budget or the sense of style unfortunately!) but I love to gaze longingly through fashion magazines and plan what I would dress myself in if I had half the chance. I think long and hard about what I am going to wear each morning - I attribute this mostly to my job. I work in an emotionally draining and often challenging work area and what I wear can often give me a spark for the day.
I was so glad to hear Linda Grant talk about this passion and desire for nice clothing and the psychological impact it can have on us in The Thoughtful Dresser.
This book is one part Grant's personal reflection on the clothes that have been, and are, an important part of her life and the meaning she has attributed to them and one part social commentary on the way clothes are perceived in our (mostly western) society.
I especially loved the first chapter of the book "In Which a Woman Buys a Pair of Shoes" about Grant's mission on one particular day to hunt down and purchase the perfect pair of shoes:

One day last summer, at the moment of waking, I knew that I had to go out at once and buy new shoes. Shoes which fulfilled another function apart from walking. I wanted high heeled shoes. Ridiculous, sexy, I don't care how much they cost, I have to have them shoes.
Grant also talks about how the clothes we have worn throughout our lives contribute to the story of who we are:

Clothes as text, clothes as narration, clothes as a story. Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life, each baby shoe and winter coat and wedding dress, you would have your autobiography.

I absolutely adored this book and Grant's take on the history and sociology of clothes and dressing - with some red high heels thrown in!


lovely treez said...

I loved this book too and no, I'm not a fashionista either but I do have a love for clothes, fashion and dressing up which others might snootily see as being superficial and a bit low-brow. Like my books, my clothes are part of who I am and in the same way that you can tell my mood by what I'm reading, it's also true for what I'm wearing!

Nadia said...

Karen, I'm just like you! I love perusing fashion magazines to see all the latest fashion (all things that I can't afford, but would love to!). I'm a fashionista at heart, too! I love watching the Rachel Zoe show just to see the clothes at the fashion shows she attends - beautiful! Anyhow, this book sounds like it is most definitely meant for me! I must buy it ASAP! I loved the quote you included - haven't we all woken up determined to purchase something - shoes, purses, tops, etc. Today I woke up realizing that I need to order a new pair of TOMS in black - because I am certain that they will help update my wardrobe, plus each pair you buy means that a pair of shoes is donated to a child. I'm really excited to read this one and to find out that you are into fashion, too. It seems no one ever admits to enjoying fashion (on these book blogs), so I'm glad you did. And I definitely agree that fashion can be an autobiography of a person's life - some objects really do reflect a person's mood/thoughts/feelings from a specific time/place and clothes are some of those objects. Great post!!

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

ooh I've been meaning to read this and your review has made me want to read it even more.

Karen said...

Hi lovely treez - I couldn't agree with your comment more! Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Nadia - thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comment. I hope you do get a copy of this one - and that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Hi Joan - Glad to hear that I have enticed you further!

Anonymous said...

Oh this has been on my wish list for ages. I'll certainly find a copy for sure. Thanks to your positive comments I want to read it even more now. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling quite cross with myself now, I was going through the TBR and wasnt sure that Linda Grant would be my cup of tea so gave them all to my Gran. I might have to go back and pilfer them, oops.

Karen said...

Hi Claire - you so have to read this one! So sweet!

Hi Simon - I have only just discovered Grant and I'm loving her style.

Anonymous said...

Final rеsults will probably be ѕhown if made
use οf 30 minutеs every day.

Check out my ωebsite ... image source

Anonymous said...

If a person wants to make use of commercial food detox drinks,
as the sweat produced cannot evaporate which allows the user to cool down.

my blog post; web page