The Thoughtful Dresser – book review

I was looking for books on sustainable fashion when I came across this on Amazon.  I found Linda Grant’s book to be a fascinating read, a view-point on clothes and fashion I hadn’t heard before.

I don’t share her pleasure in purchase, although plenty of my friends do.  Nor do I share her love of pain inducing high-heeled shoes, thought that may just be my age, I certainly wore high heels all day every day in my 20’s.

I do however share her love of quality, of cut and style and even more so fabrics such as silk and fine wool.  I love the texture and luxury of velvet.

‘Clothes Matter….Anyone arriving at a job interview wearing torn jeans and flip flops…..’  well you just wouldn’t, would you?

The book draws partly from her own life and that of her parents, but also a great deal from her interview with the Toronto based Fashion Buyer Catherine Hill.  Catherine, having survived the concentration camps, arrived in Canada without and family and went on to develop a love of fashion, working for some prestigious fashion shops before having her own shop.

Linda Grant talks about war-time and the Make do and Mend era, how even when fashion is not available to buy we will create our own and find ways to express ourselves through clothing.

The other thing that resonated with me and being involved with the Love What You Wear Project was:

‘In a recession there is the temptation to stop buying clothes, and at first this can be superficially soothing, for the soul can sicken on consumerism, shopping and spending………not bought a copy of Vogue for months…….look in the mirror at a middle-aged frump.’

I kind of agree with her, in that not caring about what you wear, will have this result, and she is right, that buying less but making sure it is of good quality is the way forward.  On the other hand why not hone those dressmaking skills?  What have you already got in the wardrobe that could be altered, updated and make you feel fabulous.  Or take a look in the local charity shop for quality garments.

You can read about my journey with the Love What You Wear Project and my attempt to achieve a Capsule Wardrobe by following this blog.

I recommend The Thoughtful Dresser as a good read, Linda Grant is an engaging writer and I plan to read more of her work.  This book will get you thinking about your own relationship with clothes.  You can buy yourself a copy on  Amazon.


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