Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closetby Tim Gunn
Pub. Date: 09/03/2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
In the beginning there was the fig leaf...
and the toga. Crinolines and ruffs. Chain mailand corsets. What do these antiquated items have to do with the/b>/i>/b>
From a bestselling fashion guru—a fascinating, meticulously researched history of Western fashion covering every topic from the history of the high heel to the origin of blue jeans.
In the beginning there was the fig leaf...
and the toga. Crinolines and ruffs. Chain mailand corsets. What do these antiquated items have to do with the oh-so-twenty-first-century skinny jeans, graphic tee, and sexy pumps you slipped into this morning? Everything! Fashion begets fashion, and life—from economics to politics, weather to warfare, practicality to the utterly impractical—is reflected in the styles of any given era, evolving into the threads you buy and wear today.
With the candidness, intelligence, and charm that made him a household name on Project Runway, Tim Gunn reveals the fascinating story behind each article of clothing dating back to ancient times, in a book that reads like a walking tour from museum to closet with Tim at your side. From Cleopatra’s crown to Helen of Troy’s sandals, from Queen Victoria’s corset to Madonna’s cone bra, Dynasty’s power suits to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible takes you on a runway-ready journey through the highs and lows of fashion history.
Drawing from his exhaustive knowledge and intensive research to offer cutting-edge insights into modern style, Tim explains how the 1960s ruined American underwear, how Beau Brummell created the look men have worn for more than a century, why cargo capri pants are a plague on our nation, and much more. He will make you see your wardrobe in a whole new way. Prepare to be inspired as you change your thinking about the past, present, and future of fashion!
- Gallery Books
- Publication date:
Table of Contents
Why a History of Western Fashion?
1 Underwear 9
Security vs. Freedom
Panties, bras, lingeri… In defense of the corset
2 I Shires 23
From Underwear to Everywhere
Graphic foes, tank tops, V necks… Why a while T-shirt signals sexual availability
3 Jeans 37
The Italian, French, German, English, Indian, All-American Garment
Low-rise, boot-cut, skinny… Jeans, the great American wardrobe staple
4 Dresses 49
From the Toga to the Wrap Dress
Cocktails, shifts, sheaths… Are you a Cleopatra or a Helen?
5 Capri Pants and Shorts 89
The Plague on Our Nation
Bermudas, Daisy pukes, hot pants… From the battlefield to the beach party
6 Skirls 99
Mini, Midi; Max I, and More
Pencils, hobbler, poufs… The shorter the skirt, the younger-not necessarily the sexier-the look
7 Bells 109
Friend to Soldiers and Vixens
Cinches, aprons, tool belts… Giving shape to the shapeless for thousands of years
8 Dress Shires 119
Prudery and Puffery
Collar stays, secretary blouses, French cuffs… Are you button-down casual or bittoned-up dressy?
9 Ties and Scarves 129
Color Me Beautiful, Hermes, and Other Cults
Neckties, bandanas, pashminas… Men in the nineteenth century knew dozens of ways to tie a tie; every man today-should know at least one
10 Vests 143
Take that, France!
Tweeds, silks, waistcoats… Why vests are fashion's freedom fries
11 Suits 151
All Hail Beau Brummell!
Business wear, zoots, tuxedos… Are you a single-notch or shawl-collar man?
12 Pants 169
The Truth About Dress Reform
Khakis, trousers, cargoes… No, Leggings are not pants-jeggings either!
13 Hosiery 179
From the Mayflower to the Bebroom Floor
Socks, stockings, panty hose… Tights should look like tights
14 Shoes 189
The World at your Feet
Heels, boots, slipper… The more impractical the shoe, the richer the look
15 Athletic Wear 205
Attack of the Playclothes
Sweat suits, swimwear, hoodies… Get thee behind me, yoga pants!
16 Sweaters 223
Knights, Fishermen, and Sweater Girls
Jerseys, knits, crochets… The Cavalry has arrived-wearing cardigans.
17 Coats and Jackets 241
From Cavemen to Real Housewives
Pelisses, trenches, peacoats… Why fur belongs in the dustbin of history
18 Hats 251
Baseball caps, fedoras, berets… The lost etiquette surrounding hats indoors
19 Gloves 263
The Long-Lost Love Token
Mittens gauntlets, fingerless… Why gloves went the way of the crinoline
20 Handbags 271
Enemy of the Pocket
Purses, Clutches, messengers… Size matters!
How to Shop with the Past, Present, and Future in Mind
Your Closet Work Sheet
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
If you'd like to know how the shapes of those skirts got to be the shapes of those skirts, this is the light reading for you. If you'd like to hear Tim Gunn's entertaining opinions on the shapes of those skirts (and trousers and jackets and blouses and dresses), this is the fun book for you. I find Mr. Gunn engaging and like that he writes like he talks, so this was the book for me! If you want a fashion history text book or a what to wear book, this isn't it... but it's a great thing to put on the shelf next to those.
Here's the full Library Journal review since B&N can't figure out how to post it correctly: ""You are part of the history of fashion," writes Project Runway's Gunn (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) in his latest book. Indulging his professorial side-as former chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design-he examines why people wear what they do and uses film stills, ads, photos, and paintings to illustrate. Gunn breezes through entertaining histories of wardrobe staples like dress shirts, jeans, sweaters, and hosiery, while dispensing plenty of opinionated but friendly what-to-wear/how-to-shop advice (No cargo capris! Try shapewear!). One chapter relates how the T-shirt jumped the underwear/outerwear divide after World War II because returning GIs wore them as the latter, then they were adopted by counterculture icons. Lamenting the rise of casual athletic wear for every occasion, Gunn exhorts Americans to use the past as inspiration for developing a personal style. VERDICT Gunn acknowledges that there are more academic treatments of this subject available; his history is explicitly meant for general readers. A chatty, popular fashion history, this book is great fun and best for those interested in an introduction to the past lives of what we wear.-Lindsay M. King, Yale Univ. Lib., New Haven, CT "
I loved this book, and most anything Tim Gunn Writes. I think he treats dress exactly as it should be, and takes America to task when need be. He is very American in his fashion tastes without disdain for the fashion houses that got us here. His history on the various garments we were, will delight a true fashionista. Keep em' comin' Tim.
Lots of interesting information and history shared in a creative manner - easy to read and fun to share and discuss. Quoted it often after reading it and went back and bought another book by Tim Gunn.
Taylor, OSU Comp Student, Spring 2013 If you enjoy fashion like I do then you will definitely enjoy this book. Tim Gunn talks about the saga of everything fashion. He really reveals a lot about the history of clothing and accurately answers any questions that you have about anything in your closet. He continuously talks about how everything in your closet has meaning and its more than just clutter. Before reading this book I just thought of my clothes as basic material that I collected, but now I see they mean more than just that. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion or anyone who is merely interested in the history of the clothes in their closet.
A fun book, had me laughing half the time. Tim always gives good advice and this book is also full of hilarious moments in fashion history. He really hates jeggings and fanny packs so do not wear either of those while reading!
It was interesting enough for me to get background but not so bogged in historical content that I was disenchanted.
Love the way Tim Gunn writes; it is informative, funny and he sure has his very own style.
Nice book with fashion tips. Totally recommend :)
I enjoy the writing style of Tim Gunn. a very interesting read.