What Shall I Wear?: The What, Where, When, and How Much of Fashion, New Edition

What Shall I Wear?: The What, Where, When, and How Much of Fashion, New Edition

What Shall I Wear?: The What, Where, When, and How Much of Fashion, New Edition

What Shall I Wear?: The What, Where, When, and How Much of Fashion, New Edition


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First published in 1956, What Shall I Wear? is revolutionary fashion designer Claire McCardell’s collection of fashion wisdom and philosophy, and a vivacious guide to looking effortlessly stylish. This new edition of the sought-after classic features a foreword by iconic designer Tory Burch and a color insert of photos from McCardell’s collections.

“The testament to great design, Claire McCardell’s dresses look fresh, contemporary, and desirable eight decades after they were made, as the Costume Institute’s 2022 exhibit In America: An Anthology of Fashion demonstrated.” —Nicole Phelps, global director, Vogue Runway and Vogue Business

“Among the many surprises and insights I discovered in McCardell’s valuable book is that she wanted to call it Fashion is Fun. That may also be the secret behind her genius and enduring influence—she refused to take fashion too seriously.” —Cathy Horyn, New York Magazine

“The first designer to create a cohesive vision rooted in the American lifestyle of ease, McCardell and her contributions as a designer and a woman in business are often overlooked. Tory Burch’s new foreword . . .puts this American treasure in her rightful place.” —Constance White, fashion editor and author of How to Slay: Inspiration from the Queens and Kings of Black Style

“Claire McCardell’s guiding philosophy of dressing with ease in afunctional, fashionable American look was groundbreaking—and feminist—for her times. And it continues to resonate globally on the runways and in closets today.” —Booth Moore, executive editor, Women’s Wear Daily

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419763830
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 08/30/2022
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 27,959
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Claire McCardell (1905–1958) pioneered a style of clothing both casual and chic. In 1990 Life magazine named her one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century, and in 1955, when she was on the cover of Time magazine, she was only the third fashion designer to achieve that honor. She attended Parsons School of Design in New York and studied in Paris, learning to construct clothing by taking apart Vionnet samples. As head designer of Townley Frocks, she was one of the first American designers to have name recognition, as the company began to sell its fashions branded as “Claire McCardell Clothes by Townley.” She was the recipient of two Coty Awards and won the first American Sportswear Designs Award from Sports Illustrated magazine. Her work is in museums across the country and has been the subject of retrospectives at the Smithsonian and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Tory Burch is CEO and designer of Tory Burch, an American lifestyle brand known for color, print, and eclectic details. Raised in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Tory Burch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art history, and then moved to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She worked in public relations and marketing for influential American designers before launching Tory Burch in 2004 with a small boutique in Manhattan and toryburch.com. A dedicated philanthropist, Tory launched the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families in the United States.

Tory Burch has been recognized with numerous awards, including the CFDA for Accessory Designer of the Year, Glamour’s Women of the Year, Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World, and Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed List. Tory lives in New York City with her three sons.

Table of Contents

Foreword Tory Burch 7

1 What Is Fashion? 11

2 Make Your Own Fashion 26

3 Your Collection of Little Things 37

4 Don't Buy a Basic Coat-Collect 63

5 Let Mrs. Jones Keep Up with You 74

6 Is It the Fault of the Dress? 83

7 Where Do Fashion Trends Come From? 91

8 Don't Let the Dress Run Away with You 103

9 Dressing Up and Dressing Down 107

10 Discipline of Clothes 112

11 Real Sport Clothes-Or Don't Let the Fish See You 119

12 Journey Proud 126

13 "She's Using Her Bangs for Eyebrows" 134

14 "Dear Miss McCardell … My daughter insists on wearing …" 140

15 Fashion Has No Last Chapter 147

"McCardellisms" 154

Afterword Allison Tolman 157

About the Authors 160

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