I love reading. Getting lost in a good book is one of my most favorite things to do. I come from a family of readers, and I’m glad I’m a member of that club. Reading is such a pleasure, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of opening a new book and turning the first page. Remember getting a summer reading list as a kid? Best thing ever. I have such fond memories of long sunny days at the neighborhood pool and nights with a book and a flashlight under the covers. I know well the feeling of fighting to stay awake because your book is just that good. I also know what it feels like to power through and stay awake half the night to finish a story. I always paid for it the following day, but it was always worth it.
For the most part, I like to read to learn something, so books on history of fashion, economics of consumerism, marketing and aesthetics, and the business of fashion are what fill up my shelves, but I enjoy a little bit of fiction every now and then. (This is on my nightstand right now.) Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites, for you fellow bookworms.
A Perfect Fit. This one just came yesterday, but it looks fantastic. It’s all about American ready-to-wear and the importance of clothing in shaping our social history.
The Lost Art of Dress. I read this last fall, and I could not put it down, you guys. It is magnificent. We’ve gotten so lazy and sloppy as a society when it comes to style and getting dressed, and this book is all about a time when things were dramatically different, and it spotlights the “Dress Doctors” who helped women dress stylishly, appropriately, and on a budget. I will read it again.
Fashion on the Ration. I bought this book at the gift shop at Churchill’s War Rooms in London in March. This book is about the British rationing program during WWII, and it includes diary excerpts from women during that time and what they did to make their clothes work. It’s absolutely fascinating to learn about the coupon system, the overwhelming hit the fashion industry took during the war years, and how everyone–designers and consumers alike–did the best the could with what they had. It’s a must read. I read the entire book in one 9-hour flight. Couldn’t put it down.
Overdressed. I mentioned this book countless times when I was in business. I don’t think people truly understand the damage cheap, fast fashion has had on the fashion industry and our environment. This book will (hopefully) inspire you to think a little more carefully about your clothing purchases. Quality over quantity.
The Substance of Style. A good, if not textbook-y read about how thing look has influenced shopping habits, design, and marketing. Interesting.
Wife Dressing. You know what they say: don’t judge a book by its cover! Read a few of the reviews for this book. I’m about halfway through this one, and while some of the advice is a little outdated and basic, it’s a fun read with helpful tips that still apply today.
History of the Paper Pattern Industry. This is especially interesting to me lately, as I’ve gotten back into using store bought patterns since I closed my business last summer. After spending more than five years drafting patterns from scratch myself, it’s been a nice change of pace having the work already done for me! Some pattern companies have been around since the 1800s, and I’m excited to dive in and read about this subject.
We all know what makes for a workable, functioning sewing room: machines, fabric, and supplies…