Saturday, October 20, 2012

Julia Reviews Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible

Title/Author: Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet by Tim Gunn
Publisher/Year Published:  September 2012 by Gallery Books
How I got this book: The Library
Why I read this book: I LOVE Tim Gunn's books. I love history and random facts. This book is facinating!
Rating: 4 stars
Summary via Goodreads
In the beginning there was the fig leaf... and the toga. Crinolines and ruffs. Chain mail and 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!

I seriously love Tim Gunn's voice as a writer... and as a person too I guess. But I digress before I've even started. I've read two of Gunn's books in the past and have enjoyed both immensely  so when I heard that there was another coming out, I immediately was on the waiting list. I was even more excited when it was about the history of clothes. How often does that topic come up? Not very, but I have pondered the history of fashion and how it evolves passingly on occasion. Especially when reading historical novels. I've often found myself thinking "Wow. How have we come from a time when women's skirts couldn't even fit through doors (hence architecture adjusted) to the jegging?" And you know, Tim Gunn has pondered the same.

Each chapter is a different article of clothing, starting with the under wear and going from there. Some are relatively brief (like the underwear chapter... pun intended) and other are quite long (like the chapter on dresses). Gunn goes into detail on how the trend started, if we have that knowledge, and how it has evolved today. The text is never too dry or too fashiony that I don't understand what is going on (trust me. I am no queen of fashion). Gunn has a great way of taking these historical and modern facts and making them endlessly enjoyable. It is easy to get caught up in the genesis of the jean!

If you like facts and historical jaunts down into places that may have never really crossed your mind, I recommend this book. I think it would make a great coffee table book! It is really easy to pick up, put down for a while, and then jump right back into!


  1. I absolutely adore Tim Gunn, I didn't realize he had a new book out *dashes off to book store*

    -Kate the Book Buff

  2. I read Tim Gunn's Gunn's Golden Rules and I loved it! I didn't know that he had a new book out. It sounds interesting since it has so much history about a particular garment!

  3. I love Tim Gunn, I love history, and I love fashion - this sounds perfect! I'll definitely look out for this one.

  4. Tim Gunn's books are freaking hilarious. I loved his Guide to Style where he devoted almost a whole chapter ranting about things like flip-flops/crocs/and the practice of wearing sweat suits outside of work outs. It was some good stuff.

  5. I love Tim on Project Runway... he's awesome! I would definitely be interested in the history of fashion, that's so cool... thanks for the review!

  6. I love Tim! When he is interacting with the designers on Project, I can just see his true character come through loud and clear.

  7. I'm a huge fan of Tim Gunn, he's always so forthcoming and honest without being too in-your-face or rude. I can't wait to pick up a copy of this book.

  8. I didn't even know this book existed! I'll be picking it up soon!


  9. My idea is that you buy vintage because it's very rare to find that same quality of craftsmanship and inventiveness on anything but couture gowns these days. Back in days gone by the simplest day dress was so beautifully cut and put together and that has lasted. I very much doubt the average High Street Fashion Store outfit will make it beyond a few decades as standards have dropped and everything is expected to be "throwaway" now.


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