Fashion Books On My Reading List


I read a lot of fashion-related websites, blogs and magazines but I haven’t done so well with books. So I’ve decided to change that and create a list of the books I want to read.

I’m definitely open to hearing about your favourite fashion books. That’s partly why I haven’t listed a specific number of books since I’ll probably add as I go on. In compiling this list I came across a lot of “how to dress” titles and ignored most of them (with the exception of Christian Dior’s book.) I’m more interested in how fashion shapes the lives of people and how it influences, and is influenced by, culture.

So here goes.

1. Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor by Martin Greenfield and Wynton Hall

According to Amazon:

Measure of a Man is the story of a man who suffered unimaginable horror and emerged with a dream of success. From sweeping floors at a New York clothing factory to founding America’s premier custom suit company, Greenfield built a fashion empire. Now 86 years old and working with his sons, Greenfield has dressed the famous and powerful of D.C. and Hollywood, including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, celebrities Paul Newman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jimmy Fallon, and the stars of Martin Scorsese’s films.

2. Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel by C.W. Gortner

According to Amazon:

For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

3. The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior

According to Amazon:

The bestselling fashion classic for both the style-conscious and the desperately in need. Christian Dior reveals the secrets of style in his indispensable guide that covers everything from what to wear to a wedding and how to tie a scarf to how to walk with grace.

4. I’ll Drink to That: New York’s Legendary Personal Shopper and Her Life in Style – With a Twist by Betty Halbreich.

According to Amazon:

Betty Halbreich is a true original. Now in her eighties, she has spent nearly forty years at the luxury store Bergdorf Goodman, working with socialites, stars and ordinary women. She has led many to appreciate their real selves through clothes, frank advice and her unique brand of wisdom; she is trusted by the most discriminating persons – including Hollywood’s top stylists – to tell them what looks best. But her own transformation from cosseted girl to fearless truth-teller is the greatest makeover of all.

5. Culture to Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion by Kristin Knox

According to Amazon:

In this completely unique and innovative book, Kristin Knox (author of MCQUEEN: Genius of a Generation) traces the roots of today’s ready-to-wear fashion designers to “traditional costume” clothing styles from more than 60 cultures around the world and explores how local or “street” fashions are coming back once again and influencing catwalks in fashion capitals from New York to Paris.

6.  The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg 

According to Amazon:

In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life-from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolise independence and power for an entire generation of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women, writing, “I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be.”

Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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