Review – How To Read A Dress

Posted February 24, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of How to Read a Dress by Lydia EdwardsHow To Read A Dress, Lydia Edwards

This book is a handy survey of women’s fashion (mostly of dresses, but occasionally including titbits about other aspects of dress and accessorising, like necklaces and shoes) from the 16th to the 20th century. It features full-colour photographs, carefully annotated with useful pointers as to what to notice, and introductory essays explaining the trends of each period.

The annotation is very good, but the introductory paragraphs for each section are a bit less organised. It doesn’t refer to specific examples of dresses in that chapter, but stays totally general… meaning it’s hard for me — a not especially visual person — to link the dresses up with the trends they illustrate. Sometimes I’d look through the dresses for a specific feature, but not really see anything that seemed to match. In addition, sometimes the text would mention a specific photograph or illustration, but it wasn’t next to the text, and there was no helpful “(figure 3)” or anything; instead it would say something like “this photograph of a gentleman…” Which photograph of a gentleman? What page it is on?!

Anyway, I found it really interesting, and useful, with a few flaws. It would probably work better for someone with a visual memory!

Rating: 3/5

Tags: , , , ,


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.