"We find our clothes, our clothes find us"

We find our clothes, our clothes find us: they save us from being lost. At home in dress, we enjoy its touch, its crispness, smoothness, softness, texture, its feel on the skin it fits: these pleasures serving the larger pleasure of being at last, or hoping we are, our more glamorous and more potent self. In dressing we enter an inheritance, which may include a new self, which we feel to be a 'true' self, revealed or rather realized by the donning of these good clothes.

From Men in Black by John Harvey (U of Chicago Press, 1996).

Sigh. Another book to add to the burgeoning to-read list. But — it's a history of the color black! What a marvelous world we live in that has such things in it! Nothing makes me happier than finding and reading books like this one, or the history of the pencil, or the history of welding.

0 thoughts on “"We find our clothes, our clothes find us"

  1. Wow! Thanks, Erin. History of the Pencil sounds like a perfect Christmas gift for my patent attorney husband. Yippeee! Kate Q:-)


  2. You’re forgetting ‘the history of chocolate’ (96, Sophie & Michael Coe). The best history book on the planet, at least the yummiest :-).


  3. There is also a history of salt and one of *ahem* cod. Yes, the fish. I have yet to read either, but am definitely putting the pencil book on my list!


  4. You might also like Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed The World by Simon Garfield, or Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay. There’s also Blue: A History of a Color…Lots of fun reading!


  5. What elegant prose. It sure does make me want to own something that fits perfectly and feels fabulous on the skin. Unfortunately, obtaining those qualities usually equals costs a lot of money. I am dreaming of a Fall wardrobe in which I enter the inheritance of my new self–the one that shops at Barneys or wears perfect fitting designer vintage.


  6. How about “What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America” by Linda Baumgarten or “The History of Underclothes” by Cunnington and Cunnington? They really remarkable histories of dressing and two of my favorites.


  7. I want the book the history of chocolate. History the color of black this sounds very interesting indeed. I will have to look for those books.


  8. I’m from Malaysia and have always wanted to sew, unfortunately we haven’t got dress patterns here, and after being inspired by all the lovely dresses in your blog, i’m going to spend my term break attempting to sew one anyway without a pattern. But I really like these boho dresses, but haven’t a clue on how to start. It would be truly awesome if you could point me in the right direction.


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