What Shall I Read? (THIS BOOK)

What Shall I Wear?

What Shall I Wear? is probably one of the most seminal books in fashion, at least for me. I'd rank it right up there with Fashion is Spinach, and that's saying something.

It was supposed to be released today, but Amazon is already showing it's out of stock — I'd order it now to be sure of getting one! Copies of earlier editions sell for well over US$100.

This is what McCardell had to say about her designs:

"For me, it's America—it looks and feels like America. It's freedom, it's democracy, it's casualness, it's good health. Clothes can say all that."

The whole book is inspiring. I heartily recommend it.

Weirdly, we only have one pattern tagged "Claire McCardell" on the wiki. Hmm. I'll have to see what we can do about that!

22 thoughts on “What Shall I Read? (THIS BOOK)

  1. Shes slouching toward Gomorrah, Packrat. Btw, I tried to find this book in the Chicago Public Librarys online catalog. Nothing! Drats.


  2. Its not that easy to find this book anymore. When I was looking, every time it came up on eBay, I got outbid! I give up. Send me the re-issue. Stat. (Seriously–how many books are on my wish list? Geez.)


  3. Yes, her posture is insane. I wish someone would write a history of fashionable posture and deportment because those round-shouldered Victorian belles are pretty messed up too.


  4. The cover illustration reminds me of why I dont like that style of sleeve. Armpit peephole = not a good look.Thanks for the heads-up on the book, Erin… its going on my must-read! list. Along with about eleventy-billion others. (Id have more time for reading if I wasnt sewing. I blame the Conspiracy.)


  5. Frim what Ive seen almost all of the models stances where like that back then. They would pitch their pelvis forward and curve their shoulders forward. Have no idea why. Thanks for posting about this, Im off to order it now. It looks like its available again!


  6. The debutante slouch? Did young ladies actually go to school to learn it as part of learning to sit and walk correctly?When I first saw it I thought it had something to do with her underpinnings.


  7. I actually just picked up a book about Claire McCardell today at the library. They have this book too, but its a reference book, darn it, and doesnt circulate. Id have to go downtown to get it. Must order the new one.


  8. Ummm….My Baker Taylor book vendor account says that the book has been cancelled! My Ingrams BWI vendor accounts dont mention that, so Im hoping its not true.


  9. Ive been looking for this book forever too, and I know that someday Ill find an original on the shelves of my local used bookstore. In the meantime, Ive ordered this one, just because.


  10. I just got the cancellation email from Amazon for this. They dont know if they will ever be getting any more in. There is one used copy available for $999.99 however!!!! Disappointment!!!


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