Length: 320 Pages
We are all dressed. But how often do we pause to think about the place of our clothes in our lives? What unconscious thoughts do we express when we dress every day? Can memories, meaning and ideas be wrapped up in a winter coat?
These are the questions that interest Shahidha Bari, as she explores the secret language of our clothes. Ranging freely through literature, art, film and philosophy, Dressed tracks the hidden power of clothes in our culture and our daily lives. From the depredations of violence and ageing to our longing for freedom, love and privacy, from the objectification of women to the crisis of masculinity, each garment exposes a fresh dilemma. Item by item, the story of ourselves unravels.
Evocative, enlightening and dazzlingly original, Dressed is not just about clothes as objects of fashion or as a means of self-expression. This is a book about the deepest philosophical questions of who we are, how we see ourselves and how we dress to face the world.
Length: 320 Pages
"[A] clever, subtle book… Although [Bari's] writing is critically informed… her tone is insistently personal, intimate even… Between her main chapters she drops in lyrical accounts of her own encounters with specific items of clothing… Bari wants us to think not so much about what clothes say as how they make us feel."
"A fascinating cultural exploration of the layers of meaning inherent in the ways we dress ourselves, from Madonna's denim jacket and the paintings of Titian to Cary Grant's tailoring. If you think choosing what to wear is essentially a trivial activity, read this and you'll soon clothe your thoughts entirely differently."
"[There are] many delectable facts waiting to be discovered in Shahidha Bari’s Dressed… Dressed is irresistible when Bari riffs with extraordinary breadth and depth on the cultural meanings of the items she describes… I put Dressed down having been dazzled by Bari’s learning and insights... In the end, Dressed is an argument for taking apparently frivolous things seriously... More than this, though, Bari communicates the joy and powerful sense of interconnected humanity clothes can bring.”"
"In Dressed Shahidha Bari offers up lively, entertaining and provocative readings of clothes in our daily lives and in culture more widely... Drawing on an impressive range of materials, Bari includes novels, short stories, fairy tales, films, photography and more in her analysis... Bari tells us throughout Dressed, we should look to embrace our personal style and give dress the attention it deserves."