Non-fiction pick: Women In Clothes

How are we perceived based on what we choose to wear? How would we like to be perceived? This fascinating book attempts to explore these very questions


Non-fiction pick: Women In Clothes

We have to get dressed every day, and every choice we make suggests something about us.

Thinking deeply about clothes, as this book does using the responses of over 600 well-known and unknown women, turns out to mean thinking deeply about yourself, and how you relate to others. For example, a series of photographs of women’s hands prompts discussions of the story behind their rings – or lack thereof.

There are displays of the odd things we find ourselves collecting, almost without realising it – a woman who owns nine very similar-looking grey jumpers; lots of stripy t-shirts; a series of nail varnishes, almost all a variation on coral. There are detailed, strangely engrossing accounts of how someone spends on clothes and grooming over a six-month period.

At the core of the book lie two questions: how are we perceived? How would we like to be perceived? Endlessly fascinating.

Women In Clothes by by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 others (Particular Books, £24) is out now

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