Cover Image: Clothes... and other things that matter

Clothes... and other things that matter

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Member Reviews

I read Shulman's 'Inside Vogue' a couple of years ago and loved it, despite thinking I'd find it completely unrelatable. I mean, I couldn't relate to a successful, rich, spoilt woman (if only!) but I do find Shulman's self-deprecating style of writing is what kept me hooked. This book explores her love of fashion from a child to adult, and is an interesting take on the meaning of fashion, and the relevance of its interpretation by us as individuals. We all have fond memories of 'that dress' or 'those shoes'; Shulman just had access to way more than most of us!
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I enjoyed the author's "Inside Vogue" and this was a different animal. More something to dip in and out of than a book to be devoured in one sitting, it made me think about my own life through fashion.
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Alexandra Shulman worked at British Vogue  from 1992 to 2017. She writes an engaging memoir that incorporates aspects of her job with anecdotes from her life as a mother daughter and wife. Vogue has always been an iconic magazine for me and I have enjoyed many a digital copy. It's chic, classy and always up to date with what's going on in the fashion world. Let Clothes...and other things that matter pull you into the world of glamorous fashion but also the real world as experienced by it's longest serving editor. 

A must-read for any fashion or memoir addict. I love the relaxed but real way in which this is written.  The illustrations are a great compliment to the writing. 

Thanks to Alexandra Shulman and Cassel Illustrated for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars
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An interesting read that I'm glad to have discovered. I'll definitely be seeking out more by this author.
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Totally original, I've never known anyone else tell their story via the clothing in their closet. I really enjoyed this book & will be looking at buying myself a city as its the perfect choice of coffee table book.
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"Perfection is only in the eye of the beholder or the person who is making that value judgement. As a reality it is surely nonexistent. So that perfect dress - my perfect dress - like all perfect dresses, jackets, bags, shirts and trousers, is only perfect to the person who deems it thus. My perfect dress is highly likely to be nothing like yours. You might well think it is hideous."

'Clothes... and other things that matter' is the memoir of former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. Told in a unique format, this is the story of her life through 38 types of clothes and accessories. The book explores the history of fashion, different trends and why we wear the clothes we do. From red shoes and the Little Black Dress to tracksuits and trainers, Shulman analyses various events in her life alongside the meaning of clothes and women's place in society. Anecdotes and memories from her 25 years at Vogue are incorporated into this history, providing a glimpse at the inner workings of the media and magazines industry.

Part fashion history and part memoir, with astute observations told with humour, I was pleasantly surprised by this unconventional memoir and the short chapters meant that I raced through it.
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The longest-serving editor in the history of British Vogue, Shulman didn't want to write a traditional memoir, so instead decided to focus on different items of clothing, and in telling stories around them, manages to weave her own history into this immensely enjoyable book. 
From LBDs, to bikinis, her life and fashion are inseparable, so this wonderfully constructed book is a fitting tribute to this doyenne of British fashion. A brief history of the bikini is woven with stories of childhood holidays and the famous selfie she posted later in life of herself wearing one, unfiltered, a chapter on the humble dressing gown intertwines with her escape to the seaside to relax after the huge celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Vogue that she had helmed, and her ensuing decision to leave the job that had been such a huge part of her life and being.
Highly recommended to anyone with so much as a passing interest in fashion, this was such an unexpected treat, packed with the glamorous and the high-flying, but with a humble, down-to-earth heart.
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I quite liked the premise of the book, going through one's own wardrobe and using it as an inspiration to talk about fashion, history and family. The short chapters makes it an easy read that you can go through slowly, and I appreciate the photos, which are essential in a book that, ultimately, is about fashion.

The biggest problem actually was that the ARC sent didn't read very well in Adobe Digital Editions (and it couldn't be read on Kindle.) It's always discouraging to receive a copy and see no one's thought about it actually being readable.
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I have always been interested in Alexandra Schulman ever since I watched the documentary about vogue on television. 
To me she is quite a closed character on screen and alway seems to be careful and considered in what she says so it was such a treat to read this book to find it was humorous and detailed. 

Part memoir, part history of fashion I found this way of writing refreshing and interesting. She describes how clothing not only changes how we look on the outside but also affects our emotions on the inside. 

The short chapters were easy to read and i was soon swept away into the world of fashion. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Octopus Publishing for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Alexandra Shulman has written a warm, inviting memoir that combines all the things I love - humour, fashion and honesty. Certainly she's led an exciting, colourful life. I can't relate to everything she says or does, and she has very obviously lived a very privileged existence - however she does do her very best to be engaging and understandable. The result is  a very interesting read that I would recommend.
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I thoroughly enjoyed Alexandra Shulman’s fresh approach to biography in Clothes...and other things that matter. Her writing is funny and light, whilst frequently touching on serious subjects. Having read Inside Vogue, I was eager to learn more about Shulman and this book did not disappoint. It also offered plenty of insights into British and World history which was great. Thanks Octopus!
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Not a topic I know much or care about but this was well written and I found the perspective very interesting.
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Full of interest. I remember watching a programme when Alexandra was editor of British Vogue. What she doesn’t know about fashion isn’t worth know,
Well written, great book, 
Thank you to both NetGalley and publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book
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I was really looking forward to reading this book as I’ve always enjoyed Alexandra Shulman’s perspective on fashion but the book won’t open on my kindle and if I download it I only get 1 page with a reference number on it. Please resend it to me Netgalley in a format I can read and I will do a proper review! Thanks
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Alexandra Shulman has chosen a particularly appealing premise for her memoir, ‘Clothes and Other Things That Matter’. As a former editor of Vogue UK, Shulman is more familiar than most, with the role played by fashion in our lives and in particular how we associate certain items of clothes in our memories. This is the framework for the memoir. Over 39 chapters, with titles as diverse as ‘Red Shoes, ‘Slip Dresses’, The LBD’ and ‘The Geography Teacher’s Dress’ Shulman reflects on items on clothing that have a place in her memory/wardrobe but also the role the items played in her life such as show shopping with her mother in Barkley Square, how slip dresses became fashionable etc. The book is part memoir, part history of fashion and acts as a glimpse into the modern British fashion industry.  By reflecting on her life, Shulman also touches on issues such as sexual identity, motherhood, ambition, power and body image – all of which are particularly relevant at present. 
Whether you are a fan of Shulman, Vogue or have a passing interest in the industry this book is well-worth a read and the structure is perfect for dipping in and out of as the mood takes you.
I received a free copy of this book from Cassell Illustrated via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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An amusing and interesting book that I loved.
I loved the storytelling and the fashionista in me fell in love with the descriptions of the clothes.
It's an interesting book that kept me hooked, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this arc, all opinions are mine.
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Clothes… and other things that matter is by the former editor of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman. As a 60+ year old chap, I wondered whether I would find it interesting but I figured, if I don’t read it, I’ll never know…

It is absolutely riveting! Schulman left Vogue in mid-2018 after 25 years at the magazine. People would no longer critique her clothing on a daily basis and she could wear what pleased her and actually enjoy her clothes. The book has 38 short chapters, each taking a piece of apparel, e.g. White Shoes or The Chanel Jacket, as a chapter heading.  Shulman then not only tells us about that item in her wardrobe but reminisces about an occasion when she wore that item or a predecessor; and then talks about the item in general.

Men dress to cover their nakedness. Women dress to make a statement. What I realised from reading Shulman’s descriptions is how an item in your wardrobe isn’t just that. It’s a vehicle for looking to the past and to the future. As she writes, “As I see a floral dress […] hanging there, I also see the whole, improved life that I am going to live in it.”

Shulman saw Patti Smith perform in 1975 and, as she rode the Underground home, decided that she only wanted to wear a loose white shirt like Patti’s from then on. Then, to Shulman, that white shirt expressed freedom and androgyny. Now they signify order, neatness, professionalism and authority. They are crisp, clean, pure and bright. Celebrities wear white shirts when they want us to think they have the same attributes as their clothing. The book is crammed with perceptive observations and reminisces of past times: when Shulman was a teenager going to her first ball (The Big Ticket Dress); a young woman accepting a man’s invitation to join him on holiday two weeks later (Holiday Wardrobes).

Her comments such as “Oversized, swampy sweaters should be worn curled up by the fire with a cup of something scented and soothing” show how the right piece of clothing can evoke thoughts and emotions. And that’s why getting the right T-shirt / skirt / shift dress can be so important. If it’s not right, it doesn’t resonate and then fails to evoke the right response.

If you have any interest at all in clothes or, indeed, in how women think about clothing (remember, women are more alert to subtle gradations of colour than men), buy this book.

#Clothesandotherthingsthatmatter #NetGalley
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A really interesting memoir/gamble through a wardrobe, both personally, socially and historically. I enjoyed this very much. It's written in quite short sections which suits my lockdown brain at the moment as I'm finding it quite difficult to concentrate. In non lockdown times I might have wanted a little more flesh on the bones, but it was entertaining and interesting at lots of levels.
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Excellent book. Conveys why clothes can free or constrict our lives and how we see ourselves. Also, very funny.
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This biography told through the authors clothes is really well written and engaging. She is around the same age as me and I did identify with her buying a suit for a new job and her describing a perfect skirt or jumper. Although she is from a different section of society from me I could really understand the love she has for her clothing and the significance they have in her life. I think this book will be beautiful in the actual paper form and I will keep an eye out for it on publication.
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