Clothes... and other things that matter

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A beguiling and revealing memoir from the former Editor of British Vogue

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 23 Apr 2020 | Archive Date Not set

Talking about this book? Use #Clothesandotherthingsthatmatter #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Chosen by Evening Standard as one of the best books to look forward to in 2020 -
'a must-read memoir for even those beyond the fashion set.'

Chosen by Stylist as one of 2020's best non-fiction books -
In the funny and opinionated Clothes... and other things that matter, former Vogue UK editor Alexandra Shulman explores the meaning of clothes and how we wear them. From the little black dress to the white shirt and the bikini, she takes pieces of clothes and examines their role in her own life and the lives of women in general, touching on issues including sexual identity, motherhood, ambition, power and body image. A must-read for anyone, like Miranda Priestly, who knows that clothes might not maketh the woman, but they certainly help.

'Clothes... and other things that matter is a book not only about clothes but about the way we live our lives. From childhood onwards, the way we dress is a result of our personal history. In a mix of memoir, fashion history and social observation I am writing about the person our clothes allows us to be and sometimes the person they turn us into.' - Alexandra Shulman

In Clothes... and other things that matter, Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress.

From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women's lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world - the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity.

By turns funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving, this startlingly honest memoir from the ex-Editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell.

Chosen by Evening Standard as one of the best books to look forward to in 2020 -
'a must-read memoir for even those beyond the fashion set.'

Chosen by Stylist as one of 2020's best non-fiction...

A Note From the Publisher

Please note we will only be releasing a limited number of copies. Approvals will start on 23 April 2020.

Please note we will only be releasing a limited number of copies. Approvals will start on 23 April 2020.

Advance Praise

'Clothes is the perfect isolation read - clever, emotionally intelligent, revelling in style without making us yearn to shop' - Hannah Betts, The Times

'I really loved this book - it's warm, thought-provoking and honest. In the end, I had to ration myself because I didn't want to finish. In these frankly strange times it was wonderful and comforting.' - Victoria Hislop

'I loved this book. It's great company and a Corona comfort. Alexandra Shulman's style is unaffected, immediate and hilariously dry. She's brilliant at observing everyday feelings in a joy-sparking turn of phrase - but better still she has made me feel so much better about owning too many clothes. Instead of doing a ruthless edit I find myself curating my own private exhibition - inside my wardrobe hang not just clothes, not just stories but my own autobiography.' - Helena Bonham Carter

'From the hat that went to the a Royal wedding to a life-changing bathrobe, Alexandra Shulman tells her life story in clothes ... in her hotly anticipated memoir' -You magazine

'Such a great read - so open and honest and funny. I devoured it in one sitting.' - Kirsty Wark

'Clothes is the perfect isolation read - clever, emotionally intelligent, revelling in style without making us yearn to shop' - Hannah Betts, The Times

'I really loved this book - it's warm...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781788401982
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 29 members

Featured Reviews

I enjoyed the authors first book Inside Vogue and felt the same about this one.She shares with us memories of her life from a young girl through her outfits ,shoes Items. she wore that invoke memories.Her time at Vogue iconic items moments,For lovers of fashion nostalgia and fans of the author grab this book,#netgalley #octopusbooks

Was this review helpful?

Alexandra Shulman hit the nail on the head perfectly with this part memoir, part history of fashion. Thoroughly enjoyable and immensely interesting, this is a nostalgic look at clothes through the eyes of Ms Shulman. Yes, I had the Startrite shoes as well. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital copy in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

Was this review helpful?

‘Clothes…and other things that matter’ will delight anyone who has any interest at all in what they wear, what their friends and acquaintances wear and why fashions come and go. Alexandra Shulman’s knowledgeable, superbly illustrated and entertaining memoir may strike a particular chord with all those of her generation but it also provides an eminently readable history of why we wear the clothes that we do. Organised into chapters such as ‘Red Shoes’ – yes, I had said pair from Startrite too – ‘T Shirts’, ‘The Geography Teacher’s Dress’, the reader is led through Shulman’s childhood, her teenage years and into adult life through her musings on her, and others’, clothes. We learn a good deal about the workings of the magazine industry, what people expect from a Vogue editor and how she has enjoyed success and ridden storms. Shulman comes across as attractively self-deprecating whilst also taking delight in all that she and her team achieved at Vogue during her 25 years as editor. In this memoir she is witty, warm, delightful company. So much so that it is extremely tempting to read ‘just another chapter’ whilst also relishing the carefully chosen illustrations. Nevertheless, this is also the sort of book that can very easily be picked up and put down as the mood takes. Highly recommended. I’ve already ordered a copy for my daughter-in-law who, I’m willing to bet, will turn straight to the chapter entitled ‘Handbags’! My thanks to NetGalley and Octopus Publishing, Cassell for a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Was this review helpful?

I've read Alexandra's previous book Inside Vogue which i loved so great to see a new book. This is an autobiographical muse through her wardrobe and her experiences as Vogue editor, through the history of key items from our wardrobe, linking their meaning, history and personal tales. Amusing, open and honest.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book even more than I expected to! Schulman gets the balance absolutely right between fashion, wit and memoir. She's a glorious writer with the ability now to step back and look at her life, both professional and personal, with honesty and insight. Chapters may hang on items of dress (red shoes, the Little Black Dress, the white shirt) but each essay spirals out in an organic way taking in fashion history, the media industry, cultural history, and her own life - I enjoyed the unexpectedness of not knowing where each piece would go. The essays are roughly chronological, from Schulman's childhood in the 1960s forward, and self-aware of how fashion intersects with politics, identity, cultural moments. Perfect for dipping into, but actually I found myself pulled into that ' just one more piece' mentality. Schulman comes over as warm, self-deprecating, smart and honest. Hugely enjoyable.

Was this review helpful?

I love former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and I loved her previous book, Inside Vogue, which celebrated the magazine's 100th year. I'm not a massive follower of fashion anymore but used to love reading the glossy magazines and generally just following the industry. I especially enjoy getting that insider scoop on the gossip, drama and goings on of how the other half live (although under Shulman, UK Vogue did try to be both relatable as well as aspirational!). In 'Clothes... and other things that matter', Shulman takes us on a non-linear journey of her life, from childhood to Vogue and to the years following her resignation. The book is split into sections, each focusing on a specific fashion item or attribute (colour/material etc), and her associated memories and opinions plus often a bit of history about the specific topic as well. When the book started out with a list of the items in her wardrobe I really wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the book! Clearly Shulman is very privileged and comes from a very well-off and well-known family (many family members had previously worked with Vogue before she did). I was worried this would be full of unrelatable stories and name-dropping... which it was, to a large degree, but it was also still immensely enjoyable. It feels like a bit of a weird book to be reading in the current circumstances but it was a nice escape and a light, fairly quick read if you're interested in fashion and looking for something to dip in and out of.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: