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Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet [Kindle Edition]

Tim Gunn , Ada Calhoun
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $4.01 (25%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

In the beginning there was the fig leaf...

and the toga. Crinolines and ruffs. Chain mailand corsets. What do these antiquated items have to do with the oh-so-twenty-first-century skinny jeans, graphic tee, and sexy pumps you slipped into this morning? Everything! Fashion begets fashion, and life—from economics to politics, weather to warfare, practicality to the utterly impractical—is reflected in the styles of any given era, evolving into the threads you buy and wear today.

With the candidness, intelligence, and charm that made him a household name on Project Runway, Tim Gunn reveals the fascinating story behind each article of clothing dating back to ancient times, in a book that reads like a walking tour from museum to closet with Tim at your side. From Cleopatra’s crown to Helen of Troy’s sandals, from Queen Victoria’s corset to Madonna’s cone bra, Dynasty’s power suits to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible takes you on a runway-ready journey through the highs and lows of fashion history.

Drawing from his exhaustive knowledge and intensive research to offer cutting-edge insights into modern style, Tim explains how the 1960s ruined American underwear, how Beau Brummell created the look men have worn for more than a century, why cargo capri pants are a plague on our nation, and much more. He will make you see your wardrobe in a whole new way. Prepare to be inspired as you change your thinking about the past, present, and future of fashion!

Editorial Reviews


"Tim Gunn is fun and chatty, but most of all he is incredibly knowledgable and informed!"
—Diane von Furstenberg

“Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible is a must-have for discerning fashionistas. Not only is it packed with fun facts from the whole of fashion history, but it is a rollicking good read and, in many places, laugh-out-loud funny. Gunn combines acerbic wit with disarming charm—a rare combination—such that we don’t realize how much we learn from the book. Beware: he may be unforgiving when it comes to a favorite style—but you can’t help feeling he’s right.”
—Kathryn Earle, Head of Visual Arts Publishing at Bloomsbury

“Rich with photos, this book combines Gunn's signature brand of sassy wisdom with a smart and entertaining journey through the history of fashion--no item in the closet is left uncovered…. Gunn makes this history of fashion more than just another lesson about fabrics and dyes--for him, it's the people and the culture that bring the items we wear into sharper focus; in fact, Gunn states that "the primary purpose of this book is to give your clothes more significance." …. Numerous cultural tidbits, fantastic images, and sartorial wisdom from one of fashion's most respected gurus make this a must-read for "everyone who gets dressed in the morning, not just an elite crew in Manhattan."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"[Gunn's] expertise is very up to the minute, and while this book is a valuable guide for today, it will also reflect well historically on our current styles in decades to come." (Saturday Evening Post)

About the Author

Beloved pop culture icon and New York Times bestselling author Tim Gunn is best known as the Emmy Award–winning host of Project Runway. He also hosted two seasons of his own Bravo makeover series, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, and was the host of the reality TV series Under the Gunn.

Product Details

  • File Size: 45915 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (September 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064CL138
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Toga to T-Shirt September 13, 2012
Tim Gunn may be best known from "Project Runway" but here he shows himself again to be a fascinating writer(Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work). Now he embarks on a history of fashion, complete with quite a few snark-filled rants, a number of raves, and just plain useful and helpful tips.

Some interesting chapter titles include:
"Underwear: Security vs. Freedom," "Belts: Friend to Soldiers and Vixens," "Dress Shirts: Prudery and Puffery," and "Capri Pants and Shorts: The Plague on Our Nation!"

This is more suited for the general reader than the serious scholar, but it's also very readable and quite fun.

Lavishly illustrated, full of examples such aa "proper bra fitting", and the various categories of shorts.

One of his pet peeves is athletic wear outside sports.

Fun & informative!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fashion Bible September 20, 2012
By Nancy
I admit that I bought the book at a book signing really to meet Mr. Gunn, who is as nice in person as he appears on TV, but then I actually read the book and I enjoyed it. Its filled with pictures that help illustrate his examples and they run from Mark Walhberg to one of the first bikini models to some truly ugly 70's ads for clothes. He also touches on clothing aspects that are everyday day wear such as sweaters and baseball caps.

You don't have to be a fashion student to have fun with this book.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He made it work. September 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a Project Runway junky, and I enjoy Tim Gunn. I agree that this book is meant for the fashion ameteur, but that is I. I learned a lot about the evolution of our current styles. And some of the comments made me think about our current usage of items such as bras. Tim Gunn has an intriguing hand with language, and this book reflected it. On the Kindle Fire, I was delighted to find that the pictures were easy to view. I was afraid the digital product would blur them.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tim Gunn Almost Made It Work July 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I give this book a mixed review. To me, the title was misleading because I thought the book would emphasize and showcase Mr. Gunn's well-known fashion advice and clothing expertise. Perhaps a title such as "Tim Gunn's Look At Fashion History" would have been more consistent with the content. Even so, the book is a charmingly written "look-back" at clothing history in the Western world. I learned a lot of fascinating facts about the evolution of clothing trends, and the significant impact of social change on the clothes our ancestors wore as well as those we wear today. It's a well-researched (but not academic) book, and the chapters are organized by type of clothing (such as "Hats", "Sweaters", "Shoes", "Athletic Wear", etc.). You'd think a history book about clothes would be arranged chronologically, but his choice to mix it up by topic works surprisingly well. He weaves in the meaning and function of clothes by tracing them back to their origins. And of course along the way, he does manage to convey his pet peeves and iconic no-nonsense advice for the careful reader. For example, in the underwear section there's a highlighted section on page 13 with the ominous heading "Does Your Bra Fit"? (Uh, probably not). And in the section on capris and shorts, he states unequivocally that "The baggy cargo capri is the single worst item of clothing in America today". And although he writes of gloves as "remnants of the past", the chapter on them was so captivating I went out and bought a beautiful leather pair for winter. The pictures, which include movie stars past and present, old photographs, portraits, art work, advertisements, and more, work well to illustrate the points he wants to make.

Oh, I do love this guy. He says what he thinks, and he loves and respects clothes.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Tim Gunn, why are you hesitating? March 5, 2013
By Jessica
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loooove Tim Gunn, both on screen and in writing. His prose mirrors his speech, if you've seen him on Project Runway, expect the same style of wit and criticism. I've bought each of his previous books, but this one is my favorite simply because I was a history major in college, and in this book Mr. Gunn explains the history of fashion, where items of clothing originally came from and how they've evolved. You don't have to be a fashion guru to enjoy the book, just someone interested in how clothes have changed. Excellent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it October 2, 2012
This book is a must have. It gives a succinct and interesting history of fashion--that isn't weighed down by the upper-crust, bizarre world of glamorized anorexia, that the average American can't relate with. Its simply a delight to read for anyone. I will never look at my clothes the same way!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history. Great advice. Fun read. September 23, 2013
I'm a huge fan of Project Runway and especially of Tim Gunn. My hubby and I talk all the time about how right Tim's advice to the designers always is and what a great mentor he is. I often joke that if I could pick any celebrity to be my dad, I'd pick Tim Gunn. His book totally met my expectations. It was well-researched and the history of all the different garments was very interesting. He gave enough history to make it scholarly, to provide some "I didn't know that" stuff even to folks like me that are pretty familiar with a lot of historical stuff, but he didn't get so bogged down in the details and take it so far that you'd have to be a fashion industry educator or a professional historian to care. And it wasn't all name dropping. It relied more on style concepts rather than on compiling an exhaustive list of designers and fashion houses. It also introduced me to a couple of designers that I hadn't heard of before that are drastically under-rated. I loved his fashion advice. It was all very practical, things that I feel that I could actually apply to my own wardrobe, in my own real life, on my own budget. So much of the fashion stuff I read makes me feel hopelessly frumpy and doomed to be dowdy or like I'd need to win the lottery to afford to look stunning. Gunn is spot on with understanding how to help all women, from flamboyant fashionistas to ordinary ladies next door, from traditional models to full-figured women, look their best in every situation. I felt inspired after reading the book. It had a lot of tips and ideas that I'm sure I will be putting to use.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book in excellent shape and I received it before expected! Very pleased!
Published 1 day ago by Terri Mendes
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't everyone love Tim Gunn anyway......
I love this book. You can flip to sections you are more interested in and the history of fashion is great.
Published 17 days ago by Charlene
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 25 days ago by Brittany Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Tim is a Fashion God
Needed more illustrations
Published 27 days ago by Amadeo A. Juarez
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL of Tim Gunn's books are indispensable for those of ...
ALL of Tim Gunn's books are indispensable for those of us in the Fashion world & this particular book is of interest to
anyone!!!! He's the man!
Published 1 month ago by RIchard K. Carey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I ALWAYS heart Tim Gunn!
Published 1 month ago by Ariel Vik Maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a lot of information about fashion in the book that I love...
All I can say is it is a bible! There is a lot of information about fashion in the book that I love reading about. Read more
Published 1 month ago by CupCup
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fashion Guru!
Love Mr. Tim! What insight! I ordered all of his books, great reads, lots of information. Wonderful book.
Published 2 months ago by Kat =^.^=
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
he's such a gentleman and deserves the recognition he has as a stylist extraordinaire
Published 3 months ago by Sissy
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Gunn so much and this is another of his great books.
Admire Tim Gunn so much and this is another of his great books.
Published 3 months ago by CaliReader
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