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Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible Hardcover – September 11, 2012

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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 Tim Gunn is best known as co-host of the twelve-time Emmy-nominated reality show Project Runway. He also hosted two seasons of his own Bravo makeover series, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451643853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451643855
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Wulfstan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 30 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on September 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Michaela on 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.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amelia Gremelspacher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on March 5, 2013
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 By redstarr on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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