Customer Reviews: Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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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on September 20, 2012
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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on July 21, 2013
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. He pokes gentle fun at some of the outlandish ways people dress themselves, and he's outrageously funny when going after recent fads that he really does not like (such as capris and flip-flops). But there's not a single mean sarcastic put-down in the entire book. And I like that.

Another reviewer noted after reading this book that she looks at the clothes in her closet in a completely different way. So do I - and I think that's a great compliment to Tim Gunn.
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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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on March 5, 2013
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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on 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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on 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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on September 27, 2012
For anyone who is fascinated with fashion or just curious about where and how various fashions came about. It is sprinkled with comments about modern trends by Tim Gunn. Also found the special info such as picking out a purse actually valuable.
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on September 14, 2014
Tim Gunn gives a wonderful , witty, and informative overview of fashion in examining various items of clothing. He makes it so enjoyable with historic trivia , personal anecdotes, and humor. And his no nonsense wisdom on personal style!
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on March 1, 2016
This is a perfectly adequate introduction to your closet and a good airplane book. However, Mr. Gunn's writing tends to ramble and get off topic. A chapter starting on the history of the shoe might sidetrack into an anecdote about that one time Tim Gunn wore athletic shoes and subsequently how athletic shoes aren't proper foot attire in any situation. A discussion about blouses might end up in an anecdote about how a group of fashion professors got in a tussle about the definition of a certain type of collar. His historical references tend to repeat themselves, and you hear repeatedly anecdotes about Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Alexander McQueen...

On the plus side, this book reads just how Tim Gunn talks, so you can pretend Tim Gunn is reading aloud to you while you fall asleep on the airplane.
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