This book takes us from decade to decade from the 50's to now with an examination of social, cultural, economic, and historical factors both setting the backdrop to and influencing changing fashions. This is an intermediate book in fashion, if you compare it to picture-only books to the other end of the spectrum where text dominates (often no pictures), and we see a treatise on aesthetic theory, anthropological roots, feminist writings, and studies on human sexuality and psychology.
This book is a very light introduction to the type of questions you see in more advanced texts, but will not alienate the dilettante fashionista or costumer. The pictures provide exemplary examples of the styles discussed, and the chapters summarize everything quickly enough to have a solid overview of our recent fashion history. Again, I am sure this book will gain lots of interest, whether for browsing or seriously perusing an interest in a compelling aspect of human history and society. Check Steele's other books as well--she writes with insight, but doesn't overdo it with the dry academic stuff; she also has excellent taste with her picture selection.