Fashion | Women in Clothes: A Book Review

| September 22, 2014

Fashion with FranchescaLacey McLemore, Valdosta Today Fashion Contributor:

When was the last time you read a book about real women, their thoughts on their mothers, and the real way they decide what to wear to an interview? In a format unlike any other, this book has no information on body shapes and colors that work best for your skin tone, and it has all of the answers from women of all nationalities and ages which have everything to do with the way you feel when you put on your favorite outfit, and why. Why are certain items called “preppy,” others “grunge” and why do the words evoke feelings and definitions within us? Women in Clothes is a complex, eclectic collection of stories, questions, and answers to the questions we all have about the garments we put on every day which define and shape our lives.

BookWhat are we trying to accomplish when we dress? Do we admire or condemn others who we see pull off the styles we can’t? And, most pressing of all, is style even that important when it comes to the work place or other occasions? Can it make us feel a certain way about ourselves, as well as make others feel a certain way about us? And, is this form of nonverbal communication synonymous among all of us—both women and men? Meaning—Do we all feel the same way when we use the same term, such as “grunge” to describe a style? Is style a tool we can use to blend in with other cliques as well as vehemently disregard all others? And do we want it to be?

My favorite thing about this collection of fashion sense and sensibility is that it’s not written by one person; it’s written by 639 different women—each with their own stories, styles, and thoughts when it comes to the fundamental need to cover oneself. Reading the book is a bit like being surrounded by a group of women having a conversation you just happened into the middle of.

Ultimately, this book is important because it is intuitive. It is intelligent. And it is necessary to tell our stories. Our goals become the clothes we wear. The time periods echo their styles and the stories within them eg: flower child, parachute pants. And, when one stands in front of a closet, dumbfounded about how one can own more than the amount of clothing that will fit in it, but yet still not possess anything to wear to a certain event, it’s important to understand why this anomaly occurs. And that it must. For if our thoughts on ourselves did not change daily, or our goals did not change weekly, or our moods did not change hourly, we would be a completely different species. And fashion, style as we know it, would cease to exist as a way to formally show the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, and some of our complexity would be forever gone.


Lacey Mclemore. My goal is to finally rid the exclamation, “I have nothing to wear!” from every woman’s vocabulary once and for all. In order to do this it’s not only important to understand who you are, but to have the confidence to present yourself accordingly. In my articles, you’ll find reviews of both classic pieces as well as trends, how they can best suit your body type and style, as well as styling ideas. And, soon you’ll find nothing in your closet but loveable, versatile pieces which make you feel luxurious!

Lacey McLemore earned her undergraduate degree in the arts from Kennesaw State University and is in the process of reapplying for her graduate degrees. Her opinion is not written to imply it is the only one, and discussion is welcome.

The author has contributed this article as part of Valdosta Today’s effort to provide local opinions to spur discussions and positive conversations related to improving our community. Comments and opinions are from the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Black Crow Media, Valdosta Today or our sponsors.

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2 Comments on "Fashion | Women in Clothes: A Book Review"

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  1. Yessica says:

    Clothes do say a lot about ourselves. Sounds quite an interesting read, thanks for sharing.

    • Lacey McLemode says:

      Yessica, it really was a great book. I first learned about it from Elle. If you happen to pick up a copy, let me know what you think! Ps: the eBook is cheaper!