Sunday, 10 April 2011
Book Review: A Life in Frocks
I wrote this review for Amazon, but I wanted to share it with you as it's a good book for bloggers to read, especially if you like personal style blogs, because this is one long personal style blog:
As a book, this shouldn't work.
Normally one would expect the life of a respected but not well-known (out of her field) blogger and fashion writer, told through the pieces of clothing she has lived through, would be suitable for a 2-page article in a magazine, nothing more. That was, in fact, how this book started, as Doust explains in the introduction. Her article in Vogue about how music influences out style sparked her desire to keep on telling the stories of clothes in her life. I can only speak for myself, but taking a journey through somebody else's purchases was actually pretty fun. This book is brilliantly written and very entertaining, with something most women can empathise with on every page. It helps that she is a well-travelled, experienced person with lots of different stories to tell, but everyone has that kind of thing to a certain extent. The real pleasure that one takes in Doust's writing is the beautiful way she describes clothes. Even when you have already made up your mind that you dislike a particular kind of garment, her gorgeous description draws you in and forces you to reconsider. I also find it easy to relate to the way she can become obsessed with a particular trend or item, and her fascination with how you can change who you are in the world's eyes through what you wear.
However, I must say that the book would not have been nearly as enjoyable if it had not been for the stunning illustrations by Zoe Sadokierski which adorn the both covers and the dust cover, plus many more beautiful drawings inside. All of them just give the stories that something extra, and it helps to have something visual to refer to when considering clothing, which is a highly visual medium after all. I love how the dust jacket has clothes on the front, then when you take it off, dozens of sets of lingerie are revealed on the actual cover!
Overall, this is a fantastic read for anyone interested in fashion or personal style and perfect for keeping as a handbag read. I would recommend it to anyone, as long as you like clothes!
Read it if you like: personal style blogs, The Crafty Minx, autobiographies and just clothes in general really!
Marks out of 5: 4.2