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The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads Hardcover – 15 Apr 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (15 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330420321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330420327
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A wonderful book that should be read by everyone who believes that clothes are tools for living.' -- Tony Parsons

'Blinding read!' -- Taxi

'Funny, accurate and touching' -- Dylan Jones, GQ

'If I could write and had to write a book about clothes, this would be it. A bloody brilliant book.' -- Paul Smith

'Incisive, obsessive and quite brilliant.' -- Observer Music Monthly

'as stylish and witty as the finery it obsesses over.' -- Independent On Sunday

'provocative, charming and fiercely proud' -- Daily Telegraph

a brave, unexpected and wonderful book -- Independent

a hymn to the burning desire of young men to look right and look smart -- Evening Standard

Book Description

'This is a love letter to the wayward creativity that has fired generations of British youth tribes - all those Mods, suedeheads, peanuts, punks, Teds and bomb-site dandies who dressed as though they owned the world. Nobody has written this incisively about kids dressing up since Tom Wolfe, nobody has written this lyrically about youth tribal lore since Colin MacInnes, and nobody has ever written a book this good about why all those long-gone Little Caesars had the desperate craving to look gorgeous. Robert Elms has written the Fever Pitch of urban street fashion - his book really is as obsessive, and as beautiful, and as brilliant, as that. A wonderful book that should be read by everyone who believes that clothes are tools for living.' - Tony Parsons 'This is not only the youth cult confessional to end them all , but also a comprehensive summary of everything that's happened to men's clothes in Britain over the last 30 years. If you grew up in the Seventies or Eighties, if you ever spent more on a pair of trousers than you needed to, if you ever got beaten up for having the wrong haircut, then this is the book for you. Funny accurate and touching.' - Dylan Jones, Editor GQ

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colin Fletcher on 22 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't realize how much I cared about clothes until I read this book. It was like a stroll down memory lane. Some of the long lost memories, did we really think donkey jackets were a good look?, made me laugh out loud! A fantastic read, thanks Robert.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By nigeyb on 26 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
I am not particularly fussed about clothes but thoroughly enjoyed Robert Elms's touching and wonderfully written autobiography. Clothes - and Elms's obsession with them - are lovingly chronicled in some detail. With each new subculture, or trend, came a new look or variation on a current look. Mods to skins to suedeheads to soul boys to punks etc etc. If you lived through this era and have any interest then you should enjoy this book. I must say I found it thoroughly absorbing but then I was an early punk and participated in the Billys/Blitz scene where Robert Elms played a starring role. One of the reviews on the back of the book makes a comparison with Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch', I think that's spot on. Just as you don't need to be a fan of Arsenal FC to enjoy Hornby's book so you don't have to be a clothes horse to enjoy this book. Well done Mr Elms, I doff my retro-velvet Stevie Wonder-style hat in your direction.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andy Edwards VINE VOICE on 4 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
Clothes as a metaphor for the times we live in - this is not the first time it's been done, but here Elms does it well and accurately, and if you can remember those times.

Elms was one of those kids many would have wanted to be - at the centre of things, but he has some nice self deprecating tales to tell while beautifully linking Clothes, politics, music and growing up

if your interests extend to the way you look (ed) then this is an excellent read. Those who are not will find it all very superficial no doubt - I loved it
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Young Goblin on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm giving this book 4 stars although I felt it faded badly once he got to university but the first few chapters about a working-class bloke and the mod/skinhead/soulboy continuum are worth 4 stars alone they're that good. As you'd expect from a smart working class geezer the attention to detail is amazing but as is so often the case once the writer starts to hobnob with the stars everything tales off.And this is written by an ex-New Romantic!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Bailey on 21 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
THIS book goes way beyond merely talking about youth fashions: I found it to be a fascinating read, a social history written in the first person from a man who became clothes obsessed from an early age. Semi-biographicall the author talks about his background, his family and how youth culture, and always being seen in the right clothes gave young English kids a creative direction. Something that was uniquely their own. It coves three decades of innovation and ends with the sad truth, that, the latest must have thing is no longer dictated by the kids themselves. Like the Mods and Skinheads of the 60's or the Soul boys of the 70's but by the high street and music industry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book brought back so many memories of things and places I had forgotten . Would
have been even better with a few photos.
P's I have just seen that Solatio are now remaking box top loafers in the next few months.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Travers on 20 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Evocutive and accurate description of the periods 60's to 80's in London. Would suggest you may find the books subject mater too esoteric if you are not (a) Male (b) Over 40 (c) From London (d) Not familiar with Robert Elm's lapses into vanity.
Otherwise a brilliant reminder of a period where clothes, music and youth added up to more than just skillful marketing for the next Pepsi Cola ad.
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