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The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads (Pb) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Robert Elms
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Mar 2006
'the Fever Pitch of urban street fashion' Tony Parsons

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (3 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033042033X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330420334
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The provocative, highly acclaimed memoir of one man's life long passion for getting the look just right. 'A bloody brilliant book' Paul Smith 'The youth cult confessional to end them all . . . Funny, accurate and touching' Dylan Jones, GQ 'Think of this terrific book as The Rotter's Club of schmutter and you won't be too wide of the mark' Daily Mail 'Incisive, obsessive, confessional and quite brilliant' Observer 'Provocative, charming and fiercely proud' Daily Telegraph 'Insightful and passionate . . . as stylish and witty as the finery it obsesse over' The Independent On Sunday 'Highly entertaining. . . a must read for anyone interested in fashion' Sunday Express 'Elms's opinionated stances are half the fun of this book' Sunday Times 'Taps into an energy that helped shape post-war Britain' Mail On Sunday 'A hymn to the burning desire of young men to look right and look smart' Evening Standard 'Should be read by everyone who enjoys sharp, witty writing and a shuddering sense of humour' Times Literary Suppliment

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By nigeyb
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only it had stayed as good as it started... 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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What we wore and listened to 4 May 2006
By Andy Edwards TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Journey through one man's self-obsession 19 May 2006
Format:Paperback
Dont bother unless you are a member of the authors family or a close personal friend and therefore likely to be mentioned with glowing approval. Elms incessant self-regard, self-obsession and chippy 'working class' elitism becomes wearying very quickly. The focus rapidly shifts from clothes (the reason I bought the book) to the authors claims to have instigated several major youth movements and thereafter been at the very epicentre of every major cultural movement ever since. Those he cant lay claim to are quickly dismissed as irrelevant, copycat or misguided. This includes any cult, movement or trend originating outside of London and especially in the North of England.

He devotes an entire chapter to the making of his suit paid for with royalites from this book. Put quite simply, this is DULL and irrelevant. Next he will be adding appendices describing his visit to the dry cleaners (well it involves clothes does'nt it?).

If you have every heard Robert Elms radio show be warned, this book is like having to endure day's of the same voice and opinions without respite from the news and weather or phone interviews with 'chirpy' taxi drivers.

What this book has done is made it abundantly clear that Elms regards most music and most people as entirely secondary to himself and his clothes and attempts to establish his (in his own mind) rightful place in fashion and music history.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading 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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