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Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History Hardcover – Illustrated, Feb. 10 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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Product description


"Opening with a foreword by style guru Tim Gunn, this lavishly illustrated book presents history as a long and winding runway of fashion. In its brightly adorned pages, readers can gaze and gawk at the strange outfits humans have dreamed up since “casting off their smelly bear-skins” 10,000 years ago." – The Washington Post

"...this is truly an ageless piece of work that does everything a book should do. This book educates, elucidates, and entertains and should be deemed required reading for anyone who is interested in fashion on any level." – New York Journal of Books

"What a good idea for a book. And what a clever way to do it. As the subtitle says, this hefty, extensively illustrated book uses fashion to discuss the ways and whys people dress and how it reflects what’s happening in their civilization." – Booklist

"Now see, the reason I like National Geographic Kids is that they’re reliable.  Take Why’d They Wear That?, for example.  You know what you’re getting here, even if you don’t know the details.  Mind you, the details are where all the good stuff is."  School Library Journal

"Full of period images that show off every bustle, frill, and rivet, this wide-ranging guide to clothing throughout time will fascinate history and fashion buffs alike." - Publisher's Weekly

"A fascinating read for fashion and history aficionados." – The Horn Book 

About the Author

SARAH ALBEE is the author of more than 100 children's books. She has had three of her books appear on the New York Times children's bestseller list.  She currently has an upper-middle-grade, nonfiction book published in May, 2010 about the history of toilets and sanitation entitled Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up, and a follow-up title under contract due out in 2013 about how insects have affected human history. She blogs daily on a variety of science and social history topics geared toward middle-grade readers ( She spent nine years as an editor at Children's Television Workshop, working primarily for Sesame Street and attending both the Bologna and Frankfurt Book Fairs.TIM GUNN (FORWARD) is a renowned fashion consultant, television personality, actor, and author.  He has served as the chair of fashion design at Parsons New School for Design as well as chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne. He is well-known as the chief mentor to designers on the hit reality television series Project Runway and the headliner of spinoff shows Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Under the Gunn. He is also the author of A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style as well as Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic Kids; Illustrated edition (Feb. 10 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1426319193
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1426319198
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 1.08 kg
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 24.26 x 1.91 x 28.45 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

About the author

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Sarah Albee is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 books for kids, ranging from preschool through middle grade. Recent nonfiction titles have been Junior Library Guild, Bank Street College of Education Best Books, and Notable Social Studies Trade Books selections, as well as winners of Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards. She especially loves writing about topics where history and science connect.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Sarah worked at Children’s Television Workshop (producers of Sesame Street) for nine years. She played basketball in college, and then a year of semi-professional women’s basketball in Cairo, Egypt.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
34 global ratings

Top review from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on October 31, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars fun
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2018
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1.0 out of 5 stars Just Fun, Too much irrelevant text, not very respectful of history
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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S. Duggan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent into book.
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2021
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Terri B.
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a good book for middle school level readers
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough information for my tastes, and sometimes inaccurate.
Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2018
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One person found this helpful
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