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Autobiography of a Wardrobe
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Autobiography of a Wardrobe

2.8 of 5 stars 2.80  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Saddle shoes. Camp shorts. Girdles. Bell-bottoms. Each plays a significant role as we follow B., the wardrobe's owner, through her buttoned-up Midwestern childhood to the freedom of miniskirts, sundresses, and New York City. We watch as B. copes with the untimely death of her mother, makes a go of glamorous magazine work, and, after the inevitable false starts and fashion ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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I was expecting to like this book much better than I did. A woman's memoir told through the voice of her wardrobe from her 1950's Midwestern childhood as the oldest of five children to her discovery of Marimekko while at Harvard in the 1960's to her stints in London, New York, and beyond as a writer and dancer in the 1970's, this book started off promising--sort of the literary embodiment of looking at old photographs of aunts and mothers and grandmothers and wondering just what stories were beh ...more
This is my favorite book that tours through a woman's life and the clothes she was wearing at the time. You can read it in under five hours, it's a quick read. I could definitely relate to her unaffected, sentimental yet not maudlin reminiscing. I've written a memoir, Left of the Dial, in which fashion also plays a supporting role. Kendall's book is told from the point of view of her clothes that become living and breathing characters. Unlike Adena Halpern's memoir, Target Underwear and a Vera W ...more
Narrated by, and from the perspective of, the wardrobe (the clothing, not the piece of furniture), this book is the fictional biography of its owner, Body, aka B. Although the premise sounds intriguing, the book did not work for me. The wardrobe seemed to be some nebulous entity above and separate from the actual pieces of clothing worn by B. And despite the ever-changing oft-Bohemian international and New York City lifestyles, I was never drawn into the life of B., nor did I care about her. To ...more
This was not an easy book to read, but I was never tempted to set it aside and I read it all in one day actually. This story of a personality evolving from the wardrobe's point of view was a great perspective. From the time we are young and made to do and be a certain way...through all the painful changes that growing up brings and we are thinking and acting on our own and reaping the rewards or consequences. The book really brings home the message that life is constant changes for good or bad o ...more
Told in the voice of the author's wardrobe (which really annoyed me), this book is exactly what the title promises. Beginning with the author's (who her wardrobe refers to as "B") childhood in the Midwest, this book follows the wardrobe's evolution to Harvard, New York, the Bay area and Europe. While I didn't love this book (mainly because I didn't care for B), what it does brilliantly is showcase B.'s insecurities & awkwardness through her clothing choices. She moved to different locations ...more
Interesting idea of having a wardrobe tell the story of the persons life, but unfortunately this didn't work out very well with this book.
Honestly, this book is rather dull. Still, it made me think about my wardrobe and what it says about me...mainly it says "frumpy housewife with no style". I'll have to work on that! I think there are two reasons I liked the book though, one is the fact that the wardrobe is the narrator which I think is a great little twist. Reason two is that I bought it at Dollar Tree...a book for a buck, who doesn't love that??!!??
An interesting read. I was unfamiliar with many of the fashion descriptions and various fashion stores but with my iPod Touch at hand I was able to quickly reference things and view pictures which really helped to flesh out the images the writer was describing. All in all an entertaining little book.
If you're in the mood to look past the adjectives that could modify "Wardrobe" in the title - privileged, white, boomer - the device of the wardrobe as narrator is well-executed, and this is a fine way to pass the afternoon. You really have to be in the mood to look past all that, though.
Kendria White
that clothes are as important as i thought in a young girl's/woman's affects so much of the choices she makes....i didn't finish it sort of redundant....gave it to one of my fashionista partners in crime...see what he thinks about it....

I only got through 3 chapters.

It had the most novel idea for perspective in a memoir (through a womans clothes!) but it was written so unbelievably pretentious that I couldnt stand it.

I thought it was going to be amusing and funny. Not so much.
An interesting way to tell a story -- from the point of view of the main character's clothing -- makes sense, MY clothes definitely tell the story of who I am, what I am doing, what I think of myself...

I haven't finished it yet, so I'm only rating 3 stars
Tuomas Hiltunen
Moving, witty and captivating. Fascinating what events our silent, and silenzed, clothes witness! If only they could talk....
Loni Cranney
Interesting idea. I just wished this book would have been funny and lighthearted. Instead it was rather depressing.
Very smart, insightful, creative writing. Familiar issues told from an unconventional point of view.
This was my bathtub book for months. Then just days ago I couldn't put it down.
An interesting concept, but the wardrobe was more of a narrator than a memoirist.
Interesting concept - the book is told from the vantage point of B's wardrobe.
Very original idea: telling the story from a wardrobe's point of view
A witty and droll memoir through clothes - winning and breezy.
Officially out in April. A quick and joyful read.
A much more interesting idea than compelling execution.
Definitely original. Very fast read.
fashion, autobiography, history, dancer
Katharine Holden
Interesting, but doesn't quite work.
Apr 06, 2009 April marked it as to-read
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