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The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable
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The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  25 reviews
With subscriptions nearing 1.2 million, "Vogue" magazine proves that if there's anything a fashionista enjoys as much as shopping, it's reading about fashion. With both an insider's relish and a layman's exasperation, "The Meaning of Sunglasses" offers an encyclopedia of style that celebrates the joys, the silliness, and the occasional insanity of this relentlessly fascina ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Penguin Books
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Blah. Hadley Freeman is funny sometimes but she's trying too hard... Also badly edited. I expected more... not sure more of what, just more.
Not necessarily high quality literature, but entertaining.
Mandy Jo
This week’s headline? “looking after oneself”

Why this book? need a makeover

Which book format? first edition hardback

Primary reading environment? someplace very unfashionable

Any preconceived notions? “arrogant verbal hyperbole”

Identify most with? “uneducated, Enquirer-reading dullard”

Three little words? "Bless you, Kate”

Goes well with? “an organic papaya”

Recommend this to? “a fashion airhead”

I aspire to a personal style that situates me somewhere between Kate Moss and Kate Middleton, with a hint
I needed some light reading for a break so I picked this up after reading a review. While I don't think I learned anything from it, I did laugh a great deal, many times out loud, which was a lot of fun. The author definitely can turn a phrase and writes very well. I was laughing through the whole thing. The book is divided into "subjects" which really are just rather stream of consciousness, but supposedly alphabetical. Here's some from her heading "Sizing: the nonexistent myth": "...billions of ...more
I had a truly dysfunctional relationship with this informal & humorous lexicon of fashion. It's about 98% hateful, but just when I was ready to throw it across the room, Hadley Freeman would say something really incisive and compelling about the fashion industry and I would keep reading. Her frank dissections of the industry and how advertising is the tail that wags the dog are interesting (although I guess it's no secret that fashion magazines are driven by ads), but for a fashion journalis ...more
Despite having no discernable interest in fashion (I work from home, mostly in pajamas, so there's no real need), I absolutely love Hadley Freeman's Guardian newspaper column. She's so dry, funny and down to earth. I think I gave a little squeal when I heard she'd written a book.

The Meaning of Sunglasses is subtitled "A guide to almost all things fashionable" and it's certainly that. Set out in alphabetical order (which took me a shameful amount of time to work out - I kept wondering how the top
Very funny book. Especially liked the part about Karl Lagerfeld. Lots of great quotables in the book, like the part about straight men who so believe in the power of fashion, that they think wearing a pink shirt will make them turn gay. Or the women who shop from Gap Kids (giggle, giggle), and her response of something like, I'm so glad the onset of child obesity has expanded your wardrobe options. Author is intelligent, funny and clever. Sometimes did not agree with all the author's opinions an ...more
Interesting book of essays about fashion. Some of the essays are really amusing. Amazing how people can make such sweeping statements. For example, one writer decides that wearing a clutch purse would hamper your ability to enjoy an evening because you would always have to have it in your hand and couldn't have a drink. Did the thought of putting your purse down never occur to her? Despite the amazing amount of such determined and self-assured opinions about clothes, accessories, etc. the book i ...more
This is my second fashion-themed library check-out of the summer, along with The Thoughtful Dresser. I brought this book to the beach, thinking it would be as easy to dip in and out of its encyclopedia-type entries, (e.g. "Sunglasses, the meaning of") as the ocean. Unfortunately, it was a bit too erudite for the beach. Yup, fashion too erudite. Too erudite for the beach, but a lot of fun to peruse in my living room.
Either the writer is trying way too hard to sound witty, intelligent and sarcastic, or she really does talk like that. Either way, I couldn't take it any more. The book needed a serious editing job. I had to re-read sentences and paragraphs that were way too long, just one too many times. I finally gave up. It probably would have been a fun read if the wording hadn't been so darn irritating.
Jennifer Shaw
Dec 27, 2013 Jennifer Shaw rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends who like light reading about fashion
It's a lighthearted view of fashion from the other side of the pond. I liked her comments about Kate Moss, as well as velvet. But my favourite entry was about bathing suits. It's the perfect follow up after reading Simon Doonan's The Asylum. She's no Fran Lebowitz, but that's okay.
Simon Yawin
I thought the subject and the various entries were clever, but the constant quips about "this silly thing" or "that stupid thing" all got to be quite tiresome, and started to get me annoyed at the author. It started out great, but overall I thought it was a "meh" book, filled with cumbersome "rules of fashion".
Lorin Kleinman
Delightfully snarky fashion lexicon. Freeman doesn't so much define terms as meander about them, but her meanderings tend to be amusing, and contain actually useful information. The potentially most useful--and funniest--bit was her (necessarily short) section on clothes that men understand.
I love reading about style and fashion. This book is a series of short essays on different fashion trends or items. The author also gives the best defense of the fashion industry I have ever read, and provides the final word on the skinny models cause anorexia debate.
Some of this book was mildly entertaining to read, but at times she took herself a little too seriously. I skipped a few chapters that I didn't care about. I found it interesting how Kate Moss and Topshop (indivdually and collectively) have had such power over fashion.
She's a very clever writer, but oh my, what a judgmental, narrow-minded, snippy little thing she is. I just can't agree with the kind of blanket "x fashion item is ALWAYS wonderful/terrible" kind of thinking. I mean, style is personal...right?
This was fucking hilarious. I like reading fashion books when they are written by well paid fashion columnists who tell me that heels are stupid, I'll try to ignore the fact that she calls cardigans "pedophile chic."
Denise Barber
Mar 17, 2008 Denise Barber is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I learned that I'm am a complete fashion "don't". I like leopard print, crazy bejeweled glasses and boys with long hair. According to the author, all of those things are fashion atrocities. Oopsy.
This is a very British perspective on fashion. In places amusing, in places almost impossible to parse, Freeman manages to rattle on for over two hundred pages without saying much at all.
There's a lot of funny fashion writing out there, but smart fashion writing is harder to find. Freeman's writing is both, and I enjoyed this book.
Angelica Melendez
Fun, fun read, even if you think that fashion is superficial and overrated- she agrees.

The perfect book for an fashionista. I wish Ms Freeman would write more books!
Witty, amusing fashion writing. Freeman has a great voice.
This was fine. Whatever. Next.
Cute, and sorta mildly entertaining.
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Hadley Freeman (born 1978) is a columnist and writer for The Guardian, who also contributes to the UK version of Vogue. She was born in New York to Jewish parents, and attended Oxford University. Her first book, The Meaning of Sunglasses, was published in 2008.
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