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Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit
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Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  9 reviews
From corsets to skinny jeans, we have always fretted about our body shapes and why it's so damn difficult to find a good fit. In this bold and entertaining book, Mel Campbell examines the tensions between our cultural ideals and our own bodies. Combining lively interviews and personal experiences with visits to museums, galleries and vintage fairs, Mel explores why we are ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published June 2013 by Affirm Press (first published February 1st 2012)
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Jo Case
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this deliciously smart and dryly funny book, Mel Campbell takes the reader on an exploration of size and fit in clothing – and of clothing as fashion, self-expression, and even art.

‘I’m writing this book to pin down the real reasons why buying and wearing clothes can make us feel so bad,’ she writes.

She draws on experience, observation and popular culture along the way, and makes her own investigations into the topic. She begins by trialing a body-scanning machine toured by Target Australia
Rebecca Moore
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've ever read a book that felt so specifically appropriate for me. I started reading (in the book shop) because I can relate to the pain of searching for the right fit. I've got the 'oh I'm a 10 - 12ish, but I've got a bit of a booty and short legs', line down, so much so that I hardly realise I'm saying it. I know that it comes across as self deprecating, but honestly I'm just trying to cut down the time trying stuff on that doesn't fit. Anyway, the book was a fascinating study o ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Amusing, variously anecdotal, observational and historical, this book discusses the highly anxious space of body image, fashion, clothing sizes and fit and concepts of ideal beauty with insight, compassion and humour.
I was waiting for the author to enter into more discussion and analysis of the psychology and politics of the gaze within the context of her setting; sizing and clothing, but found instead she really just skims the surface. She touches on a lot of issues and provides numerous refer
Aimee Nichols
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
An easy read, but one that often seems to be unsure of exactly what it's trying to say. The book is divided into several parts, rather than having topics divided by chapters, which might have been better from a structural point of view. While I enjoy the combination of nonfiction and memoir, and have read and enjoyed a lot of Campbell's writing in the past, I now feel like I know far more than I need to about her personal body insecurities. Some interesting anecdotes about the history of clothes ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
A great ride. Loads of interesting and enraging info, I have hundreds of questions for the author should we ever speak. Not really sure what the overall point was, but also don't care because it was so interesting. ...more
Morag Gray
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a very muddled book. Was it about the problem with clothing sizes, a paeon to vintage clothing or a history of fashion? Or none of the above?
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The research is fastidious, the analysis cogent, the tone incisive and witty … the relationship between these bigger industrial and cultural histories and our own love–hate relationships with clothes becomes strikingly and satisfyingly clear.”

– Dion Kagan, Australian Book Review
Sarah Day
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting, but I thought she laboured some of the points.
Jun 20, 2013 added it
A sometimes strange mix of emotional reflection and intellectualisation of fashion, challenging cultural conventions and involving many a pop culture reference.
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Mel Campbell is professionally curious about pop culture. A freelance journalist, editor and cultural critic based in Melbourne, Australia, she has made a career out of exploring new trends, everyday delights and forgotten treasures.

Mel co-founded the award-winning publishing project Is Not Magazine , and the culture and entertainment website The Enthusiast . Currently, she writes on film, s

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