Fashion is one of the most straightforward ways that we express our creative character. Whether you’re an aspiring designer or an avid shopper, fashion likely impacts your day-to-day life and decisions. 

The modern world of fashion is changing more rapidly than ever. If you’re looking to start your own label or cultivate your style, understanding the changes in contemporary culture is crucial. That's why we've found the 9 best fashion books, so you can get a better understanding of fashion and the fashion industry.

Best Fashion Books

The 9 fashion books below will help you understand the impact of fashion, the business of fashion, fast fashion, and much more. 

1. The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior 

The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior

This best-selling fashion classic is a must-have for both the style-conscious and those in need of advice. In this, Christian Dior reveals the secrets of style and uncovers his best advice on what to wear to a wedding, how to tie a scarf, and how to walk with confidence.

Whether you’re a fashion design student or an avid reader looking to learn more, this book is perfect to add to your collection.

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2. The End of Fashion by Teri Agins 

The End of Fashion by Teri Agins

The End of Fashion is all about the mass marketing of the clothing business. In this hard-hitting journalistic look at the fashion industry, Teri Agins explains how designers now take their cues from mainstream customers. Instead of the elite as their primary focus, mass-marketing is now the top priority, even above the actual design process.

One perfect example of this is Gap, and many other clothing brands are following in their footsteps. This seminal change can be seen in the manufacturing, retailing, and licensing stages. 

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3. Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline 

Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline

Overdressed is all about the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion. Until recently, author Elizabeth Cline was the typical American consumer. She frequently bought from stores like Target and Forever 21. These retailers were cheap but trendy, and she would buy new items from them at least once a week. 

In this, Cline uncovers the roots of our obsession with getting trendy clothes fast and the consequences of going from the runway to stores quicker than ever. America’s drastic increase in imports impacts the fashion world both here and abroad. The consequences of fast fashion are more widespread than ever and worth looking into. 

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4. Coco Chanel by Megan Hess

 

Coco Chanel by Megan Hess

Fashion is influenced by the key designers that capture a moment in history. Coco Chanel is arguably one of the most significant influences on women’s fashion in the twentieth century. This book is a compilation of author Megan Hess’ stunning illustrations that show the most memorable moments throughout Chanel’s history.

In this, you’ll learn about the incredible items that became fashion icons, from the little black dress to the Chanel No 5 perfume. Completed with historical anecdotes and quotes from Coco herself, this book is an immersive introduction into Chanel and how fashion has shaped the lives of many.

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5. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas 

 Deluxe- How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas

Once, luxury clothing items were only affordable by elite and royal consumers. During this time, luxury clothing offered a history of both tradition and superior quality. Now, the entire luxury scene has switched.

Today, luxury clothing items are nothing more than packaged products sold by billion-dollar corporations. These corporations prioritize advertising, brand awareness, and above all, profits. In Deluxe, award-winning journalist Dana Thomas dives into the dark world of luxury and uncovers what they don’t want consumers to know.

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6. Gucci: the Making-of by Frida Giannini 

Gucci- the Making-of by Frida Giannini

In this, Frida Giannini showcases Gucci like never before. Completed with thought-provoking essays, commentaries, and authoritative anecdotes, this is the ultimate celebration of the world-renowned fashion house. This book tells the story of Gucci through symbols, images, stories, and objects. 

This dynamic record is a must-have for anyone who loves fashion and contemporary culture. This comprehensive volume showcases Gucci through an exclusive lens and gives readers a look into the inspirations behind each design.

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7. Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti

This New York Times best-seller is a conversation among hundreds of women from various backgrounds. In this, these women speak about how the garments we put on everyday shape our lives. Starting out with a compelling survey designed to prompt women into thinking about their personal style, this book will open your eyes on how fashion impacts our daily lives.

Even our most basic outfit choices can reveal the true relationship and the habits within our mind. Fashion allows us to express our values, reinvent ourselves, and transform the way that others see us. 

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8. The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia 

The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia

Written by New York Times best-selling author and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia, The Little Black Book of Style shares Nina’s ultimate style rules and helps you uncover your own signature look. Each time you choose an outfit, you are asserting your identity. Style affords you opportunities to think about your appearance as a quality of your creative character. Because of this, looking deeper into your fashion sense has never been more interesting. 

This book helps you explore your own fashion voice and create your best self through the wardrobe pieces that you choose. If you’re looking to dress your best, this is the ultimate guide for you. 

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9. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar 

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar

With a foreword from Diane Von Furstenberg, The Fashion Designer Survival Guide will teach you how to start and run your own fashion business. Composed of advice from the experts themselves, this book gives you behind-the-scenes insights and essential business information on creating a successful career as an independent fashion designer.

This fully updated version addresses the latest trends and the newest designers to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry. This book holds all the tools you need to get a fashion line or label. From creating a viable business plan to producing a runway show that gets results, this book is the ultimate A-Z fashion guide. 

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Final Thoughts: Reading About Fashion

The fashion books above contain all of the expert advice and fascinating history that you need to understand the world of fashion. After reading these books, you’ll be able to hold a longer fashion-related conversation, understand how great runway shows produce results, and how luxury brands are changing more than ever. If you're looking to continue with your fashion knowledge, you may also enjoy our guide to the best fashion design courses. Now go get reading and show your style!

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