Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 12T8.439445
Move over Project Runway. Get ready to chuckle your way through centuries of fashion dos and don'ts! In this humorous and approachable narrative, kids will learn about outrageous, politically-perilous, funky, disgusting, regrettable, and life-threatening creations people have worn throughout the course of human history, all the way up to the present day. From spats and togas to hoop skirts and hair shirts, why people wore what they did is an illuminating way to look at the social, economic, political, and moral climates throughout history.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published on February 10, 2015 by National Geographic Children's Books
ISBN-10: 1426319193
ISBN-13: 9781426319198
15 Book Reviews
  • annabeth123
    annabeth123over 7 years55 stars
    This book is great! It gives a wonderful view of past fashions. I'd totally recommend it to anyone. I also won it on DOGO and it was totally worth it.
    • 00016697
      00016697over 7 years
      This looks funny!!!
      • bibliophile
        bibliophileover 7 yearsFeatured
        *24 hours ago before I read this AWESOME book* National Geographic: Did you know why Napoleon always have his hand in his coat? Me: Ummm... no.... maybe he's photogenic, likes getting in the spotlight, or enjoyed standing still to get himself painted???? National Geographic: Actually you're on the right start, but Napoleon just liked himself getting painted a lot, and it was his trademark... Me: Phew.... National Geographic: Did you know whalebones can be used as a shapeshifter??? Me: Maybe?!?!? National Geographic: Did you know as a symbolic gesture, Gandhi wore homespun clothes and spent his---- Me (cuts National Geographic off): Sorry to interrupt you but instead of asking questions to me, can I just read the book... *Present 2015-* Wow this book was amazing.... I am a fashion freak and a history nerd (guilty as charge :p) but I still learned so many new things. I really liked it how the author included so many fashion guidelines while added history tidbits and pictures to go along with it....Each page there is a huge fun fact like, "I see muslin, I see France, finally some underpants," XD there was a huge paragraph how women used to not wear underwear... but now they do (phew....) because of the virulent influenza epidemic a.k.a the muslin disease.... Anyways (SPOILER ALERT) but this book was huge... which totally made my day... and it was COLORFUL like scattered rainbow colored sprinkles on to of a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top and oooooh some whip cream....Now I'm getting off topic, but just looking at the colorful pages and the drawings and paintings made me spend more time on this book... like seriously I took like 10 minutes on one page... looking at all the details and reading everything word to word.... like actually analyzing... don't judge.... and you can tell this is a good book because I usually am a fast, avid reader... but this took so much time... when I had free time, I would just read this book (still want my hot fudge sundae with cherry and whip cream)....Anyways, fashion started around the ancient world wearing wool, linen, and hemp where they weaved it into textiles, while in China just discovered silk making out of cocoons, and in Egypt wearing kohl... Now during the middle ages they were dressed to kill... they wore armors and it was so interesting how linen evolved to metal armor (I guess that's just life :P).... Now in the age of exploration they used... yes... lipstick and blush... wore moccasins, and the conquistadores wore a lot of RED (made me think of Taylor Swift...lol.... I guess I just have to shake it off... pun intended :D)... Now during the Renaissance period.. they were wearing wigs and beautiful and extravagant dresses with layers (reminded me of cake... now I want a hot fudge sundae and cake lol :D)... and it was the time period where they really experimented with makeup------- I might as well spoil this book... but I am not going to.... Read it for yourself!!! You'll never forget this experience learning so much... it's like a brain overload... but since I like learning.... my brain is okay... but still... you should read this book, you can now know all different type of clothes from different time periods (Seriously... I was picking out an outfit for school yesterday... and I mostly know what type of my clothes' origins... like where it actually started.... like legit :D...I was pretty happy, because the book actually taught me stuff) But this book makes you think... about fashion today, and what problems are created because of fashion :O... Like remember guys... our fashion used to be like sagging jean (for guys, that was horror ;0), tattoos, ombre hair, rubber band bracelets, silly bands, platforms, body piercings, and so much more... so if this is our fashion (or was) what do you think our fashion is going to be like in twenty or maybe a hundred years later... You see fashion plays such a huge role, and we have to kind of be careful... So read this amazing book! You'll learn so much information, you can impress your history teacher (lol ;P)... but still for those who enjoy reading books from National Geographic books, likes history books, or is a fashionista yourself... READ this book!!!! National Geographic: Now that you read the book... can I quiz- Me: Sure, I'll ace your questions! National Geographic: In Japan, what do court lad- Me (cuts them off) : You mean how court ladies dress... I can answer that question *gives a big smile* they wear multiple kimonos also called junihitoe, which means women wears 12 layers of clothing... and can wear up to 20 layers! National Geographic (looks surprised and uncomfortable): Ummm I see you learned a lot... Pop quiz is over! A+ for you... *quickly rushes out of the room* Me: Yay.... so READ this book!!! Hope you enjoy!!!!! *skips happily out of the room.... stopping for a second to take a selfie with the book : WHY'D THEY WEAR THAT?*
      • gso44
        gso44over 7 years
        Wow I never knew people in the olden days were so obsessed with fashion!
        • nerd_girl
          nerd_girlalmost 8 years
          I must say, I didn't read that much of it. I just looked at the pictures. I like the beehive hairdos. Those are cool.
          • suppplz
            suppplzalmost 8 years55 stars
            Lol. I'm kinda obsessed with miniskirts, Because if it's 70 degrees or over, then no matter what, I will wear a miniskirt. Also because I have 36.
            • babyswag15
              babyswag15almost 8 years
              this book is ok
              • iamfbaby55
                iamfbaby55almost 8 years
                this is all some people care about. FASHION!
                • fashion girlalmost 8 years
                  THIS BOOK IS ALSO FUNNY
                  • fashion girlalmost 8 years
                    i love the part of space age fashion,the mini skirt, and wacky fashion but when i try to turn the page it does not allow me :(