This could have been really good, but..it just didn't make it. The author made the assumption you knew what the items of clothing were she was talking about. She'd compare them, but I never really had a good grasp. Turns out there is a glossary in the back--those definitions needed to be up in the first chapters where they were being used. Pictures would have been nice as well--the photographs were nice and complementary to the text, but they weren't useful in figuring out what the difference between two things were. They needed some pictures that were just for information, and not just neat pieces and nifty pictures. I like reading histories of items, but I found this book a trial. It also needed to pick either chronological or item for the organization, not wander between them.
I did finish the book. It was somewhat interesting, but I didn't know what exactly was being discussion for much of the book, which made it much less interesting than it could have been. The jumping around also left me without a clear view of the evolution--I might have been able by context to follow along and figure out definitions if there wasn't context switching. The author likes her subject, but the book needed an editor who didn't know the subject to read it.
If you read it, start with the glossary in the back. I didn't know it was there until I was done--it will probably help considerably!
This beautiful hardcover book makes a wonderful gift!