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About the book
  • Published: 24 September 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473505094
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

Stitches in Time

The Story of the Clothes We Wear

Stitches in Time is a lively and idiosyncratic history of clothing.

Riffling through the wardrobes of years gone by, costume historian Lucy Adlington reveals the rich stories underlying the clothes we wear in this stylish tour of the most important developments in the history of fashion, from ancient times to the present day.

Starting with underwear – did you know Elizabeth I owned just one pair of drawers, worn only after her death? – she moves garment by garment through Western attire, exploring both the items we still wear every day and those that have gone the way of the dodo (sugared petticoats, farthingales and spatterdashers to name but a few).

Beautifully illustrated throughout, and crammed with fascinating and eminently quotable facts, Stitches in Time shows how the way we dress is inextricably bound up with considerations of aesthetics, sex, gender, class and lifestyle – and offers us the chance to truly appreciate the extraordinary qualities of these, our most ordinary possessions.

  • Pub date: 24 September 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473505094
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Lucy Adlington

Lucy Adlington took an English degree from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York.

After many years running unique hands-on history workshops and presentations for museums, schools and heritage sites, Lucy now specialises in costume history, with a passion for the early twentieth century. She collects nineteenth- and twentieth-century costume. Her ambition is to own an eighteenth-century gown of Spitalfields silk. She runs the popular 'History Wardrobe' series of talks – delightful costume-in-context presentations, all featuring original garments and accessories.

Lucy's costume history books, Great War Fashion and Fashion: Women in World War One, are rich with unique images and anecdotes. Lucy also writes history-inspired novels for young adults. Her first five novels, including the award-winning Diary of Pelly D, Carnegie-nominated Burning Mountain and the exciting new Night Witches, are published by Hodder Children's Books.

Praise for Stitches in Time

“Anyone with a closet full of vintage clothes will find Stitches in Time a fascinating primer to the art of getting dressed.”

Mail on Sunday

“Lucy Adlington has done something very impressive in making this a lively, vibrant and constantly interesting history – with each chapter focusing on a different area of clothing, and the vastly different history that accompanies each item. Some of the stories here are utterly fascinating, some rather upsetting, and some surprisingly moving – not what you would expect from a history of clothes ... You'll come away far more knowledgeable, and have a different viewpoint next time you open the wardrobe.”


“An enjoyable and easily accessible read to anyone who has an interest in the history of clothing, or history in general.”

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

“The commentary is cogent and wise... detailed and absorbing”



S Magazine, Sunday Express

“Adlington’s history of clothing in Western culture is a fascinating exploration of knicker elastic, sock garters, trouser turn-ups, glove-stretchers and other sartorial curiosities”

Daily Mail

“Clothes are deeply connected to our identity. Here’s a clear, thoughtful history. Of socks. And trousers, And jackets. And much more.”

Evening Standard

“What's remarkable is just how fascinating it all is.”


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