"This meant that suddenly women could go topless in Cannes but not wear veils anywhere in France."

Tang's controversial work examines many categories and examples of the ways in which clothing has influenced world events. The reader is challenged to look beyond the work and play functions of apparel and accessories to the events that they may influence, be coincident with, or possibly discourage. The examples, which range in intensity from beach nudity to the attacks on The World Trade Center, seem to be astute observations, rather than full-scale research projects. They posit certain aspects of human psychology that are easily overlooked. Humans classify much about themselves, which indicates their overall interactions with the world. Do fashions in clothing signify greater awareness, such as "group think" or consciousness, than one thinks they do?

The author’s topic is intriguing since it points to varieties of events and coincidences that have occurred, usually in groups. Tang raises many intriguing issues. For example, if many people believe that "fakes" are authentic, despite much evidence that they aren't, does it matter (except to the original designers, of course!)? Could humanity save the planet by not shopping? Did trends in clothing somehow predict the 2016 election? Can the materials that people select for clothing actually save lives? Perhaps the human race can be killed off due to choosing other selections, and the fashions that are popular for work and leisure may be determined by certain groups of which people are not distinctly aware. Tang's prose is bright, humorous when appropriate, concise, and entertaining. This book is especially pertinent for people who enjoy a variety of examples of sociological and psychological perspectives on the choices that individuals make on micro and macro levels.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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