Top 25 Fashion Books You Must Read to Improve Your Fashion Knowledge & Style
May 2022

Good fashionistas always cultivate themselves through fashion books, magazines, blogs, TV shows, and fashion movies. From all sources above, fashion books are the best medium to discover the history and lives of iconic fashion designers, the evolution of clothing styles, and the creation of fashion trends.

Fashion books are also the best sources of business expertise firsthand, directly from the world’s best designer brands and fashion names, such as Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, or Oscar de la Renta. In this article, I’ll introduce you to 25 MOST IMPORTANT fashion books every fashionista must know right now. 

1. The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every

The Little Dictionary of Fashion

Christian Dior (2007)

4.7 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Design

The author conducts us through the history of fashion and provides excellent advice on style basics, from how to tie a scarf or what to wear to a wedding, to how to walk gracefully.

The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior is one of the best fashion books to start learning the value of simplicity, personal style, and good taste.


2. Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography

Elsa Schiaparelli

Meryle Secrest (2014)

4 out of 5

GENRE: Biography

The book brings us closer to the great couturier, once considered “queen of fashion” and Coco Channel’s rival Elsa Schiaparelli.

Being one of the best fashion designers from the 20th century, this is one of the best fashion biographies to read since her extraordinary work has stood the test of time.


3. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion


Elizabeth L. Cline (2013)

4.4 out of 5

GENRE: Investigation

In this book, the author, an expert journalist on consumer culture and fast fashion shocked the reader with an eye-opener investigation into cheap style and its impact on the environment.

Also listed as one of the best sustainability books, overdressed has a profound take on consumerism, consumer behavior, and human rights. A must-read fashion book needed to understand how cheap clothing is shaping the world, and not exactly in a good way.


4. The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own

The One Hundred

Nina Garcia (2008)

4.4 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Guide

With a glorious excess of advice from top American designers and fashion journalists, this fashion book is one of the best guides to renewing or rebuilding a wardrobe.

The book is perfect for those looking for ‘fashion books for beginners’ since it covers up to 100 closet must-haves to dress correctly and achieve a stylish direction.  


5. The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed

The House of Gucci

Sara Gay Forden (2021)

4.4 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

Suppose you watched and liked the film House of Gucci directed by Ridley Scott, starring Lady Gaga and Alan Driver. If that case, the book offers a distinctive viewpoint on one of the fashion families that shaped the industry in the 20th-century.

The author covers the story behind the murder of Maurizio Gucci with details about the fashion label’s history and unique styling techniques.


6. Dior by Dior: The Autobiography of Christian Dior

Dior by Dior

Christian Dior (2018)

4.7 out of 5

GENRE: Autobiography

Are you looking for fascinating stories and inspiration on how to become a fashion designer? Who better to be inspired by, other than the one and only Christian Dior, while documenting the creation of his fashion house?

The designer provides fascinating childhood tales and how, eventually, hard work combined with his love for fashion grew until the opening of his atelier.


7. Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present

Fashion Victims

Alison Matthews David (2017)

4.7 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

Being one of the best fashion books for students, Fashion Victims will fascinate the reader about how garments have been a cause of death in the past and even today. Frocks laden with arsenic or hats laced with mercury by design are just a glimpse of what the author has to illustrate.


8. Inside Haute Couture: Behind the Scenes at the Paris Ateliers

Inside Haute Couture

Désirée Sadek (2016)

4.8 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Design

Are you looking for a fashion design book loved by fashion critics and ideal to gain the perfect haute-couture experience?

Desirée Sadek provides that by showing the inner workings of at least 10 French ateliers in the most detailed way. Unique techniques, style dynamics, and fashion business philosophy from the best experts await this journey.


9. D.V.


Diana Vreeland (2011)

4.6 out of 5

GENRE: Autobiography

Explore the glamorous life of a former columnist for Harper’s BAZAAR and later editor-in-chief at Vogue, and one of the most influential editors of all time, Diana Vreeland.

The book uncovers the most exciting details of fashion climbing and the people that shaped it in the 20th century.


10. The Fashion Conspiracy: A Remarkable Journey Through the Empires of Fashion

The Fashion Conspiracy

Nicholas Coleridge (1989)

4.2 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

The book portrays over 400 interviews with fashion giants such as Calvin Klein, Paloma Picasso, Tina Chow, Yves Saint Laurent, and Ralph Lauren and the behind-the-scenes of the industry.

The author has no hesitation in uncovering the extravagancies of the industry, from the catwalks of 7th Avenue Glitz and Paris to the New Wave Tokyo Chic.


11. The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History

The Battle of Versailles

Robin Givhan (2016)

4.6 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

There’s no better way to read fashion history than from the pen of a Pulitzer Prize-winning like Robin Givhan. The journalist carries readers to one of the most spectacular fashion events history has ever seen: The International Fashion Show of Versailles in 1973.


12. The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business

The End of Fashion

Teri Agins (2000)

4.4 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Business

Explore alongside the Wall Street Journal reporter Teri Agins the significant changes the fashion industry has been throughout the years. Discover how clever marketing sells Elite-only trends as mass-consumers products and how, in the author’s opinion, the richness of fashion has come to an end.



13. Fashion Worlds: Contemporary Retail Spaces

Fashion Worlds

Michelle Galindo (2012)

3 out of 5
GENRE: Fashion Design

In modern times, where online buying has almost become the rule, quality of design and display has to go hand in hand. Fashion Worlds, one of the best decorative fashion books, teaches how stores around the globe exhibit diverse clothes in the most fashionable and captivating ways.


14. Visionaries: Interviews with Designers


Susannah Frankel (2001)

5 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

Art represents its present cultural climate, and fashion does it in an even more symbolic way. Visionaries is a collection of interviews with 23 of the most influential couturiers from around the world deconstructing their signature designs.


15. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

Justine Picardie (2011)

4.3 out of 5

GENRE: Biography

In the book, the author Justine Picardie, former editor-in-chief for Harper’s BAZAAR, puzzles the intricate life and legend of Coco Chanel, the extraordinary woman that shaped modern fashion. A compelling fashion book, this is a must-read by every style and history of fashion connoisseurs.


16. The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History

The Golden Thread

Kassia St. Clair (2021)

4.7 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion History

Being one of the best fashion history books out there, The Golden Thread takes us on a journey covering the thousands of years fabric has been on earth. Discover the legendary Silk Road trades and the Pre-Hispanic Americas up to the modern fashion times.


17. The Asylum: True Tales of Madness from a Life in Fashion

The Asylum

Simon Doonan (2015)

4.9 out of 5

GENRE: Memoires

The fashion world can be a sparkling and glamorous scene for many outsiders dreaming of the high life. Yet, the fashion world has many secrets and absurdities, and the fashion insider Simon Doonan reveals them in a collection of exciting and hysterical essays everyone should read.


18. Brown Bohemians: Honoring the Light and Magic of Our Creative Community

Brown Bohemians

Vanessa Coore Vernon and Morgan Ashley (2020)

4.9 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Ethnic Studies

A group of authors joins together to present a series of stories highlighting the overlooked yet monumental work and influence the people of color have had in the fashion world throughout history. A superb fashion book that showcases the struggles of black designers, artists, and artisans fighting for recognition and access to equal opportunities.


19. Peter Lindbergh: A Different History of Fashion

Peter Lindbergh

Thierry-Maxime Loriot (2020)

4.7 out of 5

GENRE: Biography

A stylish hardback fashion book presenting the story of photographer Peter Lindbergh, the author of the iconic cover for British Vogue, in January 1990.

The author compiles more than 400 storytelling images from four decades, featuring commentaries from collaborators like Cindy Crawford, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Nicole Kidman.


20. Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes


Dana Thomas (2020)

4.6 out of 5

GENRE: Investigation

Suppose the book Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline shows the terrible consequences fast fashion can cause at an environmental, social, and human level. In that case, Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas digs even more profound.

In this investigative fashion book, the author portrays the opposite side of the glamorous spectrum by highlighting how many modern brands are working hard to create a more sustainable fashion industry.


21. The Glass of Fashion: A Personal History of Fifty Years of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them

The Glass of Fashion

Cecil Beaton (2021)

4.4 out of 5

GENRE: Memoires

First published in 1954, the book is a chronicle portraying the most emblematic characters of fashion’s golden age, from Coco Chanel to Christian Dior.

Across eighteen chapters, the book includes more than 150 drawings, leaving an indelible trace of the author’s views on style.


22. Grace: A Memoir


Grace Coddington (2012)

4.5 out of 5

GENRE: Memoires

The former model and later creative director at US Vogue, Grace Coddington, gives us a glimpse of her story as an inspirational testimony of how a Welsh girl built up a successful career in the competitive world of fashion.

This fashion book is a perfect read for those looking for the best role models (in the fashion industry) to follow and learn from.


23. : The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon

Coco Chanel

Megan Hess (2015)

4.8 out of 5

GENRE: Biography

Delivered from the hand of the world-renown illustrator Megan Hess, this biography is a beautiful way to get closer to the fashion legend Coco Chanel.

The author compiles 100 iconic moments and anecdotes in the life of the beloved and iconic French fashion designer.


24. Modesty: A Fashion Paradox


Hafsa Lodi (2020)

4.5 out of 5

GENRE: Investigation

Although modesty could be considered an oxymoron in fashion, the American journalist Hafsa Lodi breaks down the movement with a deep investigation that reveals the answer to the question: “Is modest fashion a contradiction?”


25. Kate Spade New York: All in Good Taste

Kate Spade New York: All in Good Taste

Hafsa Lodi (2020)

4.5 out of 5

GENRE: Fashion Design

A New York Times bestseller; in this guide, the brand offers personal essays, charming anecdotes, recipes, how-tos, and style tips that can enrich our live styles. The book overcomes the rigid norms of the past by offering fresh ideas for the modern-day hostess.



There is enough fashion literature out there to satisfy even the most demanding fashion enthusiasts. Yet, not all fashion books are equal; hence I’ve decided to curate, in this article, the best 25 fashion books ever.


Read the best guide on dressing and behaving most fashionably, such as The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior or Kate Spade New York: All in Good Taste. Also, explore the inspirational testimonies of struggle and success, like Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography or Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life.

We’re already mid-2022, so get your hands on a good fashion book to learn directly from its protagonists.

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