100 books like Designer Dirty Laundry

By Diane Vallere,

Here are 100 books that Designer Dirty Laundry fans have personally recommended if you like Designer Dirty Laundry. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Pleating for Mercy

Susie Black Author Of Death by Sample Size

From my list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the protagonist in my Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, I am a ladies’ swimwear sales exec. I love solving puzzles, asking a lot of questions, and am naturally curious (some narrow-minded people say I am nosy…go figure…LOL). So, writing mysteries set in the fashion industry was the natural next step for me to take. From the beginning of my career, I have kept a daily journal chronicling the interesting, quirky, and sometimes quite challenging people I have encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My daily journal entries are the foundation of everything I write.

Susie's book list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Because I never stop asking what if, I am drawn to cozy mysteries with a plot that weaves a ribbon of fantasy through the stories. I love the added dimension of an inexplicable “presence” when Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves a successful Manhattan fashion design career and opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century Texas farmhouse she inherits from her grandmother.

By Melissa Bourbon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pleating for Mercy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence". Is Meemaw really gone, or she now Harlow's ghostly roommate?

Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the killer-with a little help from beyond.


Book cover of Veiled Revenge

Susie Black Author Of Death by Sample Size

From my list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the protagonist in my Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, I am a ladies’ swimwear sales exec. I love solving puzzles, asking a lot of questions, and am naturally curious (some narrow-minded people say I am nosy…go figure…LOL). So, writing mysteries set in the fashion industry was the natural next step for me to take. From the beginning of my career, I have kept a daily journal chronicling the interesting, quirky, and sometimes quite challenging people I have encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My daily journal entries are the foundation of everything I write.

Susie's book list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

I’ve always been a sucker for a good curse to thicken a cozy mystery plot, and this one has a doozy: a stunning Russian shawl worn by a fortune-teller at a bridal shower that Washington, D.C. fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian attends for her BFF Stella. I love the plucky amateur sleuth who uses her Extra-Fashionary Perception to capture a villain who vowed that nobody at this wedding will live happily ever after.

Book cover of Danger in High Heels

Susie Black Author Of Death by Sample Size

From my list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the protagonist in my Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, I am a ladies’ swimwear sales exec. I love solving puzzles, asking a lot of questions, and am naturally curious (some narrow-minded people say I am nosy…go figure…LOL). So, writing mysteries set in the fashion industry was the natural next step for me to take. From the beginning of my career, I have kept a daily journal chronicling the interesting, quirky, and sometimes quite challenging people I have encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My daily journal entries are the foundation of everything I write.

Susie's book list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

A protagonist who is loyal to a fault and willing to put her life on the line to clear an innocent friend is a key ingredient to a cozy I want to read. So, I was naturally attracted to shoe designer Maddie Springer in Danger in High Heels who springs into action and risks her life to clear her wrongly accused BFF’s boyfriend of murder. I prefer amateur sleuths stumbling and bumbling their way to solving the case like Maddy does. Her snappy comebacks gave this cozy the spice that made the story zing. 

By Gemma Halliday,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Danger in High Heels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 Amazon, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling series!
Death on the set of a Dancing with Celebrities TV show has someone taking their final bow...

Maddie Springer is all about fashion. So when her the movie star her best friend is dating, Ricky Montgomery, becomes a contestant on the ballroom dance reality hit, Dancing with Celebrities, she is over the moon at the chance to view the sparkly, spandexy costumes up close. That is until Ricky's dance partner is found dead in his dressing room...in the nude! Suddenly the police suspect him of murder, his girlfriend, Dana, suspects…


Book cover of Slay Bells and Satchels

Susie Black Author Of Death by Sample Size

From my list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the protagonist in my Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, I am a ladies’ swimwear sales exec. I love solving puzzles, asking a lot of questions, and am naturally curious (some narrow-minded people say I am nosy…go figure…LOL). So, writing mysteries set in the fashion industry was the natural next step for me to take. From the beginning of my career, I have kept a daily journal chronicling the interesting, quirky, and sometimes quite challenging people I have encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My daily journal entries are the foundation of everything I write.

Susie's book list on humorous cozy mysteries set in the fashion industry

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Coming from an apparel sales exec. career, I gravitate to cozy stories set in stores. I love clueless employees who stumble over dead bodies, and zany characters who manage to get themselves out of crazy situations. I especially enjoy cozies with a holiday theme. Slay Bells and Satchels has it all. I laughed out loud when fashionista purse lover department store sales clerk Haley Randolph finds a murdered elf in the store’s giant toy bag. Slay Bells and Satchels tickled my funny bone throughout the story, but had me guessing whodunit to the last page. 

By Dorothy Howell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slay Bells and Satchels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Summer Santa Sale at Holt’s Department Store becomes a Christmas nightmare when sales clerk Haley Randolph finds a murdered elf in the store’s giant toy bag. Haley, a crazed fashionista obsessed with designer handbags, could find herself “bagged” if she doesn’t untangle this mystery quicker than Saint Nick can slide down a chimney. But Haley has another problem: Can working with hot private detective Jack Bishop put her on Santa’s “naughty” list?


Book cover of Jean Paul Gaultier

Emma Baxter-Wright Author Of Chanel Paperscapes: The Book That Transforms Into a Work of Art

From my list on the provocative talents of the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a failed fashion designer, the history of twentieth-century fashion, represented both visually and in the form of narrative text, make up the bulk of my ever-increasing library of fashion books. In order to write about fashion, either as a biographer of one of the great designers or cutting-edge photographers, it is crucial to acknowledge what was deemed as desirable in a previous generation and a previous context. As Yves Saint Laurent famously said, "Fashion fades, Style is eternal." Fashion in its broader sense has never existed in a vacuum and an understanding of fashion history and fashion imagery, that so clearly evokes a specific era, is the very best way to appreciate the cyclical nature of this creative business.  

Emma's book list on the provocative talents of the fashion industry

Emma Baxter-Wright Why did Emma love this book?

In his early career, Gaultier was a regular visitor to London and took inspiration from Soho’s indie art school clubs, Billy’s, The Blitz, The Wag. As a fashion student at St. Martins at the time, we were often on the same dance floor together and I identified with his rebellious attitude, which continued to challenge the fashion status quo and never waned. Glossy catwalk pictures of a distinct tribe of models, (not the usual crowd of supermodels) original design sketches, quotes from JPG the "enfant terrible" of Parisian fashion who famously broke all the rules on gender in the 1990s, and an intelligent text by Colin McDowell, a renowned fashion historian, all contribute to a wonderful book that brilliantly captures the truly unique talent of this designer. 

By Colin McDowell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jean Paul Gaultier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jean-Paul Gaultier is fashion's polymath. His name is a byword for outrageous, witty and even revolutionary fashion. As a designer, a TV star and gay icon he has used his subversive sense of humour to make us question our attitudes towards sex, social values and cultural morality. But it would be wrong to assume that he is merely the court jester of the international fashion world. He has never failed to produce collections of total originality that inspire as much as they shock. He has been designing for twenty years, and never once has he followed the fashion: he has…


Book cover of Underwear: Fashion in Detail

Cora Harrington Author Of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie

From my list on the history of fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clothing is one of the most important aspects of our humanity, of the things which make us who we are. We use fashion to identify allies and enemies. To express our interests, politics, and belief systems. To make a statement about who we are to the outside world. To show our identity or ethnicity. Or to indicate our affiliation with certain groups. Fashion is everywhere, but compared to other disciplines, is very rarely talked about. Though I'm a lingerie expert, fashion in its totality interests me. I’m excited every time I learn something new, not just because I enjoy pretty garments, but because I also learn something about the nature of who we are.

Cora's book list on the history of fashion

Cora Harrington Why did Cora love this book?

Of course, I can’t put together a list of fashion books without dedicating one of them to lingerie. Underwear: Fashion in Detail was one of the first lingerie-focused books I purchased (the other was Valerie Steel’s The Corset, unfortunately no longer in print). Full of amazing photos and equally amazing diagrams, if you want to learn about lingerie specifically, this is where to start.

By Eleri Lynn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Underwear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From camisoles to corsets, basques to boudoir caps and girdles to garters, Underwear: Fashion in Detail gets up close to some of the most intimate items in the V&A. The book traces the evolution of underwear, from rare examples dating from the sixteenth century and the exaggerated shapes of eighteenth-century courtly undergarments, to Dior's curvaceous 'New Look' girdles to contemporary lingerie by Agent Provocateur and Rigby and Peller. Meticulous colour photography shows these fascinating garments in close detail, while intricate line drawings reveal their construction. The book also highlights the work of designers such as Vionnet and Westwood, who have…


Book cover of The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris

Emma Baxter-Wright Author Of Chanel Paperscapes: The Book That Transforms Into a Work of Art

From my list on the provocative talents of the fashion industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a failed fashion designer, the history of twentieth-century fashion, represented both visually and in the form of narrative text, make up the bulk of my ever-increasing library of fashion books. In order to write about fashion, either as a biographer of one of the great designers or cutting-edge photographers, it is crucial to acknowledge what was deemed as desirable in a previous generation and a previous context. As Yves Saint Laurent famously said, "Fashion fades, Style is eternal." Fashion in its broader sense has never existed in a vacuum and an understanding of fashion history and fashion imagery, that so clearly evokes a specific era, is the very best way to appreciate the cyclical nature of this creative business.  

Emma's book list on the provocative talents of the fashion industry

Emma Baxter-Wright Why did Emma love this book?

Meticulously researched by brilliant fashion journalist Alicia Drake, this book charts the bitchy, high octane rivalry of two mega egos of the industry, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. As a journalist working today in an era of horrendous consumerism known as ‘fast fashion’ this detailed account of how both men were instrumental in shifting the established codes of a refined haute couture system into a faster-paced ready-to-wear market in the 1970s is illuminating. It also documents the evolution of couturier as a celebrity, detailing how YSL used an image of himself to promote his aftershave in 1971, a revolutionary idea of self-promotion at the time, and now a very necessary part of the ‘selfie’ obsessed generation of creatives working in fashion.  

By Alicia Drake,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Beautiful Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1950s Paris, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld were friends, the rising stars of the fashion world. But by the late sixties, the city was invaded by a new mood of liberation and hedonism, and dominated by intrigue, infidelities, addiction and parties. Each designer created his own mesmerizing world, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, and it was to make them bitter rivals. "The Beautiful Fall" is a dazzling expose of an era and the story of the two men who were its essence and who remain its most singular survivors.


Book cover of Consuming Fashion: Adorning the Transnational Body

Sue Blundell Author Of Women in Ancient Greece

From my list on women in classical Greece and how to think about them.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I retired from lecturing in Classical Studies I’ve been writing more pieces on women in the ancient world, and also some plays. One of them, 189 Pieces, is about the Portland Vase, a beautiful example of Roman glass whose label in the British Museum tells us that it was owned by the Duke of Portland. This is true—he’d inherited it—but it was bought at great expense by his grandmother, the wonderful Duchess of Portland. Giving women their place in history has been my aim in much of my work. Nowadays I’m obsessed with female footwear, and Cinderella, Goody Two-Shoes, and Carrie Bradshaw take up a lot of my time. 

Sue's book list on women in classical Greece and how to think about them

Sue Blundell Why did Sue love this book?

"The statements we make just by getting dressed in the morning." This book about fashion and dress codes, and how they interconnect with gender, sexuality, and class, is lively and thought-provoking. My own study of the women who appear in Greek vase paintings led me to look more closely at women’s relationship with their clothing. In particular their handling of shoes became a source of fascination, and in my current research I’m focussing on narratives around female footwear. In the book, Brydon’s chapter "Sensible Shoes" has been an inspiration. Stilettos, for example, are seen as being entirely ambiguous in their significance, items which can both empower and disable the wearer. Like the knife they are named after, they are double-edged. 

By Anne Brydon (editor), Sandra Niessen (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Consuming Fashion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Clothing the body is one of the most complicated acts of daily existence. When a nun ponders red shoes, an architect knots his bowtie, a lesbian laces her Doc Marten's, or a nude model disrobes, each is engaging in a process of identity-making that is both intensely personal and deeply social. In an increasingly material world, negotiating dress codes is a nuanced art, informed by shifting patterns of power and authority, play and performance, as well as gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and race. Drawing on ethnographic knowledge to connect theory and practice, authors reveal links between material culture, social and…


Book cover of Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the '90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion

Alyssa Hardy Author Of Worn Out: How Our Clothes Cover Up Fashion's Sins

From my list on style.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fashion has been the love of my life since I was a little kid pouring over magazines and watching shows on fashion TV in the middle of the night. But I’ve always known fashion is not about clothing, its about feeling and it’s about people. That’s why I love to read the stories about people who work in fashion, who have been impacted by fashion and those who love it just as much as I do. 

Alyssa's book list on style

Alyssa Hardy Why did Alyssa love this book?

If you have any interest in the supermodel era of fashion, Champagne Supernovas is a great look into a piece of it.

The book gives you an inside look at the style scene in the 1990s highlighting moments with Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and more. It details some of the most powerful people’s personal struggles, and how the culture they had been thrust into only made it worst. It’s glamorous, sure, but the exploration of the underbelly of popular culture makes it that much more exciting to read. 

By Maureen Callahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Champagne Supernovas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Terrifically exciting and fun” (Publishers Weekly), Champagne Supernovas is “a lucid, smoothly executed look at a pivotal decade in the legacy of American fashion” (Kirkus Reviews) as told through the lives of Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen—the three iconic personalities who defined the time.

Veteran pop culture journalist Maureen Callahan takes us back to the pivotal style moment of the early 1990s—when supermodel glamazons gave way to heroin chic, when the alternative became the mainstream, and when fashion suddenly became the cradle for the most exciting artistic and cultural innovations of the age. Champagne Supernovas gives you the…


Book cover of The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

Amanda Sullivan Author Of Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist's Guide to Getting -- and Staying -- Organized

From my list on to reimagine your relationship to stuff.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a professional organizer since 1999, I’ve realized that the problem isn’t so much that we are disorganized, but that we are out-matched. We have too much stuff, it is too cheap and we are too busy and we can’t keep up. If you really want to stay organized, you have to examine your relationship to stuff. Why we want what we want and buy what we buy. Less but better! 

Amanda's book list on to reimagine your relationship to stuff

Amanda Sullivan Why did Amanda love this book?

Przybryszewski, a history professor at Notre Dame, had me from the start where she says she’s probably the only person to have spoken to the Supreme court wearing a ’suit that won a blue ribbon at a country fair.” Taking American fashion back to the Home Economics taught at Land Grant Universities and subsequently, at high schools, Przybryszewski argues that knowing how to sew was not just a practical skill, but also made us better consumers.

Making our own clothes might have seemed like drudgery, but it was empowering and now that most of us don’t have those skills, we’re literally slaves to fashion…  we can’t tell high-quality from low quality, we can’t put in pockets when we need them… and nothing, nothing is ever our exact size. This is a book that will make you want to learn to make your own clothes… or at least cast a far…

By Linda Przybyszewski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Art of Dress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a glance down any street in America quickly reveals, American women have forgotten how to dress. We chase fads, choose inappropriate materials and unattractive cuts, and waste energy tottering in heels when we could be moving gracefully. Quite simply, we lack the fashion know-how we need to dress professionally and flatteringly.As historian and expert dressmaker Linda Przybyszewski reveals in The Lost Art of Dress , it wasn't always like this. In the first half of the twentieth century, a remarkable group of women,the so-called Dress Doctors,taught American women how to stretch each yard of fabric and dress well on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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