The Button Box

Something a little different today – a book review! I was lent this by my mum and I wanted to share it with you as I’m sure some of you will be keen to read this too.

The Button Box by Lynn Knight is both a social and personal history of buttons, and therefore clothing, of the ordinary British woman from the Victorian era to the sixties. Rifling through her own button box, the author links her own stories and memories with a commentary on how each button she has chosen is significant and what it represented on a grander scale beyond the garments themselves. Starting with jet buttons and ending with classic pearl buttons, Lynn Knight covers a lot of ground, including the suffragettes, wartime ‘make do and mend’ and the rise of the modern teenager.

I really enjoyed this book (why else would I be reviewing it?!) and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in 20th century fashion, or someone who is into modern social history. Using her own treasured trinkets, the author is able to paint a vivid picture of the ordinary woman who would have seen and used these buttons on a daily basis. So much history is tied up in our clothes, what we wore, where we wore it, how we wore it etc, and to be able to tell these stories just using a tiny thing like a button is a interesting perspective on a much covered subject.

You can buy the book here in the UK, and here in the USA.

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