Bonus review! (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, while very good, is also extremely long, being a trilogy in one book. A friend saw me reading it at lunch today and suggested it might also double as a self-defense item, on the grounds that it would probably stop a knife or bullet.)
I got this book from the library on a whim. I've never had much interest in fashion in the modern sense, but I find historical clothing fascinating as a part of life in general throughout the past.
This book had a little less explanation of the factors that led to changes in clothing than I'd hoped, but to be fair it had a lot of ground to cover, and does actually call itself a concise history in the title. There were brief explanations as to motivating factors for change, and very detailed timelines with a lot of wonderful illustrations.
Pivotal changes such as cross-cultural invasions, trading routes, and inventions that led to changes in clothing and fashion all link in to the developments that took place. Although it's a lot of information to take in on casual reading (and I have to admit I did mostly skip through the final chapter about modern fashion and designers) I feel more as though I can watch a period drama or look at a painting and pinpoint more exactly which time period it presents, and know which details to watch out for.
Next up: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever