Josh Sim’s “100 Ideas That Changed Street Style” is eclectic

“100 Ideas That Changed Street Style” by Josh Sims; Laurence King Publishing (216 pages, $29.95)

Josh Sims’ “100 Ideas That Changed Street Style” is the latest in a “100 Ideas” series of books from Laurence King Publishing (other titles include “100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design” and “100 Ideas That Changed Photography”), and the lavishly illustrated softcover book strikes an entertaining balance between encyclopedia and field guide as it sprints through some 70 years of street style.

Many of the movements, trends, fads, statements and style tribes highlighted, cross-sectioned and deconstructed are familiar, with Sims delving into dandyism (idea No. 4), pointing out preppy (No. 15), and tackling steampunk (No. 92). (There’s no explanation as to the ordering, but it appears the entries are arranged more or less chronologically.) Aerobics style of the 1980s — think leg warmers — earns an entry, and Japanese street style is well-represented with a handful of entries including Decora, Kogal and Lolita.

But since the book is headed for the triple digit mark, the author has the luxury of being able to reach both further afield and farther back in time to introduce even the most dedicated followers of fashion to a term they might not have heard of before. Examples here include the zazous of German-occupied France (“akin to the zoot suiters of the United States, and sharing a style with the British Teddy boys of the 1950s,” writes Sims), the stilyagis of ’50s-era USSR.

Whether read straight through from teenager (No. 1) to magpie style (No. 100) or kept close at hand for future reference, “100 Ideas That Changed Street Style” would make a worthy addition to a summer reading list or bookshelf.


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