What Will Be Worn: A McWhirters story
Melissa Fagan


Paperback | Sep 2018 | Transit Lounge | 9781925760095 | 288pp | Stocked item (plenty) | GEN | AUD$29.99, NZD$34.99


Sometimes it seems the most invaluable stories can be found in the unlikeliest of corners.

For all who know Brisbane, McWhirters, a once celebrated department store in Fortitude Valley, is an icon. For Melissa Fagan it is also the starting point for this remarkable exploration of her mother and grandmother’s lives, and a poignant  reminder of the ways in which retail stores and fashion have connected women’s lives across decades.

Behind the dusty shop counters of an Art Deco treasure, Fagan discovers both what has been lost and continues to shine. Ultimately this tender exploration of self and family, so exquisitely written,  speaks of the ways in which life so often surprises us and of how the legacies of others can truly enrich our own relationships and lives.

‘I raced through What Will Be Worn. It’s moving and alive, funny and tender. It is also a rigorous examination of the ways in which women shroud ourselves, figuratively and literally. I especially loved Melissa’s portrait of her mother, “the lost princess of Brisbane”. A very fine book.’ — Susan Johnson, author of The Landing

‘With delicacy, flair and an ever-questioning but never judgmental eye, Fagan performs beautifully the dance of writing history, slipping seamlessly back and forth between what is known and what must be imagined.’ — Peggy Frew, author of Hope Farm

‘It’s rare to find a book that so warmly and intelligently takes on themes such as the ways in which fashion links women across generations, the glamour and downfall of the department store, and the bonds between mothers and daughters. Melissa Fagan’s What Will Be Worn transcends the local with aplomb. It’s a loving and searching portrait of what we inherit from our families. It reminds me of Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes and Helen Garner’s investigative and self-questioning writing style.’ — Barry Scott, Co-publisher at Transit Lounge