From Eve's fig leaf to Hilary Clinton's pantsuit, the way we choose to clothe our bodies can carry layer upon layer of meaning. Across cultures and throughout history people have used clothing to signify power and status, to adorn and beautify, even to prop up or dismantle regimes.
Here, explore the best-dressed figures in history, from Cleopatra to Beyoncé, Joan of Arc to RuPaul. Some have influenced the fashion of today, while some have used their clothing to change the world. But all have a sartorial story to tell.
Amber Butchart is a BBC television and radio presenter, and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion.
Her series A Stitch in Time aired on BBC4, exploring the stories behind the clothes worn by some of the most fascinating figures in history. She presented From Rags to Riches for BBC Radio 4 and Civilisations Stories for BBC One.
She is the author of four previous books, Fashion Illustration in Britain, The Fashion of Film, Nautical Chic and Amber Jane Butchart's Fashion Miscellany.