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Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style
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Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,667 ratings  ·  275 reviews
There seems to be no one more qualified or equipped to ponder or even, dare I say, dictate 'quality, taste, and style' than Tim." -Sarah Jessica Parker, actor/producer

Television has introduced the world to a new fashion authority: Tim Gunn. As Bravo's style mentor and Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Parsons The New School for Design, Tim delivers advice in a fran
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Published March 1st 2011 by Abrams, Harry N., Inc. (first published January 1st 2007)
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Rakisha
Apr 26, 2008 Rakisha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fashion Geeks and Tim Gunn Fans
If you are a fan of Tim Gunn, crisp grammar, fashion, and excellent vocabulary, then this book is for you. This is not a style guide that you can just breeze through, and memorize the pretty pictures. First off, there are no pictures but just a few illustrations. Secondly, Tim Gunn takes his business very seriously so his writing is dense. For the most part, I had to have a pocket dictionary beside me when reading this book. I felt smarter after reading this book if not also better equipped to d ...more
Ann-Marie
Tim Gunn could (and should!) write big-worded instructional guides for all aspects of life, and I'd excitedly devour it.

Sure, you might already know how to dress yourself and not look like hell revisited. Maybe you don't care about style at all! Point being, if you derive any enjoyment from Tim Gunn whatsoever, such circumstances should not stop you from reading this book.

(for funzies: Pretend he is sitting at your kitchen table drinking coffee with you as you read.)
Meghan
May 29, 2007 Meghan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fashion fanatics
I absolutely love Project Runway, and I love Tim's voice of reason and wisdom on the show; those aspects of his personality really come out in this guide. Unlike the typical fashion and style book formula, Tim is not going to give you a set of questions and give you a "look" based on a majority of a, b, or c responses. Although his suggestions are somewhat shopworn at times, I really felt this was only because they're universal and... true! My favorite section of the book was on choosing a fashi ...more
Erin
Oh yes, this was the kind of book I was looking for! Gunn's book is a book you can actually use as opposed to just read, which was a great follow-up to the disappointment of Nina Garcia's book. Gunn makes it more than halfway through the book before he even begins to address the clothing you need in your closet. He first covers other aspects of our appearance that affect how the world sees us: attitude, posture, skin care and more. His descriptions are clear and effective, and I can already see ...more
Kristen
There is really nothing to be learned from this book that you don't already know...but isn't Tim Gunn fabulous?
Sara
The positive: Tim Gunn's voice is as kind and encouraging and adorable in text as it is on video. I have a Tim Gunn bobblehead that I keep in the kitchen, so that when a pie crust tears or I stab myself in the hand coring strawberries (not that I did that last night or anything), I can press a button and Tim encourages me. He does that in this book by promising that the body I have (we all have) is beautiful; the body isn't the problem, it's the clothes. He promises that if we dress our bodies w ...more
Julia
You can get a sense of Tim Gunn's fashion principles by watching Project Runway - clothes should above all be wearable and flattering, a style can be assessed on its own terms rather than some universal measure of fashionable/unfashionable, etc. So none of this is revolutionary or terribly specific, but it's certainly more fun to hear it from Tim Gunn than from a magazine. And his advice on closet-clearing -- get rid of all the clothes you don't love and wear regularly, period -- is definitely u ...more
Leanne
Basic idea? Stop dressing like a slutty sixteen-year-old. Stop dressing your five-year old like a slutty sixteen-year-old. And oh yeah, don't let your sixteen-year-old dress like a slut. Jesus, people, this is not that hard.
MBP
More interesting and insightful than I expected - who would expect to find Roland Barthes and Kierkegaard referenced in a style guide?
Jessica
The writing style is charmingly goofy and the advice is inspirational and upbeat. There's no snark*, there's no angst, it's all about how to figure out who you are and how you want others to perceive you. Whether you're sartorially inspired by Oprah Winfrey or Natalie Portman, it's all about carefully evaluating your closet and making future purchasing decisions based on what fits you -- your personality, your body and your budget.

For those of us who need a bit more explicit advice about how to
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Leila T.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
Not exactly a page-turner, but lots of very erudite, very good tips from the God of all things tasteful and wonderful himself. Covers lots of ground--from what to wear to how to pack to whose style to idolize to how to interpret dress code on invitations. I basically skimmed and then slowed down for the bits that very much pertained to me, however if fashion and style is your milieu this is probably a bible for you. I learned that I should wear high-waisted things with bottoms (and shoes & s ...more
Anna
Fun, engaging, quick-reading style/fashion guide from Tim Gunn. I applaud the author's declaration in the first few pages that he isn't out to change the reader; the purpose instead is to "accentuate the positive while mitigating the negative." The huge flaw here is the lack of photographs. There are a smattering of pen-and-ink sketches, but they don't really help illustrate some of the things here that need illustrating. For example, there is a chapter on "fashion mentors", and I am not immedia ...more
Jillian
I adore Tim Gunn, and this is the utterly charming, intelligent, and forthright guide to life and style that anyone would expect from him. Who else, when discussing fashion, could so smoothly drop references to Barthes and Kierkegaard, teach vocabulary (sartorial, tattersall, gamine, ungulate) and pull off statements like "Kurt Cobain may have done more for the cardigan sweater than anyone since Fred Rogers"? He shakes his witty head at a long list of fashion and manner faux pas (and repeatedly ...more
eryn
What this book lacks in substance it makes up in style-- in the very best way possible. I was hoping for more specificity on certain topics, but I was completely taken with the charm of the whole thing. And I really did learn a few things that I plan to apply to my style revolution. Perhaps the more important point about this book is that by the time I was done, I felt more self-assured and, dare I say, more fabulous. The voice of the book really feels like Tim Gunn has taken the time to retreat ...more
Alires
Dec 16, 2007 Alires rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to update or do a reality check on their personal style
This book was refreshing and not too preachy. Tim Gunn writes just as he speaks on TV, very proper with references to obscure books and movies. It was nice to read a book which was not an advocate for purchasing high priced fashion...the focus was on identifying personal style. Personal style does not have to come from Saks Fifth Avenue, but can come from Banana Republic or even target. You want to invest in key pieces and have fun with the trends. Style is not just about clothes, but appearance ...more
Rebecca Huston
I really enjoyed this one. Let's face it, Tim Gunn is one of those men that I do admire -- he's polished, cultured and cultivated, and has a true sense of who he is. I like that. While this book did lack something that I really wanted to see - namely, that list of ten items that every woman needs in her closet -- the rest is very informative, and useful. While it is a rather thin book, I do recommend it. Four stars overall, and very much recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
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Stacey
I love Tim Gunn on Project Runway and I loved his book! Reading it is like having a personal conversation with him, where he is charming and fun and makes you feel fabulous about yourself. Some of the tips are new but most are classic ideas, based on more traditional standards of taste before our society became so casual. A fun and light read, it reminds you to take care of yourself without feeling guilty, and gives you a little push to finally get rid of the top that is cute on the hanger but w ...more
Yeva
As I read this book, I've come to think that Mr. Gunn was not writing so much as style and taste but about life. I'm loving the bits about taking charge of your life and clearing out the debris and learning to hang onto memories and not things. But also, I'm following his advice on lotions and clothes and all the rest. The upbeat and positive voice of this book helps constant reader find a new appreciation for looking good and for feeling good.
The Katie
Aug 10, 2007 The Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tim Gunn Fans
I really liked this book. Tim Gunn has always come across as this savvy smart man, and the book just feels as if he is there speaking with you. I didn't know who some of the style icons they mentioned, and he used some vocabulary I wasn't even familiar with... which just made me like him more. Most importanly I am trying to use the tips he suggested on improving my posture.

Well Done Tim Gunn.. and your writing partner.
Erin L.
A great little book. I polished it off in one afternoon. I was surprised to need a dictionary, Tim's a smart guy and doesn't dumb down his vocabulary-which I took as a compliment to his audience. Though not as specific as I hoped this was still an excellent read.
Hyo-Jung
Love reading it. It is written with panache, self-depecating wit and fierce intelligence. Loved reading it. Tim Gunn is just delightful in his attitude and approach to fashion and style. Would loved to have had him as my professor regardless of subject.
Wendy
I thought this was well written wise advice. You don't have to buy a lot of new clothes or change your weight-just follow a few basic recommendations to improve your confidence and your style.
Diane
You have to love all the erudite, obscure references in a book about fashion. It's a quick read, and there's some great advice. Bonus: you get to hear it in your head in Tim's voice.
Vanessa
May 21, 2007 Vanessa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fluff and of fashion
Shelves: 2007
It was basically like a really really long issue of Glamour, plus some Lucky thrown in for good measure. Basically it was fab fluff. With lots of Gunn-esque asides.
Kaity
Jul 15, 2007 Kaity rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Bravo reality shows
Tim Gunn is so cute I had to get this! Seems to be fairly elementary, but then I do have a BA in Costume Design.
Sarah
I love Tim Gunn, and I basically just want him to dress me every day. I love his voice in this book.
Mckinley
Know yourself, fit (size, proportion), sort through what clothes you have - keep what you love, what looks do you like?, posture-skin-hair.

Top 10: trench coat, sweatsuit alternative, boot-pump-flat trio, shapely jacket and go-anywhere top, signature jewelry, under arsenal, 2 day dresses, and an after-five look, a new cheap trend item, and 2 denim pants - one run around and one dress-up.

tip - don't skimp on price for ithems you wear frequently
Shopping - look at form and function
Guide to what to w
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Madigan McGillicuddy
Nothing new in this style-guide. The very basics, things pretty much everyone already knows, are covered here. Buy clothes that fit, really fit, not too big to hide your flaws, not too small to assuage your ego. Don't get hung up on the dress size. Just go with what really, actually fits, since dress sizes vary from company to company, anyway. Edit your wardrobe and get rid of all those things in your closet that you don't wear or need or that don't flatter you. He lists some famous women who pr ...more
Shannon
I've always got one or two fashion books that I am currently-reading. I had the good fortune to be able to meet Tim Gunn a few months ago and I received a signed copy of the book at that event. I've enjoyed what I've read so far. Tim's wit and charm just warm you from the start of the book. His words and advice in the book completely match with his on-air and in-person persona. You feel like he is with you as you read the book, analyzing the contents of your closet and wardrobe. He offers practi ...more
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Timothy M. Gunn is an American fashion consultant and television personality. He was chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design from August 2000 to March 2007 and is well-known as on-air mentor to designers on the Bravo reality television program Project Runway. Gunn's popularity on Project Runway led to his spin-off show, Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, as well as his book A ...more
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“Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.” 30 likes
“So perhaps the real secret to style is filling yourself to the absolute brim with engagement. Loving not wisely, but too well and all that.” 9 likes
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