Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase
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Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  11,352 ratings  ·  984 reviews
Now in paperback! Jen Lancaster's cultural inferiority complex had to come from somewhere...and now fans can find out where in the New York Times bestseller Pretty in Plaid.

Before she was bitter, before she was lazy, Jen Lancaster was a badge- hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton,...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published (first published April 4th 2009)
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Sabiel
Nov 24, 2009 Sabiel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Jen's dogs, Maisy & Loki
Jen,

Please allow me to reprint for your edification a maxim from Little House on the Prairie, which perchance you shall abide by since you regard the Ingalls girls as fashion icons in high esteem:

First time is funny.
Second time is naughty;
Third time is a spanking .**

This is your fourth memoir***, and you're 42. And a decade or two younger emotionally. Not that that's a bad thing; we love you for it, and it entertains us. But I think the Veronica Mars knockoff novel you mentioned penning in your...more
Robyn
I have been a huge fan of Jen Lancaster since I read her first book, and I loved the two that followed as much as the first. I have waited for this fourth book for over a year now and anxiously ordered it as soon as it was available. Sadly, this one just didn’t do it for me the way her other ones did. The others were hilarious, laugh-out-loud reads that had me wanting to snap my fingers in a Z and say, “Oh no she di-in’t!” to some of the outrageous things she says and does in her memoirs. I mean...more
Jeni
Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite writers. Everything she writes is just a delicious treat. From her twitter to her blog to her books-I love it.

Which is why my dislike for her 4th book, Pretty in Plaid, is very disappointing.

As a side note: this was the first book I ever read on my Kindle. Don't read Jen Lancaster on a Kindle. She is famously known for her awesome sub-scripts. On a Kindle, you have to scroll to and select each number. Once there, you select, each number, go the page it's on, t...more
Jennifer
I have a serious heart on for Jen Lancaster right now. Having just listened to my first "Jen" book I am full of Jen-ness. In a total state of Jen. Yeah. I am Jen-ed to the max!

This being my only Jen book under my belt I can give my opinion of this as a Lancaster virgin. Sure I had spotted her books in the Target book aisles - chuckled at the pithy titles. Thought - Maybe. Well Maybe is today bitches!

I laughed out loud several times. I actually got teary once while at work. (I forget the actual p...more
Judy
I floored by the fact that I only gave two stars to a Jen Lancaster book, but, frankly, this one was disappointing. Such a Pretty Fat was my introduction to Jen Lancaster and I LOVED it. I quickly bought and read her other two books and liked them. This book seems to be a rehash of all of the same smart comments (which, I have to admit are still funny, but predictable). The two parts of the book that I enjoyed the most were Lancaster forging Girl Scout badges while in elementary school and atten...more
Margie Thomas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deena
I loved Lancaster's first three books. So much that I read them all in the span of a few weeks.
I was ecstatic to get an ARC copy of PIP from a bookseller friend. Honestly, I was really disappointed with it. It just didn't have the same wit or feel. It took me weeks to force myself to finish. Perhaps because the story 'arcs' of the first three followed a much smaller time line, or maybe I just couldn't relate to the clothes stories as well as I could to the other books.
It was still okay, and som...more
Kalisa
How cool is it that I got an advanced copy of this book from my secret publishing connection? So cool that it could only be surpassed by getting an advanced copy from Jen herself when I hung out with her at BlisDom!!! Which I did not. But apparently several people did. Only not me. OK, I didn't really "hang out" with her so much as blather incessantly in her presence a couple times. She's my author-idol.

Anywhore, the queen of memoir has done it again. I especially loved this one because - duh -...more
Kimberly Russell
This is my first Jen Lancaster book. I have two friends that are in love with her (hi Amanda and Crystal!) so I had to see with the fuss was about, and I really liked it! I thought she was very funny and I loved that she kept getting herself in trouble.
Paula  Phillips
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Jessica
This is the fourth Jen Lancaster memoir that I've read and I enjoyed this one as much as the previous books. The book starts with memories of her 8th birthday, moving to Indiana a few years later, college/sorority years, and beginning her post-college work life, all linked with a running theme of what clothing she wore at the time. She is very in tune with the pop culture of the time and clothing name brands. I must be about the same age as the author, because I could completely identify with th...more
Karen Hansen
I really like Jen Lancaster. She has fantastic stories, is very funny (I often feel the need to stop and read sections of her books aloud to anyone who is willing to listen) and she just seems like someone that you would want to have as your best friend. This being said, her latest book, “Pretty in Plaid” was a stretch. It seems like she might be running out of funny stories. It just didn’t seem as fresh or as hilarious as some of her earlier books. I still like Lancaster and will give her next...more
Brooke
Jen Lancaster fancies herself to be a touch funnier than she is. Sometimes, during the course of the two books I've read by her, I've felt a strong compulsion to push her down, sometimes to push her down a short flight of stairs. However, balancing that violence I feel is the fact that I laugh out loud several times during the course of the book. So there's that. However, I don't think I'll remember this book by the end of next week. Recommended for the beach, a plane ride, something you could r...more
Stephanie
This book was handed to me by Mandi. She said that I had to read it. She was correct. I love Jen. She is funny smart and knows how to weave a wonderful story. Will have to go back and read all of her others books. If you decide to read these books make sure that you have a strong bladder and a box of tissues, not for tears of sadness but from the tears of joy.
Ashley Wigglesworth
It started off so great - I loved all the stories of her youth. But when one of us wonders - are our daily lives worthy of prose? If your life consists of pledging to a sorority, working lame retail jobs and then at an HMO and having a humdrum BF who won't commit to marriage - the answer is NO! David Sedaris, she is not.
Phyllis
I had a weird reaction to this book because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to come away a Jen Lancaster fan, and yet I was interested in the humorous memoirs through the prism of clothing aspect of this entry in her series of comedic autobiographies. I felt like I didn't understand her persona of being basically pretty together, confident, and self-aware, but also cynical, judgmental, and petty. Maybe it makes more sense if you've read all her books, but I found the constant tonal shifts betwe...more
Kimberly
If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, there are a lot of things in this book you will be able to relate to and will laugh out loud about.

This is the first book I have read from this author and plan to read more.
Karen
I really enjoyed this "flashback" into the life and times of Jen Lancaster. As always it was entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny!
Vicky
I thought it was cute to hear about her past. It was funny but I think leave the autobiography to magazine
Jessica
Jen Lancaster does it again!

Jen Lancaster is the kind of author who makes you long to be her friend. Her books are a literary wine cooler: light, fabulous and leave you feeling a little giggly. Jen's coming-of-age tales are something everyone can relate to, and make you see the humor in your own adolescent experiences.

Pretty In Plaid is Lancaster's best work yet, particularly because most of the material is completely new, whereas in past books she included a lot of stories already covered in h...more
Kris Irvin
I discovered Jen Lancaster one fateful day when I was down with strep throat. Such a Pretty Fat kept me so absorbed (and laughing hysterically) that I totally forgot I was sick and went out at nearly midnight in the snow (uphill both ways) to get her first two novels. After going through all that, I consider myself a fan for sure.

But Pretty in Plaid just didn't do it for me. I laughed out loud twice in the entire book - unheard of, when her other 3 had me crying and nearly peeing my pants in mi...more
Kristen
Pretty in Plaid

This is a coming of age memoir by Jen Lancaster - aka the only Republican author I ever intend to purchase a book from or until Meghan McCain can prove her worth.

This is the fourth in a line of books by Lancaster including:

Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered, Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in th...more
Jennifer
Having read and loved all of Jen's previous memoirs as well as being addicted to her snarky website, I knew I was going to enjoy this one. However, I have to say hands down it is the best Jen Lancaster I have read. Jen perfectly describes the decade (along with a good chunk of the 90s) which took my generation from elementary school to our first jobs with her trademark wit and sarcasm.

My first laugh out loud moment (and there are many) happened on page 76 as a 10 year old Jen gets badgered on t...more
Jennifer
Thoughts before reading:
I've seen this book recommended by others, and after reading through her blog, it intrigued me all the more and I wanted to read the book. The next stop I made was to my library web site. Unfortunately, it was not there! So, I sent in a request to the library system to purchase the book. Imagine my delight when less than a month later, it's in their collection! Yeah, baby. Immediately, I clicked within to request a check-out, only to be put in line. I figured after all t...more
Xanthi
This is more memoir styled writing from Jen Lancaster, with the theme of 'fashion' tying it all together - if a bit loosely.
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this at first, as the author starts with stories from her children. Lancaster as a child comes across as precocious bordering on obnoxious. Them there is the section where she is a teen, which is amusing. The college years kind of had me bamboozled, as a lot of it was about her sorority life. We don't have these in my country, so all...more
Paige Prince
Initially, when I signed up to review this book for a friend's book review blog, I was excited. The blurb looked funny and I thought that I could use a good dose of laughter after a hectic semester.

And I was right, it was funny. Jen opens with letters she wrote to Mattel in an attempt to extort more Barbies from them (which I feel should’ve worked on the basis that a child was able to write such a letter, but I digress), a letter that she wrote to her brother’s teacher, to Brooke Shields, to he...more
Maile
Jen Lancaster delivers again.

Don't get me wrong, this was not my favorite of her works (that is reserved for either her original or Such a Pretty Fat) and at times I found myself rolling my eyes at the silly little teenager but her writing style remains the same. Fun, funny and surprisingly touching. Reading one of her books is like having a glass of wine with an old friend and laughing over embarrassing moments from her life. But unlike the glass of wine you don't wake up with a hangover or in...more
Bronson
I like chick lit. It's the stuff billed as trashy chick lit that I run from. And that's what I understood Jen Lancaster was about, so I've been running for years. But I can't seem to escape the snarky titles, and finally decided to judge this book by its cover instead and give it a chance.

I accidentally liked it. Oops.

Okay, fine. It wasn't really an accident. The book is conversational, self-deprecating and extremely funny. A few f-bombs does not a trashy novel make and I thoroughly enjoyed her....more
Ciara
a memoir told through clothes. kind of a cute idea, but it really blows my mind how many books (& they are LONG books) this author has been able to spin out of a not-terribly-eventful life. i OD'ed a little bit on all the crap in here about being in a sorority & how awesome & fun it is to hang out with frat guys & how sometimes when your friend wakes up naked in a frat house after passing out drunk & has no recollection of taking her off her own clothes, it's best to just lau...more
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Chick Lit Book Club: Jen Lancaster: 4) Pretty in Plaid 14 21 May 10, 2010 06:22AM  
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  • Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag
  • Retail Hell
  • Why I'm Like This: True Stories
  • Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life
  • The Department of Lost & Found
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  • It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita
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Jen Lancaster is the author of her own memoirs including: as Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights, Big Ass, Such A Pretty Fat, Pretty in Plaid, My Fair Lazy, and the newest: Jeneration X.

She has also dabbled with fiction in her first book, If You Were Here.
More about Jen Lancaster...
Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie is Not the Answer My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto If You Were Here

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“As I examine my life through this book, I can't help but wonder if my mother was right. Maybe I really was what I ate. And maybe if she'd let me eat a little more sugar, I'd have come out sweeter.” 36 likes
“For the record? I have never been her baby. In fact, I reject the notion of coming out of her body. I prefer to believe I was hatched, or perhaps purchased.” 31 likes
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