The Man Repeller was probably the first hugely popular fashion blog. I was an intermittent reader at best because, even though her aesthetic didn't apThe Man Repeller was probably the first hugely popular fashion blog. I was an intermittent reader at best because, even though her aesthetic didn't appeal to me, the concept of embracing your personal style even if it repels men was kind of funny. This is not a style guide, but rather a fashion biography of sorts where Medine uses articles of clothing as chapter titles and jumping off points to tell the high points (mainly surrounding love) of her life thus far. Her sometimes wacky "I Love Lucy" style anecdotes that take her from her first crush in elementary school to joining the adult job market are at once endearing and annoying in a Carrie Bradshaw kind of way. Medine's clear devotion to fashion are what kept me reading long after I decided that I couldn't relate to her at all....more
Normally, a book like this wouldn't find its way into my hands, but I will admit that being a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta made me a little cNormally, a book like this wouldn't find its way into my hands, but I will admit that being a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta made me a little curious. A modern day book of manners, Secrets of the Southern Belle is filled with tips on how to live a fabulous life as a "lady" and how to do things "properly".
Like most books of its kind, there are guidelines on relationships, keeping a home, work life, and entertaining. Parks' humor and southern twist makes those old standards fun to read. And yes, she gets a few jabs in, like what to do when someone attempts inappropriate communication with your significant other (looking at you, Kenya) and other reality show related tidbits.
I'm not necessarily the target market for this book, but it could be helpful for young women who need guidance on the appropriateness of certain behaviors and situations. ...more
Because of my love for sewing, I read a lot of fashion books. After a while the advice they give starts to run together. They all have a checklist forBecause of my love for sewing, I read a lot of fashion books. After a while the advice they give starts to run together. They all have a checklist for the items that every closet should include, a guide on how to go shopping, and what to wear for all occasions. This book is pretty on par with the others in that respect.
What did set it apart slightly from the others is that it is also organized by season. This is very helpful, especially for those who live in climates that experience all four seasons, because most people change the contents of their closet as the temperature changes. Also, there is quite a bit of humor throughout like my favorite section title: How to Dress to Get Bumped into First Class.
One downside: they hate polka dots. Problematic when your book is released when polka dots are really popular in the fashion world....more
The title and premise of this book are a little misleading. Or maybe my expectations were a little off. This was really a mini-history of shoes from tThe title and premise of this book are a little misleading. Or maybe my expectations were a little off. This was really a mini-history of shoes from the 20th century, beginning with the arrival of Salvatore Ferragamo on the scene and in America. Bergstein chooses to tell this story mainly through the tales of some iconic shoes: Dorothy's "ruby" slippers, stilettos (of course), Birkenstocks, Chuck Taylor's, etc.
While I did learn a few things (Ferragamo's history was really interesting), this felt more like a collection of anecdotes, insider tales and Hollywood stories about shoes. And the chapter on 70's shoes and platforms was mainly about men. Certainly not the book I was expecting, but a decent read nonetheless....more
There has been an explosion of books and blogs lately as a part of a DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. Now, with just a little money and time, you can reThere has been an explosion of books and blogs lately as a part of a DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. Now, with just a little money and time, you can recreate designer looks at home without mortgaging it in the process. Sometimes, though, even at the hands of highly skilled artisans, the resulting items look a little too "homespun" and not like the things you see on current runways. And that's fine for people who want that look, but there is a void in the market for chic diy books.
Laura Bennett's latest book fills that void. Best known for her sleek, elegant designs on season 3 of Project Runway, Bennett has compiled a collection of accessories that are easy to make and incredibly stylish. What I loved most about it is the inclusion of materials that many shy away from: leather, fur (faux or real), feathers, and beads. Her instructions for buying and using them definitely take the intimidation factor away. The 40 projects include covers for electronics (e-readers, iPads, etc.), wallets, purses, and much more, including embellishing ready-to-wear garments.
This book is a valuable addition to any sewing and craft book library, especially my extensive one!...more
Because of my chronic underemployment, I've never had a shopping problem. I am definitely not a shopaholic and upon initially reading this I thought tBecause of my chronic underemployment, I've never had a shopping problem. I am definitely not a shopaholic and upon initially reading this I thought this book wasn't for me. But I think that this book can be helpful for anyone.
Phillip Bloch is a fashion stylist to the stars and regular people who can afford him. As a professional shopper he is more than qualified to offer advice on curbing your overspending and cultivating a closet that works best for you. Written like a diet book including sections called "Digest This" and "Battle of the Bulge", Bloch even has a clothing pyramid based on the FDA's old food pyramid.
Unlike other books on shopping and fashion, Bloch doesn't bog you down with a lot of glossy photos of clothing that may be out of style in a season or two. Instead he packs real world advice on being stylish without landing in debtor's prison....more
The bookstore where I worked for the past 11 years recently closed. So I am embarking on a new job search. The other day while fretting over having toThe bookstore where I worked for the past 11 years recently closed. So I am embarking on a new job search. The other day while fretting over having to update my resume, it occurred to me that not only do I not have an outfit to interview in, my current wardrobe is only appropriate for a Starbucks employee. Because of the dress code at my former job, my closet is full of black polo style shirts and khakis. Right now the only social invitation I can accept from you is one where I'll be making lattes at your dinner party. (And I can, because I am Starbucks/Seattle's Best trained).
It's hard to know where to start when your wardrobe has so many holes in it, so I'm turning to my library of fashion books to help me out. I chose this one for no other reason than it was the first that I laid my eyes on. While it really does cover what's appropriate for certain occasions (job interview, a Netflix night, volunteering, etc.), it also gives some pointers on the appropriate etiquette in those situations.
It wasn't very helpful in setting up a core wardrobe, but once I have that in place, I will refer back to this on how to put it together. And as always, the illustrations by Ruben Toledo are divine!...more
I'm a huge fan of the television show What Not to Wear and watch it since the very first season with Stacy London and Wayne Scot Lukas. For some reasoI'm a huge fan of the television show What Not to Wear and watch it since the very first season with Stacy London and Wayne Scot Lukas. For some reason (probably because of his unkempt appearance - purely my opinion) Lukas was replaced in Season Two with Clinton Kelly. Good decision, I think. Clinton is way more put together, fashion-wise, and his rapport with Stacy is engaging.
Clinton has written two other books: Freakin' Fabulous (I reviewed it here), and Dress Your Best, co-authored with Stacy. This new book, like the others, focuses on style, but it is more in keeping with the show and what not do do. It hilariously countdowns 100 things that women do wrong in fashion with accompanying photos (please don't miss the camel toe picture).
While it's not a book that I will go back and refer to for fashion advice, it made me laugh out loud often and I'm glad I read it.
Even though I leave the house everyday in a sort of uniform for work, I still read everything I can about fashion and style. And being in my early 40'Even though I leave the house everyday in a sort of uniform for work, I still read everything I can about fashion and style. And being in my early 40's, I was interested in learning what I should be doing differently. The book did a great job of showing what age appropriate styles work and even how to incorporate passing trends into your wardrobe. The only thing I didn't care for was the emphasis on weight. Although examples for every body type are included, it was kind of assumed that everyone gains weight as they age....more
Told in the voice of the author's wardrobe (which really annoyed me), this book is exactly what the title promises. Beginning with the author's (who hTold in the voice of the author's wardrobe (which really annoyed me), this book is exactly what the title promises. Beginning with the author's (who her wardrobe refers to as "B") childhood in the Midwest, this book follows the wardrobe's evolution to Harvard, New York, the Bay area and Europe. While I didn't love this book (mainly because I didn't care for B), what it does brilliantly is showcase B.'s insecurities & awkwardness through her clothing choices. She moved to different locations throughout her life and adjusted her clothing to her environment, rather than discovering what she really liked to wear and what clothes resonated for her. Her lack of a fashion identity directly reflects her lack of a personal & professional identity. Quick, interesting read....more