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The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart
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The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  63 reviews
From Nina Garcia—fashion judge on Bravo’s hit Project Runway and the New York Times bestselling author of The One Hundred and The Little Black Book of Style—comes Style Strategy: a perfect primer on achieving the best fashion look possible, with a strong emphasis on saving money in the process.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by It Books (first published 2009)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  656 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Though I prefer her first two books (The Little Black Book of Style and The One Hundred), I like to break this one out whenever I'm in a closet-cleaning mood. Nina is a decently engaging writer, though she name drops too much (but hey, she's a fashion editor, it's in her job description). I appreciate her perspective on how to make what you already have work, even if her jeans could pay off my student loans. I'm a hardcore thrift store shopper, so the litany of brand names that run through all o ...more
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fashion
If you have a job and live in a big city like New York City this book will help you a lot. However if you live in the upper midwest, Canada or Alaska, I doubt this will work.
I live in Minnesota and here is how we dress.
Nina Garcia: Classic high heeled pump Minnesota: Carried in a shoe bag
NG: ballet flats Minnesota: sneakers
Ng: Trench coat Minnesota: Puffy, down jackets or coats. Never seen a
a trench coat.
NG: Little Black Dress Minnesota: Only worn at funerals with a string of pearls.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a very weird and disorganized book. At a guess, I'd say her publishers wanted another book, she grabbed many pages of random notes and threw them together to make a book. That's how it reads, anyway. One minute you seem to be embarking on a list of nice-but-not-necessary shoes and boots to have, and then suddenly she starts going on about how great trench coats are. Theoretically, this is one of those "evaluate what you have, fix/discard/alter, then buy" style plans, but it just doesn't ...more
May 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: internship, library
[ This post was originally uploaded to as part of a blogging/social media internship. ]

“New York taught me that being chic isn’t about the most expensive dress or the latest trend. It’s about being you. And being you costs nothing.”

The Style Strategy is Nina Garcia’s manual for being chic on the cheap. Her mantra for women everywhere is “Shop smart, stay chic, and make it last.” And I have to say, I agree with this mentality. Why should we drop hundreds o
Sarah Hannah
The illustrations in this, by Ruben Toledo, are fantastic. The writing? Meh.

If I compare this to other books about style that I've been reading lately, it's much more of a fail. Nothing really concrete, for one, whereas in Clinton Kelly's book, and in lots of magazines and other books, they will actually tell you specifically that if you are a pear shape, this or that looks terrible on you, etc. Also, Garcia has zero voice, so this is just dull to read. She keeps claiming that style is free, ab
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I have completed Nina Garcia's 4-volume tome on all things fashion. Why? Because that's who I am now. The person that did that. I don't like it either.

In her final (please, Nina) book, Nina sets out a way to stay stylish in lean times. Employ a highly skilled tailor to rework your tired Chanel. Reconsider and ultimately redefine the terms "splurge" and "investment". A splurge is just an investment that never pays you back, after all. C'est la vie! And finally, who needs groceries? You're alread
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
After reading the very long author's note, I kind of had the feeling that I wouldn't learn much- and I didn't! Nina talks too much about setting up clothing swap parties but she doesn't explain enough about how to cultivate your own style or where to find inspiration for it. There are a few good tips in this book but overall it was a shallow, fluff excuse for a book. I really expected more from a fashion magazine director, but you can't win 'em all. Look on the bright side, at least the pictures ...more
Emma Hodge
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tram Nguyen
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm quite disappointed with this one regarding of the other book of her (100 item list) being a huge hit for me. This book is like a longer extended version of her other books, with a very loose structure. The sections divided were not clear enough with content I saw repetitive a few times throughout the book.
Even though I could collect some useful tips about styling and maintaining clothes, the whole book feels like I was rereading the '100 item lists' with a few rambling here and there. Not c
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fashion-sewing
Has lots of information and sources
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: style
Since I've read Nina Garcia's past two books, I figured I'd go along with this one. It skips talking about what basics to have (okay, it briefly mentions it), but it sets out a plan for you to clean your closet, make do with what you can afford and re-imagine a tired wardrobe. Albeit, you can't get much style inspiration from a book - photos/looks are bound to be dated in a year, and I think she wants her book to be more timeless. Perhaps she could've talked more about where to find inspiration ...more
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fashion
Quick read. Nina’s voice can be heard through the pages. It is very readable. Nina’s writing skills from Marie Claire are evident.

At first I enjoyed the quotes and female empowering vibe, but it quickly became too much. By page 30, I was definitely annoyed. The quotes often seemed unclear and unrelated to the text. Michelle Obama (ughh) was mentioned multiple times. And yoga.

The author has a shopping obsession, which she references repetitively. It seems a bit unhealthy. She also has a strong h
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fashion
This book is supposed to be about carving down your wardrobe to the most essential, classic pieces all in the name of temperance and frugality in the wake of the global financial crisis, but to be honest the whole thing comes off as reheated leftovers of outtakes from the first three Nina Garcia style books. Even though it was totally unnecessary I found it endearing in a dorky way that this book has an annotated playlist of songs she likes to jam out to when she's cleaning out her closet. If no ...more
Sonja Isaacson
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: style
Nina talks too much and should just cut to the chase. I don't think she addresses much about defining one's personal style. Really what will inventorying one's wardrobe accomplish? Determine how many belts you have? (I have one... I wear it almost every day with my cell holster attached) And then she doesn't write enough about caring for items and fabrics after saying how important it is. She did have some good ideas about fixing up items and again different things that can be done to a garment ...more
Michelle Dee
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Nina Garcia, but of all her books, I think this is the least must-read one. There's some good information, but it's pretty basic. It's still great to read and have for a fashionista, or someone like me who is trying to pare down. Her best tip (in my opinion) was to keep a clothing inventory of what you have, as well as what you need. Keep the list with you, and that way, when you go shopping, you don't end up buying another grey cardigan, even though you already have 3 at home and you buy ...more
Rachel Heu
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked it. It's not news that you don't have to spend a lot of dough to end up looking stylish and well-dressed, but Nina Garcia gives her take on it and doles out some good advice based on her own experiences. I have to say that Ruben Toledo's illustrations are so cool. I love looking through the book just to see those... and then there are little fun fashion and life-related quotes throughout. A light, fun read.
May 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit of a disappointment overall with about fifty-percent of the book useless illustrations and another twenty-percent irrelevant or useless information. When Garcia is not waxing on about inspirational music playlists or the importance of hanging out with the girls, there is some really solid, helpful information on what to look for when purchasing investment pieces. On the upside with a huge chunk of the book illustrations a slow reader can easily finish this book in under an hour.
MaryannC.Book Fiend
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fashion
Being a big fan of Project Runway I was excited to hear about this book from Nina Garcia and I did like it. It's a bright, colorfully illustrated guide to shopping for certain items that will continue on with or without trends. Nina has her little pithy comments through out the book which I appreciated. I did garner some interesting ideas from this book that I use now in helping me keep my "Fashion Sense" in order.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Relyn by: I like Nina Garcia.
I've already written about how much I like Nina Garcia's books. This one is no different. It's full of great tips and is a fun, light read. It's kind of like spending the afternoon with your most stylish girlfriend.

Nina's writing style is approachable and friendly. Kind of like having a stylish, gorgeous aunt who's willing to share all her tips. As much as her advice, I picked this one up for Ruben Toledo's illustrations. I love his work and they make a great pair.
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a very fun read and had lots of good tips for strategic shopping and maintenance of quality clothing. At the end of the book there is a handy list of stores and websites for every budget that the author favors. This book is a must-have for the bookshelves of ladies who want to live green and spend responsibly while maintaining great style and paying attention to trends!
Sophia Chang
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
It has great tips to get that timeless look for fewer dollars. Nina Garcia guides you in from how to decide what to keep or throw out in your closet to the building basics that all women should own, from how to be more economical about clothing/makeup/etc. purchases to how to keep your beloved pieces in spectacular shape.
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was an alright enough read. A lot of common sense things I've read/heard before about streamlining what you really need in your closet and learning to stop buying on impulse and focus on quality, timeless items. It's just kinda so-so but if nothing else, it'll make you want to clean out your closet and go shopping.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Another great style guide by Nina Garcia. She emphasizes cultivating your own personal style and not blindly following every whim of the fashion trends. Her strategy is taking stock of what you own, weeding out what is damaged, or unflattering (and those pieces that you never wear), saving what can be salvaged, investing in quality basics, and accessorizing with flair.
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it
I was hoping for more tips and tricks from this book. I don't fancy myself as a great fashionista or shopper, but I pretty much knew all the tricks and tips she had to offer. The one thing that I really liked were her lists of all the stores that she shops at online, etc. If you love fashion and style, its probably worth a quick read.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I've been in the mood to simplify my closet and get rid of clutter. This book is a good instruction manual for accomplishing it. It also contains practical advice on how to take care of what you own and how to alter and mend clothing you might otherwise donate. There are good tips on which items should be investment pieces and how to identify quality regardless of price tag.
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Yet another book about how to clean out your closet, figure out new purchases, etc. Filled with adorable watercolors of imaginary fashionistas and filled with fashion history trivia. Value of book: would be the ideas re: encouraging alterations and buying more expensive pieces to last (but never bringing up the whole cost-per-wear thing, which is kind of strange).
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This book has some good information but it's dispersed through multiple pop fashion references making it harder to understand for those not familiar with fashion culture. Also the book is actually thinner on content than expected with pictures and wide margins taking up large chunks of the pages. That's not to say there is nothing there but it's just less than one would expect from a guide.
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is well written; a fast read and absolutely revolutionized that way I think about clothes, shopping, style and spending money. An absolute must read for any woman who loves fashion. Nina Garcia walks you through all the steps from taking you and your wardrobe from okay, to amazing. I just loved it!
Ashley Turner
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best, most useful style books I've ever read. It's actually a realistic approach to building a wardrobe full of fashion AND function using any type of budget and saving money! Good read! Finished it in less than 24 hours and now ready to apply what I've learned to my closet! Well worth the time and money spent on this book!
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is pretty similar to most style books I've read recently. I am a little surprised that I finished the book. One of these days I'll stop reading style guides that tell me to clean out my closet and actually clean out my closet.
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Nina García (born Ninotchka García) is a magazine editor who, until August 18th, 2008, acted as the Editor-at-Large of Elle, as well as a judge on the Bravo reality television program Project Runway.
“New York is a tough place for a faint of heart; the city has a way of forcing you to be razor sharp in every way. Living there is hard enough, but thriving there takes a whole different set of survival skills. And looking beautiful is never just an option. It's a must.” 0 likes
“The classic must-haves:
Claasic high-heeled pump
Ballet Flats
Trench coat
Classic white shirt
The little black dress
Cashmere Cardigan/turtleneck
A great bag
More quotes…