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Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  261 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
From Anna Johnson, the author of Three Black Skirts and Handbags comes an invaluable manual for how to live well and elegantly on a budget. The perfect book for our more frugal times, Savvy Chic celebrates “the Art of More for Less,” illuminating the path to smarter, more creative spending for every woman trying to cut corners and save money, but who still wants to  live a ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published October 19th 2010)
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Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
The very first book by Anna Johnson that I've read was Three Black Skirts. And from then, I've been infatuated by her writing and her artwork.

Reading her books makes me feel like she's talking to me personally and her use of words are very poetic and can make my soul sing even when she's describing very mundane things like baking bread.

It was a good book.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Savvy Chic should have been called Savvy Cheap.

In the age of bed bugs, it's suspect to hunt furniture at flea markets. And I for one prefer modern clothes not vintage.

I would not be proud to be watching my bank account balance like a hawk, as Anna Johnson does when she's literally too poor to go to a movie.

I realize a lot of people can't afford good quality furniture or clothes so perhaps this book will appeal to people who are forced to be cheapskates.

The bohemian slant to this book also didn'
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
this is a fun book. If you are a reader of meaningful and serious fiction, skip this one: it is a collection of recommendations on how to have a life filled with beauty, good times with friends and family and adventure. True, she's not really as down-and-out as she thinks she is: she lives in Brooklyn, after all. But life as a freelancer in the midst of the excesses of NYC has made her wily and clever in her pursuit of a beautiful life.

Divided into sections on clothes, finding a rental apartmen
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is something unique in the advice for ladies sub-genre--a book with a definite bourgeois bohemian slant to it. It was refreshing to read a decorating/fashion/entertaining/budgeting type guide with aesthetics similar to mine.

Honestly, this book didn't really inspire me to make deconstructed window treatments from Thai silk while I whip up a batch of homemade muffins for brunch, but I just enjoyed briefly imagining living this kind of hybrid sophisticated on a shoestring lifestyle. If you're
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Heard great things about this book. Johnson's a gifted writer--her friendly, confident, conversational tone tempts me to read it cover to cover in one sitting. I'm entering a somewhat scary, but exciting new phase in my life (on a tight budget). Savvy Chic seems just what I need. I like the woman I've become, and want to celebrate by dressing and living well, for me, but on the cheap!
Eustacia Tan
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
*2.5 Rounding up to 3*

I saw this book... a few years ago I think. It was a month or two before I left Japan, so about 3 years? Anyway, I tend to be cautious about buying books (unless I'm in an airport bookstore, then it's "take a risk), and prefer to research about a book before I get it. This was one of the books that I put on my mental "to Google" list, and then promptly forgot about, with the excitement of moving to a new country.

When I saw this book in Scribd, and got a chance to read it as
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I, like Anna Johnson, traveled quite a bit in my youth, never living longer than five years in one place. Unlike Anna, though, as an adult, I like having roots and strong community ties (and a bank account, however small it is). I am not a bohemian, although I do love to travel.

Because I am not a bohemian, I had difficulties with parts of this book. The traveling cheap section and flea market hunting section scared me a little -- I have traveled cheaply, and have scoured flea markets, but these
I got Three Black Skirts for Christmas the year it came out, I was 17. It has kind of been my bible ever since. Savvy Chic is a gorgeous follow up to TBS, kind of picking up with Anna where she left off. It's not just a "how to" guide to live a luxurious life for less, but part memoir as well. She writes beautifully about her first love, a sculptor, and how he retained the milky stench of the hotel kitchen he worked in no matter how many baths he took; about her wedding that she organised once s ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: friday-reads
I’m in no way an authority on fashion. Instead I tend to emulate the style of others I admire. But there’s one thing I know for certain: minimalism is on the rise. It’s everywhere. And this less-is-more concept is especially dear to my heart because in San Francisco, rent is high and closet space is small. My closet will never look like Carrie Bradshaw’s, and that’s okay. (I wouldn’t know what to do with 90% of those items anyway.)

But thanks to Anna Johnson’s Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
If this book was a man I would be in love!!!

I'm a sucker for savy, frugal, time and money saving books, but never have I found one as complete as this. Covering fashion, decor, living arrangements, travel and home entertainment, Anna eloquently speaks of luxury and small comforts on any budget at any age. Some of the tips are familiar, but her message is about enjoying what you have and thinking ethically about what you are out to acquire. It's a must purchase for my home library.

In a time with
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Maybe really a 4.5, but I am seriously enjoying this book! As someone with a super-dee-duper tight budget myself right now, her ideas are a fresh and realistic take on some of the things you have to do and CAN do to stretch a dollar. I am a resourceful, creative person, but I love that someone else is coming up with some terrific ideas too, to still live abundantly when discretionary income is scarce.

May 1, 2014 - All done! Excellent. Due at the library, but will be buying a copy for myself.

Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Anna seems like a cool chick: thoughtful, artistic, and daring. Her book isn't quite a page turner; instead, it flows more like a quality conversation with a friend that recalls an old story or two but then interrupts to tell you of a great bargain she's found.

Ten years ago, this book would've been a nice slow read with a cup of tea (spiced up here and there with Anna's sweet illustrations), inspiring you to tackle a corner of your house (or your closet) at a time and make it your own. These da
Erin Orchard
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I feel that whatever I write it will not do this book justice. The insight I have found while flipping through random pages, the rush of content I receive while rejoicing in the language of Anna Johnson has been euphoric. Even the sections of the book that don't quite apply to me, they are still a delight to read. Through this book I have found more joy in the little things, and I treat my(poor)self through wearing lavender oil on hot muggy days, wearing heels on cleaning days, and being savvy a ...more
Laurie Freund
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
The author is definitely a bit more bohemian in her approach, but you will find some useful tips even if your more straight-laced. She provides some tips for making do with what you have and explains how you and your place can look like you spent more than you really need to. She offers some good websites to check out and a few recipes--not necessarily food recipes. It's actually a fun read and I was surprised to find the tips were not just for those in their early twenties.
I bought 'Three black skirts' way back in the day, and thought Anna was a great lady then. This book is even more fun because she allows you glimpses into her childhood, and hysterical stories from her adventures on top of all her advice. And to be honest, it's not really a book about 'Chic', it's really more a book on how to enjoy yourself thoroughly, and pinch pennies till they hollar while doing it.
Meredith Renwick
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is more of a memoir than a self-help book - if you want a more traditional "how to organize your life" guide, get Three Black Skirts instead (which is great). I enjoyed reading about Johnson's bohemian upbringing and her tips for living more creatively, but they definitely wouldn't suit everyone's lifestyle.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not your typical frugal living book. Some great ideas and some very wacky ideas. The discussion of the mindset of being creative about ones meager (supply your own definition) existence is never one of austerity, rather the perception of bounty. She is a great storyteller and gives you just enough of the esoteric to lend some depth but not so much that you want to gag.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I like this a lot, it's fun and interesting, but it's still a little heavy on the assumption that everyone has more money generally than I've ever had (despite the author's regularly discussing how broke she often is--which is about how broke I always am). So, it's not really a very helpful guide for me, but it sure is fun!
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Fun book; I found some sections more relevant than others. The entertaining guest section, for instance, wasn't as helpful as the clothing and decorating sections. I'd rather skimp on myself than guests! Despite this, it's right up my alley. Pre-Pinterest for the frugal.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this author's style of writing. But most of the content in the book didn't apply to me. The book felt almost like an autobiography of the author's life style. I liked that the author was honest about the ways she saved money.
Jenn I. fer
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a long time vintage shopper (taught by grandma at age 7) I was naturally dawn to this book. There are some great tips on living, lifestyle and style, and I was happy I took the time to read it as I learned some new things. It's a relatively quick read, one you can pick up here and there.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
There were lots of clever ideas interspersed with illustrations that added to the feel of this book. I picked up a few tips, but some were not so practical. Each reader will gain something different from reading this.
BookWurm Tin*
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
loved it! nice fashionable pages and advices! from travel, food, clothing and so much more! THe book for kikay gurls everywhere! next read: Three lIttle Black Skirts also by ANNA! =D
Ahndrea Sprattling
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was a well written book. It gave good advice and ideas in a frugal way.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Some good ideas, but overall it seemed like a lot of work to me, which is not how I define pampering.
Krista Mercer
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fun, fast read about living well - finding joy in life and pleasure in beautiful things. What is so great is that the author emphasizes that one does not need to be wealthy to live richly.
Ginger Jane
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, a-present
Food for thought! In the course of reading this book (over the weekend, then) I have purged my wardrobe and reorganised my room. I plan to refer back to this book pretty much indefinitely...
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lifestyle
I'm not really sure who the audience is for this book, but it wasn't me.
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspiring, witty
One of the best "how-to's" out there!!! Anna amazes me with each page! Great ideas and witty dialog! One of the best purchases I've ever made at Antropologie! : )
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