Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Style Books

I hit an estate sale this weekend and added to my library of style books.  Oddly, most of the best seem to be written between '75-'87.  The ones before seem to try to cram you into a conformist block (white gloves, dahling!) and the ones after just give you lists of the au courant 'must haves' and no tools to determine what is or is not a good plan for your figure, coloring, and life.

I'm sure this list will change, but for now - here are my favorites:

Color Me Beautiful - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/color-me-beautiful-carole-jackson/1100011202?ean=9780345345882  It's the best.  I know, it can get a wee bit hackneyed - any style guide 30 years old is bound to be a bit hackneyed.  Go with that and go forward, with your colors known and cherished.  Also this has the best "personal style" reference I've read, ever.  The other additional editions?  Useless!  Just the first one.  Only the first one.  1987.

Dressing Rich - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dressing-rich-leah-feldon/1004891771?ean=9780595177936  I'm a lower-middle-class SoCal gal, so pretty much everything I know about dressing in quality, I know from reading this book.  Extensive sections on various fabrics, and possibly the best section on neutrals, period.  Great discussion of "don'ts".  May (may!) drag this brightly colored flower into sophistication yet.  Or not.  ;)

Quality, Taste, and Style http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tim-gunn-tim-gunn/1110784500?ean=9780810992849  The only modern style book on my list.  Tim Gunn gives some great advice on cleaning out the closet - mentally as well as physically.

Looking Terrific  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/looking-terrific-emily-cho/1001863568?ean=9780345341945  Picked this up this weekend - this is going to stay on my shelves, for certain.  Has a really excellent - and long - discussion about clothing and its effect on emotions, in both directions. 

The Dress Doctor  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dress-doctor-edith-head/1101357623?ean=9780062007353  Just for fun - the oldest style book in my collection.  An autobiography of Edith Head, fashionista to the stars.... worth it for the pictures of Grace Kelly if nothing else. 

As with any other subject matter, there is much to be studied, much to be learned, much to be understood.  One book doesn't do the full subject - any subject - justice. 

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