Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Paris Street Style

The first part of the books consists of interviews with the designers, trendsetters, art directors and others, mixed in with paragraphs on each classic item, such as trench coat, white shirt, pea coat, tropeziennes, etc.
That was for the first 6 chapters. For me it has gotten interesting around chapter 7 – most trends are broken down how to use them and how not to use them: leggins, capri pants, skinny pants, bermuda shorts,animal prints, cowboy boots, long skirts.

Followed by another wonderful chapter on denim: goes into details on how should each jean style fit, talks about skinny jean, boy jean, flared, white jean and more. Chapter 9 is on handbags, chapter 10 – little black dress. Found nothing new there.

This page below slightly puzzled me. Since it’s a fashion book, I expected the editors to do a bit more censoring. Hint: let paragraph

Loved chapters 11 and 12 on what to wear and not to wear with clear explanations on why or why not, for example not wearing wide pants cut too short and quilted jackets, while pearl necklace or a navy blue blazer is always a go to. Chapter 12 talks about what can you borrow from grandmother’s closet, nieces closet or work locker, safely, without damage you your style or reputation. For example borrowing a nice 60s coat from your grandma, a waistcoat from your boyfriend, denim skirt from your niece, from the professional’s locker – riding, boots, tango dancer’s pumps and my personal favorite – an army jacket.

Two last chapters, 13 and 14 talk about secondhand clothes and age appropriate trends.

Personally I’d buy the book for chapters 7,8, 11 and 12. Overall it was an interesting read.


the wardrobe wakeup

Pretty interesting book but, seems like it is oriented more towards older generations as some advice does not seem suitable for younger women. Don’t get me wrong, it is not outdated, just the advice given would not be useful or age appropriate for all.

I think the book was meant for women of more advanced age who are transitioning from more youthful wardrobe to wardrobe that is more mature and age appropriate. Sometimes the transition is due to age, sometimes due to major life changes, one example would be a transition from being a working woman to becoming a housewife. Different lifestyle, different activities, different schedule requires updating or revamping your wardrobe.

So now on to more detailed review: author recommends to wear same color head-to-toe for a longer, slimmer look. While it will price the look promised, personally, I find it’s a good look for a woman after 40, and most younger women would find it slightly boring. The part I liked about this recommendation was that the author does not mean wearing only one color, but to pick a basic color and wear it head-to-toe but not without additional colors. For instance take example straight from the book – a woman wearing gray pants, striped gray and navy sweater and navy scarf, while the main color is gray, it is not the only color used in the outfit.

Next, the author suggests to arrange all clothing in your closet by color, regardless of the type or the season, then, as the next step, put like items together, like all the jackets, all the pants etc.
Personally I find this advice iffy and believe more in arranging your clothing first by season, then by type: work, active, casual, formal, followed by type, and the color arrangement is last on my list. Nevertheless I had fun trying out the author’s recommendation and did get some interesting outfit ideas out of it.

Then the book talks about “editing” your wardrobe, altering, layering, mixing prints, adding belts, and going over each item such as blouses, cardigans, dresses, pants, etc., offering some advice on each. The advice is kind of general, mostly geared towards average body type – not too tall, not too slim etc.

Then follows the advice on dressing for less, how and what to buy so that you spend less without looking cheap. For example buying black, brown and red, sticking to basics and clean shapes egoc.

A pretty good advice given, in my opinion, was buying seasonless items: cropped jeans, classic trench coat, long tanks, dark neutral pencil skirt, nude shoes, cashmere v-necks, 3/4 sleeve cardigans, white cotton shirts and more.

Then there is a list of “style types” that slightly differ from conventional style types found in each and every style book: the babe, the classic, the yo-yo dresser, the label lover, the comfort queen, and the trend-ista, with a list of advice for each type, followed by some examples.

At the end of the book there is a list of 8 designers most people buy from at any age throughout their whole life and a chapter on accessories.

Overall not a bad book at all, especially for those over 40.

I’d say the book is more about psychology then about clothing. It talks a lot about different psychological issues people have and how it is reflected on their wardrobe. Personally that’s what I expected but I expected it on much deeper level, much more complicated and much more enticing.

Intro chapter is a questionnaire to get you to think about who dressed you when you were little, who started your style, basically, and to analyze what is in your closet.

Intro is followed by nine chapters, each of which describes a particular type of a person with an issue and what type of clothes or what shopping style they tend to take on. One chapter is about someone who does not dress their age, another – someone who wear clothing that is too revealing, another just buys everything they see if it is on sale, whether they need it or not, then one more is about someone who wears baggy clothes to cover the body they hate and one who is obsessed with labels, etc.

The book does not really supply any real advice to anyone who does not fit those criteria or does not provide information on how to “read” people based on their clothing, beyond the common sense.

Personally, I would not recommend this book from either psychology or wardrobe perspective, but I guess every book has its audience.

what to wear, where

Nice little book that offers not only an advice on appropriate attire for any occasion, but also beautiful photographs with two sample outfits for each. The occasions range from bowling with friends, or a night out with the girls, to black-tie events, meeting your beau’s parents and going to an art gallery. I found it entertaining and useful at the same time. A lot of beautiful photos too.

I often thought the world needed a book like that, especially after going to an early afternoon summer wedding this past summer, and being astonished at the parade of rather formal dark navy dresses completely unsuitable for such an event, not to mention uncomfortable and impractical. So yes, the world needed a book like this to help people not to be either underdressed or overdressed for various events.

In addition to extensive list of events, in the back of the book there are two lists of wardrobe essentials for each of the two authors of the book – Katherine and Hillary and an index for every single article of clothing from the photos along with a designer name which a found very helpful since I liked a couple of things and wanted to know where I could purchase them.

I greatly enjoyed the book, even though I find some examples unacceptable, like leather jacket with pearls or chiffon dress with biker boots. But even though I did not agree with everything in this book, I found it a delightful read and I did pick up some interesting. One outfit in particular struck my fancy – Ines wearing navy polka dot belted dress with olive cardigan and light brown kelly bag, just like the one I have.

I will definitely give similar outfit a shot as well as navy sweater and menswear blazer with pushed up sleeves.

I loved the list of basics that is different from list of basic you can find elsewhere:
menswear blazer, trench coat, navy sweater, tank top, little black dress, perfect fitting jeans. I never owned menswear blazer or sweater in navy and now I am inspired to give them a try.

This is not your typical style book, it is a guide to experiencing Paris and I will take it with me when we will go there with my family.

The whole book has an air of effortless chic and I will definitely read it again and again.