I'm someone who absolutely loves all kinds of fashion books, and I am always reading a fashion book. I want to share my knowledge on these books, no matter if they are photography books, books on designers, books with outfits or fashion sketches in them, or any other type of books on fashion. So read my reviews and feel welcome to give me tips on other good fashion books that I have not read yet!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: The Frugalista Files by Natalie P. McNeal

I like true stories, especially true stories that end well. So I enjoyed reading The Frugalista Files, about Natalie, who decided to cut her spending, while staying fabulous at the same time, after she found herself in $20 000 of debt.
In order to do this, she started a blog, still active over at The Frugalista.com and the book basically describes what happened after she started blogging.

I like Natalie's way of writing and also think the topic - spending less while getting more - is great as well, so I really liked this book (it's kind of similar to Save Karyn, to those of you who know it) and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of cutting their spending and loves fashion, manipedis and stuff like that.

The book is available over at Amazon if you want to get a copy of your own.
The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life

Review: A to Z of Style by Amy de la Haye

If you don't know who Amy de la Haye is (don't worry, I didn't either until I read this book), she is actually a professor of dress history and curatorship and has worked at many prestigeous schools, including the London College of Fashion, so she really knows a thing or two about fashion.
That does not necessarily mean that she is well suited to write a book, of course, and actually, Amy de la Haye has not been doing a whole lot of writing for this book. Instead, she has collected useful quotes by people like Christian Dior, Claire McCardell, Caroline Herrera, Hardy Amies, Coco Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, Genevieve Antoine Dariaux (who I loooove!), Roland Mouret, Elsa Schiapparelli, Bill Blass, Gianni Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Diana Vreeland, Carmel Snow and many others and written short pieces herself, creating a very fun book to read, especially for anyone who is slightly into fashion to begin with.

So I would say her A to Z of Style is not a book well suited for anyone just starting to dabble in fashion or who needs serious fashion advice, instead it is a better fit for fashionistas who want to be reminded of what the various masters of fashion (see some of them listed above) had to say about accessories, tailoring, tartan, sportswear, perfume, pockets, labels and logos and much more.

I enjoyed reading the book myself, especially since it is also filled with cute illustrations by Emma Farrarons, but I have a feeling my friends who are less into fashion than me would not have enjoyed it as much. So this is a great book, but not for everyone!

You can get the book over at Amazon if you are interested and think you'd be one of the fashionistas who would enjoy reading various fashion quotes.
A to Z of Style

Review: True Prep by Lisa Birnbach

The prep lifestyle has always intrigued me, even though I have to admit I am not always very prep myself. But that of course does not mean that I don't enjoy reading about this lifestyle. And one of the best books on the topics that I have run into lately is True Prep by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd.
This book is half serious, half funny and has over 200 illustrations in it, and covers everything about the prep lifestyle, from the place preppy people call home, to their vacations, to their style and much more.

You'll also be able to read about several truly preppy celebrities, as well as about what exactly makes them prep, including Julia Child, Stockard Channing, Tory Burch, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Christopher Reeve, David Hyde Pierce, Brooke Shields, Kate Spade, Meryl Streep, Oliver Stone, Vera Wang, Edith Wharton and many others.
The books also includes topics like money, where a preppy person goes to school (including lists on where famous preps studied), why they need a second home, what events are particularly important in socialite circles, prep fashion rules and much more.

So True Prep is actually not a book that focuses only on the fashion part of prep, but on the whole lifestyle. So if you are looking for a how to dress preppy-kind of guide book, this book may not be for you (it is very tongue in cheek as opposed to genuinely helpful, after all), but if you are looking for an easy book to read on the phenomenon as a whole and as a lifestyle, this is a great buy!

I really enjoyed reading True Prep and will probably re-read it again after a while. I particularly liked the fact that this book is way funnier than most other books on the topic.

(the photos in this review are all taken by me)

This book is available over at Amazon if you want to get a copy of your own.
True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Adorable fashion candles with a book theme

Not books per se, but a must for any book loving fashionista none the less!

I personally think these quotes are just wonderful!

You can get the candles here and here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bonjour, Happiness! by Jamie Cat Callan

If you like the French way of dressing and living (I certainly do!), there are several different books and style guides on this topic out there. I recently read Bonjour, Happiness! which is a book about "Finding your Joie de vivre" or the ability to enjoy the moment to the fullest, but also about French style, eating the French way, how to create a million euro look on a budget of just a few francs, and much more, and I have to say this is one of the better guides on this topic that I have read.

The reason is that this book actually explains how all aspects of life for a Frenchwoman are connected, so instead of focusing just on style, it also explains how she lives her life otherwise. So it gives you a more complete look on the French way of living than most books.

Some of the advice I really liked in this book include:
Minimizing the time you spend on the internet/reading e-mails and so on when you are not working. Constantly checking your Facebook/your blog stats/Twitter/the stock market or whatever it may be that you are into at the moment is a huge distraction that may prevent you from actually enjoying the moment at hand to the fullest.

Buying fresh, small quantities of food from a market or similar daily or almost daily instead of stocking up on food for weeks at a time. If you do shop for a week at a time, you often end up buying frozen/ready made/less healthy ingredients or foods, and it also does not make cooking as much fun as using only fresh, gorgeous ingredients when you spend time in the kitchen.

Making meals a priority and working up an appetite for them instead of snacking between meals or eating whenever you have the time to spare. Instead, make dinner an event and don't eat for several hours before it, so you really enjoy the meal. If you can, you should also make it a habit to eat with your family or friends so you can have interesting conversations as you eat too.

Buy delicate underwear that needs to be hand washed and learn to enjoy the process on washing your underwear and drying them somewhere in your apartment. Very French and something people who are not French rarely do. But can really make you more aware of the things you keep closest to your skin and help you pay more attention to the parts of your outfit that aren't visible to all too!

Adding small, personal and almost invisble splashes of color, such as the red soles on a Louboutin shoe or a hot pink camisole under a blazer. Makes you more interesting and your dressing less obvious!

Try to think of one way, no matter how small it may be, to make yourself feel better when you are down, and then DO IT! Even if you aren't sure that it will work, but you think it might, it is always worth a shot!

This is just a sample of the advice I personally found in this book and found useful. I mostly want you to get an idea of what kind of advice you can get by reading the book. So if these kinds of hands on tips are what you are looking for when you are looking for a book about happiness, feeling better about yourself (those are the main themes of the book, after all!) or the French, this is definitely a book well worth getting!

I've provided a link to Amazon where you can get the book if you are interested, below.