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It's Back to Fashion School 101: Books on Fashion, Charm & Style Help a Fashionista be Effortlessly Fabulous. FASHIONTRIBES FASHION BLOG

Apparently book publishing is the new black if the recent crop of fashion & style how-to's flooding the market are anything to judge by: Project Runway's Tim Gunn & Nina Garcia - whose day job is at Elle magazine - vintage-loving Cali stylist Rachel Zoe, and Jenny Levin of Harper's Bazaar. Surprisingly, these books are well written and actually helpful, and will deliver big style dividends for a relatively small investment of money & time.

As with any well rounded wardrobe, balance the latest with a few tried-and-true classics including Kendall Farr's practical Pocket Stylist and Jesse Garza & Joe's Lupo's Nothing to Wear. And given that the French are born with a fabulous gene & innately seem to understand that often the most stylish choice is simply to live well and enjoy...brush up on the wisdom of Mireille Guiliano (French Women Don't Get Fat author), former Nina Ricci directrice Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux...and your charm & good manners (never out of fashion) with some timeless advice from 1938 (!) on navigating social situations with wit, grace & charm.

The absolute must-have's for the well appointed fashion & style library:

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  • The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia From the return of oversized sunglasses, to the rise of cropped jackets, to the advent of all things pink –– Nina's seen it all and knows which trends are timeless, be it the LBD, a pair of skinny jeans (absolutely necessary), or adorable pair of slingbacks (a closet essential). Includes tips on how and when to wear an outfit, occasion-appropriate wear, advice on how to combine colors and textures, and inspiration on how to achieve your own signature look. Amazon.com
  • Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style Bravo's style mentor and former Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Parsons The New School for Design will help you make it work. Gunn discusses every aspect of creating and maintaining your personal style including how to dress for various occasions, how to shop (from designer to chain to vintage stores), how to pick a fashion mentor, how to improve your posture, and how to find the perfect fit - all delivered in his signature frank, witty & authoritative manner. Amazon.com
  • Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour by Rachel Zoe (with Rose Apodaca) Learn insider tips on living a fashionable, behind-the velvet-rope lifestyle...even if your budget is more beer than champagne. Zoe zeroes in on the must-have accessories and wardrobe staples necessary for developing a style that's unstudied but glamorous, discusses referencing your favorite style icons and vintage clothes for a personalized modern look, dishes on when to splurge and save on handbags and heels, and shows how to decorate, entertain, and travel in jet-setting style. Amazon.com

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  • Harper's Bazaar Great Style: Best Ways to Update Your Look by Jenny Levin Penned by the magazine’s Senior Fashion News Editor, it delves into practical know-how for timeless style - from building a perfect wardrobe to the ten commandments of dressing, flattering your figure, choosing sexy extras, and dressing for work, play, and going glam. Each chapter includes insider advice and styling tips, along with quotes from top designers and some of fashion's stars. Amazon.com
  • The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece by Andrea Linette & Kim France  Finally, a book that ditches the inconsequential fluff typical of many fashion books & focuses on useful tips and imperative information for dressing better for less by discussing what to wear, how to buy & where/when to spend. Also fab: practical tips on fabric care, shoe maintenance & stain remedies. Amazon.com

 

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  • Nothing to Wear? A Revolutionary Method to Discover Your Style Type; Edit Your Wardrobe to Match; Project Your Most Confident, Authentic Self  by Jesse Garza & Joe Lupo The Visual Therapy founders walk through the process of identifying your natural style, discuss how your fashion “personality” aligns with the image you want to portray, and then demonstrate how to perform a “love it or leave it” examination of your wardrobe. The result? No more out-of-date, too-tight, too-loose clutter, and an authentic sense of style.  PenguinGroup.com
  • The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look by Kendall Farr  Whether petite, average, or plus size, all of us have experienced the frustration of searching for flattering clothes. Celeb stylist Farr reveals all the tricks up her sleeve. How to take your true measurments, when you need to visit the tailor, how to balance the classics with the trends, must-have accessories & the importance of fit - showing women of all sizes how to pull together a polished, individual look with specifically-edited shopping lists for the various body types in this purse-sized guide. Amazon.com
  • 40 Over 40: 40 Things Every Women over 40 Needs to Know About Getting Dressed by Brenda Reiten Kinsel & Jenny M. Phillips Go somewhere else to hear about camouflage tricks; after reading this, you'll be too busy falling in love with yourself when you focus on what works (great smile, pretty skin, shapely calves) as other body parts quiet down and assume their proper proportion. Discover the correlation between your personality and preferences and discover how to wear them proudly! Find out how to shop for a bathing suit with dignity and courage, what to wear while going through a divorce, what to do instead of (or until) plastic surgery, and how to walk away from clothing with “potential” and only buy what works. Amazon.com

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  • Entre Nous: A Women's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier While the rest of us are obsessed with the latest fad, the next best thing or the ultimate diet, fab French chicks are busy being comfortable in their own skin, exuding elegance, matchless style &  mysterious allure.  True, they've been blessed with passed-on knowledge from generations of stylish women raised to cultivate an extraordinary sense of self, so steal a bit of their je ne sai quoi by learning that most French ability of saying no... to anything that doesn't suit, whether it's a job, man, or, yes, the season's latest styles. Laced with practical tips, engaging sidebars, and essential observations about the ways of French filles, this manual will soon have you looking inimitably stylish, mysterious, and sitting in cafés for three-course luncheons (with wine, of course)...by yourself. BarnesAndNoble.com
  • A Guide to Elegance for Every Woman Who Wants to be Weel and Properly Dressed on All Occasions by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux The original What Not to Wear, this classic style bible dishes on timeless chic, grace, and poise -- every tidbit of advice today's woman could possibly need at the tips of her (perfectly manicured) fingers. From accessories to zippers, Madame imparts her pearls of wisdom on all things fashion-related -- and also offers advice on other crucial areas in life from shopping with girlfriends (don't) to marriage and sex. BarnesAndNoble.com
  • French Women for All Seasons by Mireille Guilano Her bestselling French Women Don’t Get Fat prompted a flood of emails, letters and fans inundating Guilano with requests for more of her cunning but simple secrets to living the good life. This buoyant book brims with fresh advice and seasonal stories - on food bien sûr (more than 100 delicious new recipes) - but also on the myriad ways French women manage to enjoy wine, chocolate, and many other seductive (non-fattening) pleasures, and enjoy the longest life expectancy in the Western world.  RandomHouse.com


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  • Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm by Helen Valentine, Alice Thompson & Emery I. Gondor Resuscitate the long-lost art of charm! First published in 1938, this still-relevant handbook overflows with timeless advice covering everything from being kind to atrocious people, avoiding the gossip mill, knowing how many drinks are too many, deflecting unwanted advances from married men, and oh-so-much more. More than an etiquette or personal grooming book, this little gem offers straightforward charm counsel, making it a cinch to win the admiration of friends, family, and suitors. BarnesAndNoble.com
  • The Art & Power of Being a Lady by Noelle Cleary & Dini Von Muefflin Brushing the cobwebs off the term lady & making it relevant to every girl and woman — whether her role model is Audrey Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright, Lauryn Hill, or Mia Hamm - in an era when looking out for one another and taking the high road is too often lost in the shuffle, today's lady has not forgotten what's important. She is kind and considerate without being a doormat. She's assertive, but never a bully. She is sexy without being vulgar. She has great style but is never superficial. She gives back without asking for kudos. And from now on, instead of bringing to mind costume dramas and tea-sipping debutante, the perfect word to describe her is "lady." BarnesAndNoble.com

- Lesley Scott

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August 29, 2007 in Books and Literature, Fashion, Fashion Do's & Don'ts, Weblogs | Permalink

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Love your site. Thanks :)

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