Tired of wearing the same old clothes? Wanting to freshen up your closet? Looking for innovative ways to accessorize? Dressing well doesn’t have to be complicated.
The right clothing choices can boost our confidence and make us proud to walk out into the world. From French fashion to the art of accessories and looking your best in that little black dress, these five titles will help you put your best foot forward.
Make the most of what you have and shop on a budget with Why French Women Wear Vintage: And Other Secrets of Sustainable style by Guinut Alois. This book is filled with tips on how to navigate thrift, consignment, and vintage stores while in search of the perfect wardrobe. You’ll also learn how to declutter and let go of clothes that are already in your home. The “perfect wardrobe” checklist will help keep you organized as your purge closets and dressers. Learn to harvest “heirlooms” (hand-me-downs and borrowed clothes) from everyone in your life– sisters, friends, grandmothers, and even men. Be inspired by full-color photos of fashionable French women and recreate their styles with accompanying “deconstruct the look” guides. Read advice direct from experts. Best for thrift store shoppers.
For inside advice from fashionistas of all walks of life choose Classic Style: Hand it Down, Dress it Up, Wear it Out by Kate Schelter. In the introduction, Schelter shares personal stories, inspiration, and advice on how to form your own style. Watercolor illustrations accentuate the text throughout. Learn various fashion “rules” such as how to dress for nightlife. Hear from real women– like writers, editors, and managers–and read their personal lists of favorites. Best down-to-earth guide to style.
Grand Central Life & Style
Dress up any outfit with 50 Ways to Wear Accessories by Lauren Friedman. This small guide will teach you when to wear accessories (depending on the mood or occasion.) See the style with fun cartoons on every left-sided page. Learn how to recreate the fashion with small blurbs and simple sketches on every right-sided page. Be prepared to expand your idea of what accessories might mean. You’ll find fresh new ideas on everything from belts, bags, and seasonal items (like hats for hot or cold weather.) Discover how and when to wear all types of jewelry– rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and diamonds. You’ll also find tips on wearing makeup, choosing the right glasses for your facial structure, and accessorizing with simple flair like an old ribbon. Best for accessorizing any outfit.
Few clothing pieces conjure a feeling as strong as the “little black dress.” Learn how to wear dresses in any style with The Art of the Black Dress: Over 30 Ways to Wear Black Dresses by Libby VanderPloeg. Although designed specifically for black dresses, the fashion advice is adaptable to any color garment. Begin with type– whether flouncy, folksy, flowing, or sexy– then learn what to pair with each. This book outlines a variety of styles like tiered chiffon, the flowing sundress, open-backed dramatic gown, or sparkly cocktail dress. Once you’ve chosen your cut and style, learn how to add accessories that accentuate. Carefully choose shoes, tights, hats, and jewelry. Colorful drawings detail the styles and models of different weights and skin tones inspire. This book also includes mini bios of style icons like Coco Chanel, Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Di, and Kate Moss. Best for styling dresses.
Hardie Grant Books
Be inspired to find your own style and live boldly with Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel. One can’t help but smile at Apfel’s large glasses, red lipstick, and heavily accessorized arms. Like Apfel, the book itself is colorful, fun, and inspirational. Feel as if you’ve been invited into her personal space with photos from inside her closet and intimate stories about her beginnings– like being the first woman at her Wisconsin college to wear jeans in 1940. She writes about marriage, Matisse, and why she wears red lipstick. The snapshots of her life, written in her own voice, are perfectly accented by bright and colorful photos of this “geriatric starlet” in all her glory. Best for inspiration at any age.