Personal Style Book Recommendations

Monday, January 27, 2014

woman reading, fashion, style books,
Photo of Mme. Gadski from the Library of Congress
Tim Gunn's Guide to Quality, Taste & Style by Tim Gunn
Written in an engaging, conversational style, Tim Gunn guides you through finding your own taste in clothes without falling into the trap of copying another person's. He gives good, solid advice (a personal favorite is the chapter on having style inspiration instead of icons) told in a very kind manner. He makes you feel like you've gained a new friend, one who is so knowledgable because he's been there himself, going from someone who knew very little about fashion to someone who taught all about in schools.

Vintage Hairstyles by Lauren Rennells
If you are at all into vintage styles or fashion this book is a must have. beautifully illustrated with full color photos on every page, this book can be divided into three parts. The first focuses on the tools and basic skills needed to make most vintage hairstyles (i.g. how to make rag curls, finger waves and more. The second and most extensive section shows step by step instructions on how to make different vintage hairstyles. Each step is carefully written out, but each step also is illustrated in a well done photo. Every hairstyle shows a before and after- all using real women in real life rather than models. There is also quite a variety of hair length and hair texture, showing that anyone can wear vintage hairstyles. The author also provides a little bit of background  about each look, which is both entertaining and informative. The last section spends some time on different hair accessories that can be used to complete a vintage look- complete with DIYS on how to make many of them.

On a personal note, I let the hairstylist for my wedding borrow this book, and she went out to buy her own. As you can see, all my wedding party ladies were rocking their vintage hair-dos!

Paris Street Style by Isabelle Thomas
This is not your usual style book and it is my favorite for that very reason. Even the vocabulary used in the book is different than your average style book. The language is varied and complex and assumes you are an intelligent person because it assumes fashion and style is an intelligent subject on which to be writing. There are sections of great advice- general advice about clothing and on ideas of how to wear specific types of clothes, and even on where to shop (if one is in Paris). My favorite parts though are not these chapters, but the interviews in between chapters. The author interviews a stagger variety of people who are in some way connected to Paris and to style, whether they are designers, shop owners, textile makers or magazine editors. They even interview a perfumist. Above all what this book encourages is that to care about fashion can be an intelligent and creative passion and even a way of life.

Stacy London's Truth About Style
Also not your usual book about fashion or style, in this book Stacy London focuses on helping nine women find a personal style that fits them and their lifestyle, by looking at the emotional fears and past traumas that have been holding them back. The women- are varied- in age, in body shape, in past experiences. Yet, I think the advice given many can follow; and even if not, it is uplifting to see how a person's self-perception can change and be used to conquer the past. It is not just these nine women opening up about their pasts either- Stacy London gives very raw and personal accounts of dealing with  many of these same or similar issues herself. I really liked this book for showing how clothes- and self perception with them- can help mold us into the people we want to be.

Before You Put That One: 365 Daily Tips for Her
As the title indicates, this large book is not meant to be read in one sitting, but rather as bits of information parceled out through the year. Since this was a book I'd borrowed from the library, I did not read it in this manner, and perhaps some of the charm was not the same. The format of the book was that you got one tip- told over a paragraph or two- a day. The tips built upon one another, of course, allowing a cohesive theme to come through. Still, while some tips were fantastic and practical, some might seem like a bit of filler or advice that is perhaps better shared with a woman older or younger than yourself. But it is still worth a read for the advice you do like from the book.

Want more books? Why not looked at: 

Q+A: Five Books Every Woman Should Own 

The Dogeared Page


  1. Great suggestions! I cant' wait to get my hands on the Street Style one. I can never turn down a great idea that comes from people just doing their thing. :)


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  2. Thanks for sharing. What a pity they are not available in my country :(

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    1. Where do you live? I've linked to Amazon, which ships internationally and at pretty good prices, so if there is one you like, it might be worth looking into...

  3. I just saw the Stacy London book the other day and wondered it if was a good read. I really want to get my hands on the Paris Street Style one especially. Sounds so good.

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    1. I quite enjoyed both, but if you can only get one I'd get the Paris Street Style one.

      Also, the Stacy London book was in our public library... (actually so was the 365 tips ones) so might be a place to look...


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