DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Dec 16 2008

2009: The Year Of Living Fashionably?

by Jnai W

Three Silhouetted Long Haired Women Wearing Colorful And Fashionable Clothes And Taking Long Strides While Shopping In A MallI know that there is still time before January 1, but I’ve been contemplating my goals and aspirations for the New Year. There are lots of things I’d like to accomplish–furnishing and decorating my apartment (dare to dream!), making a final decision about librarian’s school, learning to sew, etc.–but in an effort to not overwhelm myself I’ve decided to start small. It’s a fairly light-hearted goal but it’s a starting point.

I’m going to start dressing better.

It’s silly but maybe not, really. I’ve been a grown-up now for at least 10 years (even though no one over the age of 25 should ever use the words “grown-up”) so perhaps it’s time I started dressing like one. I’ve been perusing the fashion magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle for ideas (stop by DCPL to check them out if your budget’s tight–also see Amanda’s blog post!). All of this fashion research leaves me wondering what it would be like to dress like some sort of professional person. I bet it would be awesome!

If you’re looking for style inspiration there are still other options besides the aforementioned overpriced, advertorial-heavy “fashion books” (seriously, don’t buy them unless you like using money as confetti!) . Look no further than the Library for great books on dressing well, looking classy and celebrating life.

Some intriguing titles here at DCPL include:

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou (Gotham): Here is an enjoyable book by a stylist to the stars (Salma Hayek! Oprah Winfrey! Eva Longoria!). He offers useful tips on how to make the most of your figure and body type.

Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding The Style That’s Right For Your Body by Stacy London & Clinton Kelly (Three Rivers Press): The hosts of TLC’s What Not To Wear offer a well-illustrated, light-hearted and surprisingly thorough how-to guide for style-impaired women of all sizes. One minor quip I had with this book, however, is the authors’ overuse of the words “curvy” and “extra curvy” to describe women of average size and up. Is “full-figured” politically incorrect now?

Style is Not A Size: Looking and Feeling Great In The Body You Have by Hara Estroff Marano (Bantam Books): Initially I was put off by the cover model of this book: beautiful but decked out in a Bill Cosby sweater, baggy red knit pants & moderate-to-severe 80s makeup and accessories. But this book offers great insight into the definition of style vs. fashion. It’s a good reminder that style has nothing to do with the number on the clothes tag. You may have to tussle for this one, though: there are only 2 copies of it in the system.

The Beauty of Color by Iman (Putnam): Gorgeous, glamorous Iman’s book offers great illustrations and beauty tips on cosmetics and color, which is great for the makeup-phobic such as myself.

Off The Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and The Women Who Love Them by Carson Kressley (Dutton): Here’s a little something for the men in search of style or for women who need a little reinforcement when saying something like “Honey, those pants are too baggy.” Everyone from a Bravo TV show should write a style book! I haven’t read Tim Gunn’s book yet but the Library has it for anyone who’s interested.

What's Your Body Type?The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your BodyFront Cover

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah H. Stone December 17, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Great Reading. I decided to put some color in my wardrobe next year. My daughter told me I dress like a “little old lady.” I responded “I am a old lady.” I will check out the books that you suggested. I look forward to receiving them. Oh by the way, my daughter suggested the same magazines that you suggested.

Nolan R December 17, 2008 at 4:43 PM

There’s a book that I think is great but I can’t think of the title! It’s a few years old but has some timeless tips for dressing in style.

A couple of others I ran across in the library are:
“Before you put that on : 365 daily style tips for her”

“Sam Saboura’s real style : style secrets for real women with real bodies”–I haven’t looked at this one but the title sounds promising.

“Secrets of style : the complete guide to dressing your best every day”

Oh, and Deborah, (not that you need it!) here’s another one I found: “How not to look old: fast and effortless ways to look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, 10 times better”

Nolan R December 17, 2008 at 4:47 PM

Aha! I found it–“What should I wear?: dressing for occasions” It’s about 10 years old now, but from what I remember it had some timeless advice. Looks like there are two more in the same series– which is called “Chic Simple.”

Fran W December 18, 2008 at 4:16 PM

There’s a great book in the system called “The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything” that I absolutely love. It covers fashion, but also finances, home, love, health, career and more in a lively-yet-informative way. I haven’t chosen my New Year’s Resolution yet, but when I do, I’m sure this book will cover it.

Veronica W. December 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Someone recently said that I dressed “trendy”(I guess she meant for my age). Actually I prefer “classic.” Where help is needed, try the book “Conservative Chic,” in conjunction with the Talbots catalog.(Don’t buy…just look)

Deborah S.. January 5, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Nolan, thanks for your advice. Veronica, I prefer classic, too. I guess that is why my daughter said “I dress like a little old lady.” “Chic Simple” is a great series of books. I own several of them. I had to repair the “Chic Simple Accessories” book. It is one of my favorites. I use it daily. I am enjoying the blog.

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