Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Style books edited by fashion magazines

I bought a lovely little book a few days ago about style. Its handbag sized but its packed with fashion information and cool photos.

Its edited by US Harper's Bazaar which is one of my favourite magazines.

Here is a photo of an inside page with the heading of "Polished Pieces" what to look for that adds the most polish to your look.

It got me thinking about all the other books on my bookshelf about style, but specifically those which have been edited by magazines.

This post is about that book and also about other similar style books which have been written in association with magazines.

I wont kid you here - all these books cover similar style topics.

Well, maybe similar but not the same.

So I have to buy every single one of them for my library, as they get published.

The other excuse I use is that every few years, as trends move along, I need to buy the new version of the book, to stay up to date. So for example, all the books may identify a white shirt or a black skirt as key wardrobe pieces, but the book in 2000 will have a different "look" of a white shirt and a black skirt compared to the book of 2012.

The typical topics covered by these books are as follows:

1. Finding your style preference

Are you glamour? romantic? classic? bohemian? sporty? euro-chic? grunge?

They often show photos of celebrities to give you a flavour of their different styles, making it easier for you to identify with others who exhibit your style.

2. Identifying your body shape

Are you an apple? triangle? inverted triangle? column? petite? curvy? thin?

They then outline the best ways to hide flatter your shape - ie: hide your bad bits and enhance your good bits.

3. Identifying your best colours

While everyone is different, there are some common groups of colourings of eyes/hair/skin that help to identify your best colour palette.

4. The wardrobe basics

The importance of basics in an effective wardrobe.

How to wear basics in different ways to bring more versatility in your wardrobe
They often also show what may be more appropriate for varying age groups

5. The embellishments

Ways to add sass and flair to your wardrobe - how to stand out in a good way including how to do the high-low thing with your wardrobe.

6. Accessories

The basics required for various typical occasions & different ways to wear them in order to get maximum value from them.

7. Evening dressing

They explain the different types of dress codes and what is suitable, eg: black tie, white tie, lounge suit, cocktail, dressy casual, creative black tie etc.

Some also list the types of events and explain what is appropriate, eg: wedding, christening, meeting the in laws, lunch, work xmas party etc

8. Warm weather holiday dressing

You my think this is simple, but these books help to hone in on the different styles depending on whether you're at a resort, at the beach, sightseeing in a big city, on safari or exploring interesting locations.

9. Travel wardrobe

Some of the books explore this from a suity work perspective, others from a non suity work point of view. Others explore a non work travel wardrobe for exploring cities or back streets or the country.

They help you to understand how to pack a minimal number of pieces and get the maximum number of outfits. You may have heard this called capsule dressing, where you pack a capsule of say 10 things & everything goes with everything else.

10. Maternity basics

The aim here is to mix and match to get maximum wear as well as ideas on how to be able to use your existing wardrobe in new inventive ways.

11. Casual clothing

Personally I like this topic as it affects all of us - it shows you how to use clothing and accessories to create easy stylish looks for every day - the emphasis her is on easy. Think of the mommie run, shopping, coffee with the girls etc.

12. Grooming & make up

This area is broken down to hair, skin care, cosmetics, nail care, weight, diet and even the best shape/colour of glasses to suit your face/colouring.

13. How to shop effectively

This is my absolute favourite topic by far. How to develop an editor's eye and be able to scan a store with military precision for what you want, what homework to do before the sale starts, how to get into sales before everyone else does, how to plan for a sale, how to dress on the day, how not to be intimidated by shop assistants and understanding your rights when a purchase goes bad.

Here are some of the covers and an inside snapshot for each one:

not sure why this one has rotated during the upload....gremlins....

2 inside photos for this one.....

NB: Lucky is a US magazine "all about shopping". Its basically what the Aussie mag, Shop Til You Drop was modelled on. I used to buy it at Borders. Once they closed, I havent found anyone else in Sydney who stocks it....bummer...

I hope you have now got a flavour of what these books are about and maybe I have even interested you enough to buy one.

I'll be reviewing more style books in due course.

In the mean time, if you want any feedback on style books, just ask via the Styel into Action Facebook page or via the blog comments.


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