Styling can be learned from many different sources, and when I say styling I mean styling for yourself of course. If you’ve got lots of cash to spare, then engaging the help of a stylist is a good investment. Depending on what you’re after – a wardrobe edit (meaning getting rid of things you KNOW you don’t need but just can’t bear to part with), colour workshop – getting the stylist to work out the colours that suit your skin tone, or a styling session, where the stylist will help you work out what sort of clothes suit your shape, right down to the accessories and make up or, even a shopping session, where they go out shopping with you to help you choose the right clothes and accessories. Most often offer packages incorporating, a few of those mentioned. And that’s why I say it’s an investment. You pay to get someone to help you out, and learn the basics, so that you can use this knowledge from then on! Then, there are books written by some pretty famous stylists or fashionistas. That is the route I’ve followed. Not only for my own benefit, but so that I can share some of what I’ve learned with YOU, my dear readers. I’ve learned quite a lot from the books that I’ve come across and yes, swear by.
If you’re after some advice on how to dress for your shape – including knowing what accessories suit you, then I’d recommend Trinny and Susannah – The Body Shape Bible. I first discovered this pair from their amazing show What Not To Wear, when I did have cable. Their honest approach might have shocked some, but the end result were always amazing and even when some were uncomfortable with what Trinny and Susannah had chosen, they somehow managed to incorporate their own personality to make things work. The book is divided into the different shapes that these ladies have come up with – skittle, goblet, hourglass, cornet, cello, apple, column, bell, vase, brick, lollipop and pear. Each has it’s own description, including the “problem areas” and, there’s even an image of a real person from that category – very brave. It also highlights the mistakes each shape makes, for instance, I’m a vase, and some of the mistakes they stated were:
- wearing a smock-like top or dress
- wearing sleeveless round neck tops
- wearing wedge shoes
All of which, mistakes I’ve made before. Yikes! And this is even when I know things didn’t look right! What I love is the fact that they include the key shapes for each piece of clothing that would suit the shape. For instance, someone like me would need a jacket that emphasises the waist, where the button should be, and to avoid ruffles. Then there’s the type of dress, shirt, skirt, top, trousers, dress and even earrings and shoes! The next step is showing an example of the best looks for each shape for different occasions – casual, work and party. This is followed by some extra tips and then the finale – celebrities that represent that shape. There is also a part in the book that shows you how to recycle your wardrobe by altering the clothes you already have and love to actually suit you. While I don’t swear by the book – I still love wearing my wedged heels and continue doing so, I do learn a lot from it and take a lot into consideration when I choose what to buy and what to wear. It’s really helpful in learning how to define your shape and what to steer clear from – yes, I’ve completely gotten rid of anything that makes me look pregnant!
After some styling advice from someone that has styled some very famous celebrities? Then Rachel Zoe is the go to person, or in this case, her book is – Styling A to Zoe. Again, thanks to cable television, I got to learn a bit more about this quirky character and her signature lines – AMAHZING! or I DIE! whenever she is absolutely in love with something. So when I came across her book, yes I DIE! Some of the tips I’ve learned from her book are on how to choose jeans and taking care of them, how to dress appropriately for different occasions – as in big occasions. Then, there’s her guide to what’s essential in your jewellery collection and items you should splurge on. What I loved about her book is how she teaches you to incorporate a bit of glamour, even to the simplest outfit that you’ve got on. For example, by adding the right accessories, say some great earrings or cute belt when you’re wearing jeans and your thongs and a t-shirt can still add a bit of glamour to your outfit.While the book might sound a little pretentious and a bit of a show-off with the photographs of her celebrity clients and of her with famous designers, that is who Rachel Zoe is. It’s entertaining but you do learn some good stuff from the book.
If you’ve got a teenage daughter, or niece, then I’d suggest you try Lauren Conrad’s book – Style. Not sure who Lauren Conrad is? She’s the star of the “reality” television show – The Hills, and yes I use the term reality loosely. She’s also build her career from that to having her own line of clothing – the Lauren Conrad Collection, of which she designed herself, having studied fashion design. So no, she’s not just all looks and air up there. Lauren also has a second line, LC Lauren Conrad with Kohl’s. Now back to her book. I’ve only recently read this and even then only a skim through. Inside, she shares tips on how to build your wardrobe, with having basics or what she terms as “Key Pieces”, items you build your wardrobe around. There are also tips on how to shop, knowing when to buy what eg. sale items and what’s worth waiting for, right down to the make-up, hair and even dressing for different occasions. This includes how to dress for a job interview, something I think anyone who’s in their 20’s might find useful.
These are the few that I’ve so far enjoyed reading and have learned some great tips from. What about you? Have you recently come across any great styling books? Or who is your favourite styling icon?
*The books recommended are affiliate links, but all comments are my own.