There’s nothing I love quite so much as books about personal style.
Truth is, I’ve been reading those kinds of books since I was a teenager, hungry for images and advice about fashion and style. Even in those days, when there were far more magazines on the newsstands, they weren’t enough for me, and by the end of every month, I’d head to the library in search of more.
Another thing I’ve had a love affair with for a very long time is ethnic clothing — the kind that, truth be told, women far braver than I am usually wear: kimonos, huipiles, and other clothing from other parts of the world. That grew into a love of vintage clothes and accessories, including paisley shawls and vintage and antique jewelry.
For the person looking to revamp her personal style with advice gleaned from reading, what she here is solid and correct. There’s the standard stuff about knowing your body type and how accessories can really make an outfit.
But that’s not why you’d buy this book, which also profiles 10 stylish women.
You’d get it for the beautiful images of women of a certain age who are super-courageous and original in how they dress (evidently, day in and day out).
There’s plenty to love here—the layering of color, the wild and original mix of accessories (sometimes, I admit, too much for my taste), and the eclectic mash-up of textures and patterns that incorporate many pieces from around the world.
Salamon has a particular penchant for kimonos and other tribal fabrics. And she left me vowing to scout them out on my next thrifting trip.
Style books with photographs tend to age quickly. Books with illustrations, less so. In any event, the new book The Way She Wears It: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide To Revealing Your Personal Style, by fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw, is jammed with illustrations and fantastic style advice. I highly recommend it.
For the person who really wants explicit directions, she’s got just the thing. Not sure how to wear print pants? A lace skirt? She’s full of ideas. Want to mix metals? She’s got encouragement and some how-tos. She’s got features like “Coming up roses,” and “Embrace NYC street style,” plus intel on looking edgy and the only three pair of boots you’ll ever need.
There’s plenty here for the woman who DOES have a decent sense of her style. Journal prompts and other inspiration will give you plenty to mull over. For the woman who wants a complete style
reboot, there are worse starting places than this book.
At a time when the newsstands are heartbreakingly empty, this book is a great source of new ideas and advice. Definitely worth the price of admission.