Fashion Books



I recently read three books about fashion that were incredibly insightful and informative! The first book was my favorite. If you've read my recent fashion posts, you'll see a theme here in that these authors say the same things I've been saying. At the bottom of this post are links to other books I've read about fashion. 
The Science of Sexy: Dress to Fit Your Unique Figure with the Style System that Works for Every Shape and Size by Bradley Bayou

Bradley Bayou used to be a personal stylist to the stars so he knows how to dress a woman's body. He mentions that the average American woman is a size 14 yet clothes are made for runway models. Bayou helps you identify your body shape (rectangle, triangle, or hourglass) to then determine the best styles of clothes to wear. Do you remember back in the day when you bought pantyhose, there was a chart on the back that you followed to match your weight and height to find out what size you are?  He uses that chart in this book to tell you how to dress. For that reason this book is incredible because it's so individualized for each person. If you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to  wear, once you know your body shape he gives you a list of things to wear.

A few of Bayou recommendations include that you should buy the highest quality fabrics you can afford because buying cheap is like buying disposable clothing. "Over time it will save you money by eliminating the constant need for new things." No matter what size you are, clothes look best fitted (not tight) on you to show your natural silhouette. Like I've said in my fashion posts, Bayou says that accessories make or break an outfit. The power of accessories are that they are cheap and can dress up any outfit. 

For my personal recommendation, as a mid-size rectangle shape, he says I need to define my waist by wearing clothes that widen my shoulder and hips so my waist looks smaller in comparison.  I can do that by wearing V-neck tops to open my chest area to draw the eyes in. He says that V-necks look good on everyone and will draw attention to the center of your body and away from your trouble spots to create a slimming affect for your waist. It creates a flattering angle that tapers towards your waist. He also recommends boatneck tops to widen my shoulders. Another tip is to wear monochromatic looks to look slimmer. And to choose trench coats that cinch at my waist and recommends pointy shoes for an overall slimmer look.

What to avoid as a mid-size rectangle shape: fitted pencil skirts, long, ankle length skirts, full length dresses that accentuate my round middle, boxy shift dresses, baggy peasant tops, double breasted coats and square toe shoes. 

Even though the book was published in 2006, it's still current on its advice.


Color Me Confident: Expert Guidance to Help You Feel Confident and Look Great by Veronique Henderson and Pat Henshaw

Published in 2014 this is the 3rd edition of the book, they wanted to include all skin tones in this updated version. The aim of the book is to help you identify the best colors for you to wear that look flattering on your skin tone which in turn makes you radiate more. The core of the book is that wearing the right colors and style of clothes will make you look your best.  The book is a bit tricky to use because first you have to identify what your color type is: light, deep, warm, cool, clear, or soft. I honestly didn't know so I had my colors professionally done. 

My colors are dark winter and my skin tone is cool neutral with warm overtone and a muted chroma. So for instance I do best with beige shades that are grayish-tan as long as the shades are not too yellow based.  I should avoid light, dusty, grayish colors (like powder blue). Ivory and off-white will look more flattering on me than paper white. Below is my color palette as a dark winter; these are the colors that look best on me and I should aim to shop for.


Dress Your Best Life: How to Use Fashion Psychology to Take Your Look -- and Your Life -- to the Next Level  by Dawnn Karen

Dawnn Karen has studied the  field of fashion psychology and how the two interconnect. Karen said, "There are so many ways to match your clothing to your mood, to use accessories to conjure comfort, to reduce anxiety through color and fabric choices, to project power when you need it most." She does wardrobe consultations so clients edit their closet (not makeovers) so they can't say they have nothing to wear because she believes fashion is powerful tool lift yourself up. I'm sure you associate positive feelings when you wear certain things? 

She references a study in the Journal of Psychological Science that revealed that "we determine someone's attractiveness, likeability, trustworthiness, competence, and aggressiveness within 100 milliseconds of seeing them." She says that "throughout history, people have viewed clothes to signify their tribe, their wealth or status, and position in the society hierarchy." Thus "the clothes you put on every days is information you are choosing to convey about yourself to others and dictates how you feel."

Like me, she is primarily an online shopper for clothes and quoted the Atlantic which said the average American woman buys 66 articles of clothing a year. She also mentioned that "60% of American women wear a size 14 or higher." Her advice is to elevate your every day outfits by investing in versatile, season-less staples. She recommends creating a well edited capsule wardrobe because when you are faced with fewer choices, you will feel you have picked wisely. You do this by editing down your wardrobe to less items, and only items that fit you well today (not when you lose 10 lbs). When you have a limited number of key items that you can mix and match, your mornings getting dressed will be easier and you won't be stressed about it. She recommends cataloging your outfit options, I've already been doing this with the Stylebook app.  When you like what you already own, you won't mind repeating it because they make you happy. Favorite quotes from the book:

"Your clothes have the ability to empower you and help you command respect." 

"Believing that you are taking good care of yourself by dressing nicely can actually help you feel good about yourself"

"If you know you need to perform well at work, wear something that helps you do it."

"The better you believe you look, the better you will feel."  your clothes are crucial form of nonverbal communication. 


Related posts:

Nicky Hilton - 365 Style

Creating Success Through Personal Style

Supermodel Beauty Secrets

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