Friday, May 21, 2010

Knowing Your Style Is Step One in Basic Wardrobe Planning

Identifying your personal style is recommended for basic-wardrobe-planning.

Two books I’ve recently read that take this approach are Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Styleand The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style.

The Lucky Guide (Kim France, Andrea Linnett) is skewed young. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos.

There are two useful features.

Each section profiles a young woman who illustrates that fashion type. Some of her favorite pieces also are photographed.

Secondly, each section includes a feature that shows how one foundational wardrobe item may be used in versatile ways – such as transitioning through the seasons, or being teamed up for professional or party wear.

Tim Gunn’s Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style, written with Kate Maloney, is wittier and delves more deeply into what makes a woman chic.

Gunn, for example, lectures readers about the importance of posture.

The line drawings that serve as illustrations are a charming reminder of vintage illustrations from the 1920s through 1950s. They cannot compete with the usefulness of good, color photos, though.

Written like the academic Gunn fundamentally is, the chapter on fashion style types first defines the difference between a fashion icon and a mentor.

Gunn advises against slavishly copying a fashion icon and adapting fashion to one’s one figure and lifestyle.

My complaint with both books is that they focus too much of styles that are popular on the East or West coast. Suburban style and a professional look for older women get left out of these mixes. Scroll down to see table comparison.

Euro Chic (Catherine Deneuve) Les Francaises (Deneuve)
The Bombshell (Sophia Loren) The Siren (Angelina Jolie)
American Classic (Katherine Hepburn) Masculin/Feminin (Hepburn)
Gamine (Sofia Cuppola) Les Gamines (Cuppola)
California Casual(Farrah Fawcett)bi-coastal opposites? The Risk Takers(Sarah Jessica Parker)
Rock and Roll (Patti SmithThe Rockers (Smith)
Bohemian (Stevie Nicks); Arty/Slick (Donna Karan) The Bohemians (Donna Karan)
Posh Electic (Debutantes who may someday become doyennes) Les Doyennes (Haute couture fashion leaders; a look too mature for Lucky readers
Mod (the youthful equivalent of?) Italian & Complicated (Fellini’s women)
Nothing equivalent Power Brokers (Oprah)

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