Maybe it’s because I just turned 30, but recently I have been investigating ways to redefine my personal style and refresh my wardrobe. No matter if I’m watching the latest episode of 30 Rock (Liz Lemon as a fashion icon?) or people-watching at the airport, I’m assessing form, function, and above all else, the fashion of other women. Why do they choose to wear what they do? How do they pull it all together to create a signature look? And what wardrobe changes do I want to make as I leap into a new decade of my life?
I figured my first step should be to go through what I already have. Wear This, Toss That! by Amy E. Goodman is what I’d call a closet companion. Not only did it help me figure out what in my wardrobe wasn’t working, but it also helped me identify pieces I could buy that were a little risky but worth adding. There are “age alerts” throughout the book, which help you identify what is age-appropriate. The shoe section is not to be missed, as it gives tips for pairing the right shoes with the right outfit.
A short while after cleaning out my closet I was invited to attend a screening event for an upcoming film festival. After the initial excitement came a wave of panic. What on earth was I going to wear? What to Wear, Where by Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power saved the day. The women behind one of my favorite fashion websites created an extremely helpful book that proclaims to be “the how-to handbook for any style situation.” Both Ms. Kerr and Ms. Power model different fashions for each occasion and give tips for pieces and fabrics to avoid. They also tell you which makeup to pair with your outfit to bring the look together. I’m looking forward to purchasing my own copy of this book to keep on hand for my next fashion emergency.
Real-world applications aside, there are many other books to explore on this topic—and trust me, I’m still exploring. If you’d like to get your look together on a schedule, pick up Just Try It On: a Month by Month Guide to Shopping and Style by Susan Redstone and Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover: 30 Days to Diva Style. If you’d like to learn from other people’s mistakes, try Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way by Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Oh No She Didn’t by Clinton Kelly, and the always-fun Glamour’s Big Book of Dos & Don’ts, complete with the infamous black bars over the eyes to protect the fashion offenders. Finally, if you’d like to quietly assess your style and work on redefining it, try How To Never Look Fat Again by Charla Krupp, InStyle’s The New Secrets of Style, and How to Have Style by Isaac Mizrahi.
Have you ever given your style, or even your whole wardrobe, a complete overhaul? What did you find most helpful in your quest?