Fashion consultant Mary Lou Andre distills her experience as founder and president of Organization by Design, Inc. into 265 pages of clear, concise directions that I love for three reasons:
First, Andre celebrates what feeling good in our clothing can do for our confidence to tackle anything.
Second, it is a pragmatic and clear approach to filling your closet with clothes you will love to wear and use often.
Third, Andre writes in a friendly voice with just the right amount of anecdotes and examples. Ready To Wear: An Expert's Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe is a treasure worth buying and consulting over and over again.
If I could have only one fashion guide, this is it.
This book is as well organized as fashion consultant Andre's closet, depicted on the cover.
Pulling together a well-planned wardrobe starts with five steps:
Andre stresses shopping in your closet, investing in clothing and accessories that you love and can use much, and using trendy pieces to update wardrobe staples.
Some of fashion consultant Andre's stories about herself and her clients have stuck in my mind, even though I read this book nearly four years ago.
The gold jacket on the cover, in her walk-in closet, was one she bought to feel great at one of her first presentations as an independent fashion consultant.
Another example many of us may relate to is gathering a closet full of a certain type of clothing that isn't what we really need.
In one case, the client had a wardrobe of sweatsuits that simply wasn't enough to take her through her everyday activities.
One of my pet peeves is the boring selection of rain- and all-weather coats available these days.
Trenchcoats are fine, but it seems that's all there is, in every shade of neutral imaginable.
When Andre found a chic raincoat at a craft fair, it seemed a bit expensive. When she figured out the cost-per-wearing, it was well worth buying.
Figuring out your priorities, determining what you already own, and spending money to consider cost-per-wearing is advice that can revolutionize your shopping. You can sample a similar process reduced to three steps on Fashion After 50's basic wardrobe planning page.
Jackie: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.. What Would Jackie Do? is a guidebook for making style an essential element of how one lives; in her case with courage, discipline, and balance.
Vreeland, Diana. Her autobiography as influential editor of Vogue coincides to some extent with Chanel's rise to fashion power.
Essential Style, Essential Self by fashion expert Alyce Parsons and personality systems experts Kathy Hurley and Theodore Donson suggests ways to express yourself by what you wear.
Lady Gaga is an innovative fashion icon for the young set. But she wasn't the first to dress in bubbles.
Pants by Laurence Behaim is a delightful coffee table book illustrating the parallels between women wearing pants and the fight for feminine rights.
Style Rx by Brigette Raes treats body type and other ways to enhance your look by choosing wisely.