Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Love Your Style

One of the best things about working in a library is that I have access to almost any book I can imagine ever wanting to read. I also get to "preview" books before I decide to purchase them for my home collection. This really comes in handy with new cookbooks.

Amazon is a great website for me because they're always suggesting new books I might like and they're pretty spot on with their suggestions. I'm a creature of habit, so after reading one book on Parisian style or having purchased the Preppy Handbook, I am eager to see what else is out there on the topic or what's similar! Amazon recently recommended Amanda Brooks' book I Love Your Style: How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style.

Image Credit or to Purchase

I immediately inter loaned it from another area library, and dove in! Amanda is one of those stylish people who was born into a stylish family, and worked her rear off to make something of herself in the world of fashion. Lilly Pulitzer herself actually designed Amanda's mother's bridesmaid gowns for her 1960s Palm Beach wedding! She doesn't go into great detail, but one gets the impression that family connections, hard work, and a bit of luck all came together to open some incredible doors for her. And she knows her stuff!

The book is divided into three parts: Definable Style (Classic, Bohemian and Minimal), Indefinable Style (High Fashion, Street, and Eclectic) and, of course, a nice Shopping Guide (Basics, Cheap Chic, Designer and Vintage).

I immediately knew I'd fall into the "Classic" style, and I do for the most part, but a person can be more than one, and style evolves. To be honest, I completely skipped the Bohemian chapter, because it's really not my thing, and I can say for certain it never will be. The funny thing though, the minute I got to the chapter on Minimal style, I realized something- my true style is actually minimal. I love simple, simple, simple, and that can translate into very classic as well. I hardly ever wear accessories, prefer the highest quality I can afford, and sincerely appreciate clothing for it's cut and fit over anything else.

Sure, I love my Lilly dresses and my pearls, but even those items for me, are worn in the simplest way possible. I rarely wear Lilly with pearls! The horror, I know!
I don't know if I gravitate toward this style because I started really getting into fashion in the Mid-90s when Calvin Klein was king, everyone worshipped at the feet of Kate Moss and wore CK One. I was also extremely obsessed with Gwenyth Paltrow's style (she, coincidentally wore a lot of Calvin Klein). Or, if it's because deep down inside, I abhor clutter and I'm kind of a fashion snob purist. Whatever the cause, and it's probably a combination of a lot of things (this could breed a whole new type of therapy....why do I dress the way I do? How it really goes back to your mother and how she dressed and decorated the house? Haha!), but it explains a lot! And it also helped me to truly identify my core fashion vein, which in turn will help me to continue to build a wardrobe that will serve me well for many years. I think Classic can be very Minimal, and therefore I can wear certain styles forever! Think of the cigarette pants Audrey Hepburn made famous in Funny Face? Minimal, yet Classic! And I own 8 pairs in various neutral shades. I could go on and on, but I can look back at my life and some of my most important fashion moments (Yes, we've all had them even we aren't celebs), and I can identify the Minimal influence so strongly prevalent. I guess this was a break through for me in some way. Hey, I'll own that!

Amanda Brooks was recently named Fashion Director at Barney's New York, so she is no longer maintaining her blog, but if you want to read the back log, click here. And check this book out from your library or buy it online, it's pretty inexpensive. I'd love to know if you discover anything new about your style and about yourself. In a world where things often seem gloomy, the economy sucks, we are at risk to becoming slaves to our careers and/or mortgages, it's kind of nice to spend a little (or a lot of) time thinking about your style and what it says about you, right now, in your past, and how it can help you shape your future. Enjoy!


LPC said...

I think of minimalism as the highest form of personal style:).

Legallyblondemel said...

Ooh, adding this to my Amazon wish list - thank you for the recommendation.

And three cheers for minimalist chic! I also started paying serious attention to style somewhere in the La Paltrow / Calvin Klein / Carolyn Bessette Kennedy phase, so I think you may be onto something with that being an influence.

newlywedsinnewyork said...

Nice one! And one thing is for certain... Classic never goes out of style. Can't wait to dive into that book... I may fall under your category considering J. Crew is about the only thing I wear day in, day out. Ha!

Fash Boulevard said...

totally getting this. thanks so much love. thanks for another wonderful post.New outfit post. Lunch in Beverly Hills. Would love if you'd check it out. Thanks love. xoxo


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