on October 29, 2008
Freakin' Fabulous is a book that lives up to its name, as it playfully gives readers a crash course to help make the best possible first impressions when entertaining and socializing. While author Clinton Kelly presumes readers already understand basics such as good personal hygiene, grooming and posture, he fills in the sometimes formidable gaps of good grammar, manners, fashion, and entertaining... and he does it with such a lively sense of humor that even his advice on proper sentence structure and word usage is funny and therefore interesting. ("There's the monkey that ripped your pants.")
I especially love the way Freakin' Fabulous covers some of the essential areas of good public manners that so often get overlooked, such as when and how to write thank you notes and make apologies, what to do with guests who arrive early, what kind of gifts to bring (if any) to a dinner party, how to encourage guests to leave when you could use some new kinds of effective yet tasteful techniques, and how much to tip your hairstylist, coat check girl, and valet parking attendant. Yes, there really is such a thing as arriving so late that it's not fashionable at all... especially when food is involved, and people are kept waiting.
The big surprise for me about Freakin' Fabulous is how many wonderful recipes are included... so when you're done reading this book, you will feel confident knowing four fabulous recipes by heart (Hollandaise, Roasted Chicken, French Omelette, Nice Vinaigrette) and can whip them up in a flash anywhere, any time! Basic wines and mixed drinks will be a snap, and you'll have the most marvelous assortment of hors d'oeuvres for miles around. While more than one third of this book is dedicated to fabulous food and drink, you'll need to take into consideration your guests' special dietary needs, as these days, some people are lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or allergic or unable to eat foods containing pork and/or wheat.
Those who are not already familiar with Clinton Kelly may be in for a bit of a surprise with his more colorful language, since the unsuspecting reader might think that a book on manners would be written in flowery, antique prose. Nothing could be further from the truth! Clinton Kelly writes in a style like your up-and-coming night-life-loving best friend might, complete with informal off-the-cuff remarks that are sometimes shocking, and almost always amusing.
Freakin' Fabulous is the must-have personal transformation book for anyone who wants to radically improve their social skills in almost every situation. This is the book to read so you can literally laugh your way up the social ladder!
This is a very politely and well written book for those who want to be "fabulous."
Being fabulous here means being civilized and appropriate according to the situation. For example, do you pick the right pants for your body? Do you pick the right handbag and look good without looking "weird" and disproportionate? There is a general rule to look at least "proportionate" and appropriate without exposing your flaws excessively. His book tells you how and all that with pictures of contrast.
There are ways to talk properly, which is actually more important than most people think. That's how a lot of people size the others up silently and subjectively at the very first few seconds of meeting. For example, some like to say "Me and her are going shopping together." The correct grammar is "She and I are going shopping together."
There is much more "common sense" provided in his new book, such as how to put different clothing pieces with different patters together, how to pick the right pair of pants, how to dress without exposing a beer belly (for MEN), how to use the right word, such as "fewer v.s. less," "lay v.s. lie," how to whip up some fabulous desert and comfort food, etc.
Lastly, with all the practical information, what makes this a "fabulous book" is also the colorful arrangement from the cover through the last page. There are lots of colorful pictures and graphics arranged in a pretty yet un-overwhelming manner.
After you're done reading this book, you'll find yourself more equipped with "the common sense" of being a feminine, confident, smart, and visually pleasant woman. Leave it at the side table. It'd also be a fun read for most people, such as your guests at home.
I love the show "What Not to Wear," and am especially a fan of Clinton's, since I am a fellow Northwestern alum. I loved this book for many reasons, including that we get to know Clinton quite a bit better than we do on the show. His personality, humor, and writing style were superb, combining clear explanations with witty comments. The humor does taper off a little toward the ending sections, but I guess you can't really dole out snappy comments about a roast chicken recipe! The book also has a great layout with drawings, colorful photos, and nice snippets of text.
Above all, of course, is that the book definitely fulfills its purpose of making the reader fabulous! Clinton's main theme is that, to be fabulous, you need to be appropriate and stylish in every situation, something which I believe most people struggle with in today's society. The book is divided into seven sections: Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, and Decorate. He covers a lot of ground in the book, everything from whether you are wearing the right thing to a funeral to age-appropriate clothing to using that vs. which to thank you notes to using your silverware correctly to cooking a French omelet to getting rid of clutter. Also, I should say that this book is not just for women. Clinton covers plenty of material, including clothing and dressing for your body type, that applies to men. I loaned my copy of the book to my mom to read, and my 63-year-old CPA father ended up picking it up and reading, almost cover to cover! (What I'm saying here is that other reviewers have mentioned that this book is just for women; it's not.) They liked it so much that they ordered a copy for themselves. Unlike "What Not to Wear," this will not just revamp your clothing and your body image, it will revamp your life if you embrace it.
That may be quite daunting for some people, but I think there are plenty of bits and pieces that anyone can incorporate into his or her life to add just a little bit of fabulousness! I definitely recommend this book for people who are fans of "What Not to Wear," people who like Clinton Kelly, and people who want to inject some fabulousness into their lives. I am even buying a copy of the book as a Christmas gift for a friend!
What Not to Wear's Clinton Kelly gives us a fantastic, if at times TMI, peak into the lessons he's learned to make his life as stress free and fabulous as possible. His informative tips prove that with a good dose of common sense, a little planning, and your long ignored imagination we can all be diva's!
The Clothing section was informative but essentially exactly what you can get from What Not to Wear if you pay attention. And it covered a larger amount of info for men, which I fiendishly plan to use on my husband.
The next section may bore you if you're one of those people who flip glassy-eyed through books but it covers some commonly screwed up English errors that everyone makes. Maybe Clinton could send a copy to the Pres., he'll have a lot of spare time soon. I know I have been guilty of a dangling modifier from time to time. Don't skip this, it may be boring but it's like medicine. Not always yummy but it will do your life good.
The Etiquette section comes in handy this time of year with those company Christmas parties coming up where you want to impress your boss or not embarrass your spouse. It covers table manners when dining out at a restaurant or hosts house, tipping anyone from a waitress to your manicurist, thank you notes, theater manners, when it's appropriate to open doors for someone, ect. I for one am strongly tempted to hang the page on bathroom etiquette up on the wall for my friends to peruse occasionally.
The Eating section gives you the basics in how to feed yourself and others stylishly so you can pretend you're a gourmet chef and maybe have a prayer of pulling it off. It, like the rest of the book, is extremely well illustrated and as freakishly stylish as the author.
How to Drink taught me a whole new world of drinks whose names have nothing to do with sex, in other words, big kid drinks. It also gives you a breakdown of what wines you may like and what food they may go well with.
The Entertaining section teaches you how to be an exemplary host by taking the time to do a little planning, knowing how best to make your guests comfortable, how to make yourself comfy, and 25 easy appetizers you can slap together without a caterers help.
As funny as the rest of the book the Decorating area teaches you to be your own individual and that you don't have to spend vast sums of money or hire a decorator to be fab, you just need to make what you do have as spectacular as possible.He has important and valid points on all those THINGS people insist on collecting, especially Hummel figurines. Shudder!
on October 24, 2010
I was very excited to receive this book in the mail. The colorful background with a rather bold photograph of the author on the cover screamed at me "Oh, you'll be as fabulous as I am upon reading this book! ". My impression after finishing this book is as follows.
First of all, I very much appreciatd the great photography in the book.
It is very witty, humorous, and chic at times. But that was about it for me.
I was only impressed by the quality layout of this book. If the only thoughts going through my mind while I was reading the book are consisted of things like "Oh, this picture is hillarious", " Wow, I love how this picture is so stylish", "Oh my god, the background used in this picture is gorgeous!", there must be something wrong about the actual content. Don't you think?
In summary, It is a fun book to read with funny pictures and the way Clinton is telling you his personal experiences in a witty, sarcastic tone. However, I thought the book had a little value for its content, but was only good for an eye candy. His advises are way too general and at times, visual representation of a particular advice was so lacking that it was very disappointing. (For instance, if you are reading this book, you're likely a mere beginner for being fabulous. How can you expect me to imagine/visualize these things you describe, Clinton??? )
I don't know about you, but I actually care for the content of a book, more than its looks. If you want a good book for decorating your living room. This should be a good book to be placed on your coffe table to look "fabulous", and cute. Your guests will enjoy skimming through quickly to entertain their eyes.
Despite all the pitfalls, I do think I've gained a faint concept about being fabulous. And again, I did enjoy all the wonderful photographs in the book. (the whole book is in color! ) Clinton Kelly does know how to make things look "fabulous", I'll give him that!
That is why I'm being so generous giving this book 3 stars.
Hope this helps!
I have a weakness for books that promise to help me do everything better so I ordered this one, even though I don't think I have ever used the word "fabulous" in everyday speech. I also had no idea that the author had a fashion show on TLC. Whatever doubts I might have had soon vanished as I looked through the book which is like a clearinghouse of useful information. I drooled over recipes for mac and cheese with bacon, swedish meatballs and even sliders! I will pass on the cucumber sandwiches though. A Clinton Kelly fan will absolutely love this book as it makes you feel like you are actually at one of the authors parties. He is a tremendous host with a wicked sense of humor as he guides us through proper ways of dressing, speaking, eating and even farting. I am not making this up. I learned more in this book in a couple of hours than I have in a years subscription to GQ. The book lives up to it's title and I think anyone could find useful information in here at making their lives a little better.
on February 20, 2014
Okay, you are going to find only a few tips in this book, not the large makeover info like on the show; however, this is a really funny book and is a terrific read. I love this book and enjoy reading it. I suggest it for anyone who needs a laugh and wants to get some tips along the way.
on February 25, 2014
I liked the wardrobe advice, but some of the table manners and grammar lessons felt a little preachy grandma. Would be useful if you are in a conservative social or work scene, but I think it was little too high brow for most of us running around in 2014 daily life. But still a fun read if you are a Clinton fan.
on July 30, 2015
A gentleman should entertain and entertain well. That is why I bought this book. Gave me insight into a ton of things I had no idea about. Brought my entertaining gentleman game way up.
Fun read, lots of good recipes and entertainment ideas. Lot's of etiquette information. I can't believe I bought it, and even more can't believe I learned so much.
on December 20, 2011
I read this book cover to cover from the moment I opened it and couldn't stop laughing! The recipes were great and the whole book was very entertaining. There's not as much fashion advice in this book as his other books, because this one encompasses manners, throwing amazing dinner parties and speaking properly. If you are looking just for fashion advice, try one of Clinton's other books, but this one is a great read.