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Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less Paperback – October 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Everything you love for less!

Anna Johnson is not a tea-bag squeezer, a penny-pincher, or inherently thrifty in any way—but she knows how to enjoy the finer things in life . . . for much, much less! In Savvy Chic, she shares her secrets on how to dress, decorate, entertain, and travel in high style without breaking the piggy bank.

  • Style: Get "rich girl" chic for dimes and master the fine art of thrift-shop vintage.
  • Decorating: Create exquisite curtains with Chinese lace tablecloths and shop the flea market like a stylist.
  • Entertaining: Feast on abundant rather than expensive food—from the ten-dollar dinner to the shoestring wedding reception.
  • Travel: Fake snobby style in Capri or make a one-star hotel feel like home.
  • Leisure: Take the town with nothing but a ball gown and twenty dollars or enjoy the most original dates in the history of love, for less of course.

All it takes to live well is taste, style, imagination, and rebellious flair—and Savvy Chic will show you how. Fun, fulfilling, and frugally fabulous, here's your indispensable guide to five-star elegance on a one-star budget.

About the Author

Anna Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of the top-selling Three Black Skirts, Handbags, and The Yummy Mummy Manifesto. She has written for publications including InStyle, Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue, Elle, and The Guardian. She lives with her son in Sydney and New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061715069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061715068
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Gigi on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book from Amazon a couple of weeks ago, picking up a chapter here and there, each one being like its own complete little book-within-a-book. I've read a lot on similar topics over many years but this is hands-down my favorite book. It makes me feel good. Anna Johnson is an author I'd simply enjoy knowing, like any terrific friend. She has learned to live so wisely and well on a shoestring, without sacrificing great style and sumptuous experience. She writes with deep heart on what would seem sometimes to be lighthearted topics, but which aren't at all lighthearted when it's stuff directly affecting you, in your own life...which, for many of us in The Great Recession, has left us with a sense of literal and/or emotional deprivation of no longer enjoying things you formerly could do or afford and being completely rattled by making the month's rent or mortgage.

She says in the preface, "Money is the heartbeat of life but hardly the soul. And yet it underscores every moment. For everyone, except perhaps the very rich, money is a grind." To me, she's got a finger on the pulse; her words hit home with me. She talks of, "Restraint. Proportion. Invention. All form a holy trinity to living better, and deeper, without so many of the props." She describes her book as "a cobbled collection of my secrets for survivalist glamour." And I definitely feel that women of all ages and generations can benefit from the book's contents...maybe in the way they're choosing to edit or fill their closets, get a sort of balance to their days on what they need or don't need for comfort and function, to feed themselves and family/friends simply and healthfully and to not stop "living" just because circumstances change and budgets are tight.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stina on April 14, 2011
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I bought this book because as a younger woman I got a lot out of Ms Johnson's earlier (wonderful) book "Three Black Skirts" (that book actually saved me money that, when a poor university student, I'd otherwise have had to have spent on a plumber, as it had an idea in it that I used to fix our toilet! My boyfriend who was a tightarse was very impressed.) I also bought it because I thought the writer has aged a bit since that earlier book, as I have also, and as she is an Australian girl, like me, and as she has a little boy, like me. This is a cool book. It is a bit in approach like a US/Australian "Entre Nous" (by Debra Olivier) which I love also. This book has nice and quite sophisticated and quirky fashion tips, good recipes and is written honestly and sweetly, and doesn't make you feel like your own life is stuffed up or not good enough. I love the personal insights into the writer's world and wardrobe! Thanks dear author!
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Sam on September 8, 2012
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Although I do find this book entertaining and useful in regards to smart buys (in part) I am a little confused and feel, at times, that this book contradicts itself over and over. At first I thought the message was to buy less but to buy quality. OK - that's a great piece of advice. The author recommends staying away from credit cards, accepting your budget and working with what you have in your wallet. Well that's all well and good but some of her recommendations do not seem ideal for almost ANYONE's budget. She pitches that the stuff you use all the time should be top quality and it's OK to spend more on these things: Sunglasses, a little black dress, a good coat, a good handbag but then she also recommends "basics" or "investments" like Canfora sandals (Capri-based company where no sandal is under $300 US dollars, ) an Hermes scarf (rolls eyes,) and an Eres brand bathing suit, and I'm quoting the author here, "It pays for itself!" Ummmmm, how? I went to their website...I couldn't find one swimsuit under $350. So sure - buy the basics if your basics include summer sandals that are so expensive you'd be afraid to wear them near sand and a swimsuit that costs so much I'd be afraid to expose it to the sea or chlorine. There were times where she threw out some mainstream/affordable retail stores like Zara and J. Crew but she focused more on really expensive designers that kind of threw the entire point of her book out of whack.

A cute book with good intentions but I just got the feeling that the author was some rich woman (though she claims differently at the beginning of the book) who really has NO clue what it means to be on a budget and thinks that everyone can afford $400 swimsuits and $300 flipflops. When I'm ready to walk into Hermes on a budget I will let you know.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jillian Davis on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Simply one of the best styling and chic maven books on having a sense of adventurous, fun and playfulness with styling and being chick (on a budget).

Anna approaches her subject with so much curiosity and from such creativity direction as to give us new things to think about and enjoy with respect to CHIC. For example, one of her chapter titles is 'Queen of the Fleas: How to Buy Beautiful Old Things" -- see what I mean, imaginative thinking, great writing, crisp advice.

I recommend the book highly. It's the next best thing since Amanda Brooks' I LOVE Your Style.

Jillian Davis
[...]
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