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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
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...
Published on April 29, 2011 by Gigi

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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?
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...
Published on September 8, 2012 by Sam


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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!, April 29, 2011
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
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. The author has found ways around the concept of "no wiggle room." She refuses to live a colorless life.

I'm not saying I embrace every single idea of hers but that's something, too, that she recognizes early on about us all having different limits. For example, when it comes to second-hand buys, I personally grew up with too many hand-me-downs, few new things and no extras so, today, I cannot tolerate going into a thrift shop. Anna Johnson gets this. But she has given me lots of other ideas...and hope. I've actually earmarked pages and made written notes about "penniless pleasures" of hers. I like what she has to say about how to create your own comfortable cocoon when at home or traveling. And she's reminded me of simple, fun things I've forgotten or haven't thought to do...for instance, I'm West Coast and know nothing about the Northeast USA, but I love the chapter about taking an $8 train and being a (fashionable)"tourist" for the day in The Hamptons to get out of a New York City summer. In other words, don't sit around and moan; do something about it, and make it fabulous.

The illustrations (the author's own) and collages in the book are delightful; whimsical; eye-popping tints (note the teal/dark turquoise book cover). There are gems in mere sentences: "Often if I am poor in dollars, I try to make myself rich in time, keeping the creeping apathy of empty pockets at bay by doing something swift and cheap that makes my home and spirits feel enriched. If I can't alter the big things, I like to generate change on a small scale." I feel SAVVY CHIC is a handbook...I mean, just look at the Table of Contents: Clothes, Shelter, Income, Food, Travel, Entertainment. This author has become a kind of life coach now for me, yet she's very honest about her flaws, "I cannot use a credit card. I wish this limitation was based on principle alone but the fact is that I'm reckless. Utterly so. Compared to many, I have a somewhat archaic understanding of money. I spend exactly what I have in my pocket, often not wisely." This is one of the reasons why I love this book: Anna Johnson is real and she's honest. It's so refreshing, and I'm so glad she is sharing her lessons learned, with tools for living abundantly, with flourish! Her "Notes to One's Broke Self" is something I've re-read again and again: "I am not what I earn...I have a better idea...I can hang tough...I have dignity...plan, don't panic...(and) I am replete." (Pages 105-107; uplifting, empowering.) I'm hooked; I'll read anything Anna Johnson has to say, and I'm waiting in anticipation for her next book. She's a wonderful author.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and honest, April 14, 2011
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
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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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?, September 8, 2012
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playful, adventurous, lovely book on styling a life and a wardrobe on a budget, December 8, 2010
This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chic is an Attitude, June 26, 2011
This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
I really enjoyed the advice Anna Johnson gives in "Savvy Chic", because the woman writes with an easy, conversational style that gently combines personal anecdotes with practical suggestions.

There's nothing preachy about her advice, none of that "my way is THE way" tone. Instead, she directs the reader toward ideas they might not have thought of, while at the same time stressing that not every suggestion will work for every person. And that's okay.

Because, at the end of this book, I was left with the impression that Chic, and Style, are really about attitude, and about being comfortable in your own skin, and with your own choices.

A fun read!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and unpretentious writer, April 15, 2011
This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
Such a great book to read. Anna reiterates what being chic is not having a big designer logo bag ("wear your logos inside"). She is an example of how simple livings makes you happy. Yes, you may not have a lot of money, but in the end, it's not about the money. To quote "Broke but not broken". Love it! Thanks Anna, you are an inspiration.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant: Savvy Chic, February 27, 2011
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
Fantastic! Such well researched advise. Reminds you what is really important in life - ie. NOT spending lots of money. Prooves you can indeed be fabulous without being rich!
Beautifully illustrated as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to share, September 12, 2011
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Mary (Tampa, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
I bought this book after I picked it up in a bookstore and could not stop reading. It's entertaining and light, but honestly can be read a chapter-here-chapter-there without much commitment. It's got everything from recipes to shopping tips and it's all about being a spendthrift Bohemian on a budget. I like it so much, I'm buying it for all my 20-something girlfriends. Great for fashion-enthusiasts, shopaholics, and kids just starting out. Definitely put it on your list.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit & Miss, January 18, 2013
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
I can't say I really learned anything from this book, but it was put together well. The author gave some good tips on wardrobe, but is a little too vintage oriented for my taste. Probably should have saved my money on this one. That would be my Savvy Chic advise for those considering purchasing this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it..., September 22, 2011
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This review is from: Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less (Paperback)
This may be one of my favorite "lifestyle" books ever. Lots of great practical ideas, but more importantly, Ms. Johnson frames up several great concepts for the reader to ponder! "Thought provoking", I should say. I have definitely been inspired to do some things differently, to live my life with a little more style, to shop with more integrity and to fine-tune my senses to recognize things that will bring quality and authenticity to my life.
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Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less
Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less by Anna Johnson (Paperback - October 26, 2010)
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