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The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart Hardcover – August 25, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

"This book is written to help propel you forward, into that place where style and shopping are one. Neither can thrive without the other pulling its proper weight. Effortlessly balancing the two is your mission."

From much-loved fashion maven and New York Times bestselling author Nina Garcia comes her most indispensable style primer yet--this one focused on looking timelessly chic, all while saving money!

Armed with Nina's no-fail The Style Strategy, fashionistas will not only discover a myriad of shopping alternatives sure to help them attain high-end looks at lower prices, but also learn how to maximize what they already have through maintenance, ingenuity, and creative style choices. Step by step, Nina helps readers honestly answer three key questions--What do I have? What do I need? What do I want?--before making purchases, so they can effectively eliminate any unnecessary spending.

This book also celebrates some of the most extraordinary women of the past, who remained admiringly fashion-forward during their own era's economic hardships.

Part of the growing classic collection from Nina Garcia, which already includes The Little Black Book of Style and The One Hundred, The Style Strategy is a must-have for this season and all seasons!

Nina Garcia on The Style Strategy

I am a working mother and a wife. I am a sister and a daughter. I am a student of fashion and a shopper of everything. Each experience in my life fuels what I do, who I am, and, more important, who I see myself evolving into as tomorrow dawns.

I have goals. For myself, for my son, for my family, and for the people who listen to what I have to say about fashion and style.

Every day I plan, I organize, I schedule, I strategize. And the most important thing I’ve learned is that while no amount of planning fully prepares one for life’s inevitable speed bumps, knowing that I’ve built a strong foundation enables me to negotiate such bumps with assurance. I must problem-solve at a moment’s notice. And sometimes even change course altogether in order to adapt to whatever circumstances are thrown in my path. I have to be quick. I must embrace spontaneity while always keeping my feet on the ground. I must have unwavering trust that I’m making the right decision. If I even begin to doubt myself, I crumble, and nothing gets done. Or rather, nothing gets done correctly.

It is with this goal in mind--of imparting my strategy for achieving this level of self-assurance and confidence, while also economizing--that I decided to write this book. As I look at the women around me--on television, in the news, and throughout the world--I realize that although different circumstances may rule each of our lives, we share the core elements of who we are. We’re survivalists. We’re nurturers. We’re women.

An essential aspect of being a woman is not only taking care of everyone around us, but also taking care of ourselves and each other. We figure out new ways to look and feel gorgeous. Sharing our not-so-secret tips with each other is probably the easiest, and definitely the most fun, way we care for ourselves. As women, it is in our nature to reach for perfection. And although perfection may not be 100 percent possible, getting close is. In fact, I see women getting closer to perfection every day.

I witness this striving toward an aesthetic ideal in the wonderful designs I handle as a fashion director. I see it in pristine garments, astute styling, and impeccable tailoring, among many other examples of the craftsmanship I’ve come to adore. But I also see perfection embodied in the women walking down my street. Fearless, creative, stylish women who inspire me.

But getting there is a process. It requires a strategy. Taking command of your style and staying chic is but one step in this process--an important one, mind you, but not the only one. Shopping smart and saving our hard-earned money is another very important step. And although it can be a challenge, being practical while honing your style can also be a damn good time. Trust me.

A Look Inside Style Strategy (Click on Images to Enlarge)

Taking Stock of Your Wardrobe On Shoes The World Beyond Shoes

From the Back Cover

In Nina Garcia′s The Little Black Book of Style, she mapped out a core philosophy for fashionistas whose root principal was that looking great must first be accompanied with feeling great. Her follow up, the NYT′s bestselling The One Hundred, shows women everywhere just what pieces they needed to invest in so as to have a timeless closet.

Now, during the economic stresses all Americans are currently feeling, Nina wants to show women how to keep oneself looking stylish and chic while saving money. Armed with her expert "Style Strategy", Nina wants to help shoppers navigate alternatives to attaining high-end fashion "looks" through a variety of options.

The DNA of her "Style Strategy" consists of three core questions.

"What do I have? What do I need? What do I want?" According to Nina, answering each question honestly before making any purchase for oneself helps to eliminate unnecessary spending. She elaborates on each question using the entertaining prose that has drawn thousands of eaders to her previous titles.

The book also addresses how to maximize what you have through maintenance, ingenuity, and creative style choices. Also, dotted throughout the book are incredibly interesting historical facts about women who have remained fashion forward during their own era′s economic hardships.

Bottom-line: Nina wants all women to know that being practical and smart about style and shopping trumps brand name pricing every time.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061834017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061834011
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nina Garcia is the fashion director of Marie Claire, a star judge of the hit Lifetime reality series Project Runway, the author of three bestselling books on style, and serves as Target's 2010 Style Expert. Prior to her work with Marie Claire, she worked as Fashion Director at Elle, and prior to that held positions at both Mirabella and Perry Ellis. Garcia is relied upon as a fashion authority and has participated in numerous television interviews, most recently appearing on The View and The Today Show, among others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Lapin on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book can be summarized in 3 strategies:

1) Assess what you already have
2) Reminders on what you need
3) Suggestions on obtaining what you need.

Bottom line: you may not 'need' to buy everything you 'want'.

The ideas seem very familiar, but it was a nice fashion strategy refresher.
Ms. Garcia suggests that there are 'foundation' items. Basically, one needs to lay out all the clothes from her closet and see if they need to replenish the timeless foundation pieces and how to build from the foundation pieces.

Some people already may be familiar with the foundation pieces, among them: white shirt, LBD, denim, trousers, pumps, blazer, handbag. All the pieces should be well-made to last for years.

The fundamental argument of this book is to buy less, but buy good, well-made pieces because they are 'fashion investments'. While this is not an original idea, it is an important one, and I've become a more selective shopper since then.

Because the concepts are quite simple, I hoped that Ms. Garcia would provide more substance by elaborating her points. She explains her point clearly, but much of the book contained illustrations and fashion historical factoids. This is a book you can get through in a couple of hours.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By jessielindsey on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved Nina Garcia's 'The One-Hundred' and 'Little Black Book of Style'. They are exactly the type of informative references that I will keep on hand and refer to season after season when refreshing my closet.

However, I didn't learn anything new from 'The Style Strategy'. Additionally, I expected Garcia to point readers in the direction of finding their own strategy, which didn't happen at all.

Finally, this book is a little too 2009. I don't see her references holding up for years to come, as other style books do.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cadence on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have also read Nina's The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own and The Little Black Book of Style and I agree this is her weakest book.

The advice is quite simple. Tailoring, take care of your clothes... as another reviewer said, these are not new or profound thoughts on style. I read the book in one day in a couple hours.

She does have a sections focused on "What you have?" "What you need?" and "What you want?" Unfortunately, she doesn't go into a lot of detail on these topics. In summary, "What you have?" is just look in your closet and keep your favorites (old & new). "What you need?" is an abridged version of her book The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own... really, The One Hundred is a better book in this regard about basics. And then "What you want?" she doesn't really talk about at all. Just funky, unique accessories to spice up your basics wardrobe, but she leaves the real details up to the reader's preference.

There is a section in the back of the book where she lists her favorite fashion websites and also stores... there is a good mix there and it could be the best part of the book.

Overall, it's not a bad book at all....... but it's really nothing special either. I do love the illustrations and it is a basic primer of common sense really.

I was happy that in this book Nina was advocating faux fur as opposed to in The Little Black Book of Style where she was advocating real fur. I know the fashion world doesn't care much about animal cruelty, but it does repulse me to see someone advocate real fur. Good improvement!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Bryant on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is not my usual type of book purchase, but it was mentioned in Worn Through-one of my favorite blogs, so I bought it. The watercolor illustrations are a fun addition to the text. The book has a ton of advice for the everyday woman. I love the little blurbs on pop culture and history. I'm keeping mine, but it would make a great gift too.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Samirian Hill on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was not overly impressed. I read the entire book in 2 hours. I was prepared to take notes and wrote down a couple of quotes, that's it. This is not a hard core style book but more a collection of thoughts. "The Little Black Book of Style" introduced Nina's thoughts on fashion/style. It is the best of the three books.

This book is the same information but from a recession perspective. She talks about mixing high and low, shopping your closet, reinventing what you already have, tailoring, creating looks for less, buying timeless classics and fewer trends. These concepts are not new or profound.

After finishing the book, something bugged me and I could not put my finger on it. I believe it was authenticity. Nina has lived in the New York fashion bubble for a long time, so something did not seem quite right for her to tell me the mantra is "staying chic and shopping smart". Prada and Gucci and "recessionista" do not belong in the same book.

The audience for book seems more suited for women in the NY fashion bubble who could purchase (and dispose) the "must haves" each season without blinking, and constraint is a new concept. "Cheap Chic" or "Recycle and Reuse" is now en vogue.

I am not trying to be harsh: the information is useful, but the voice is light and fluffy.
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