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327 of 332 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as a chat with Tim Gunn
You can almost hear Tim Gunn's distinct voice as you read this book. His thoughts translate as well on paper as they do on television.

In the "Who You Are" chapter he sets you at ease with his characteristic warmth as he tells you that you are who you are for a reason and he is here to help you accentuate your positive features and mitigate the negative ones...
Published on April 9, 2007 by Anita Ashland

versus
124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not especially helpful
Amazon recommended Tim Gunn's book to me, and I decided to check it since there were some very positive reviews about its content. Nevertheless, I really did not find it that helpful.

First of all, when I pick up a style book, I do expect there to be some discussion of selecting clothes for your body. Even if the book is helping you to cultivate your personal...
Published on August 14, 2007 by Siepres


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327 of 332 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as a chat with Tim Gunn, April 9, 2007
By 
Anita Ashland (Madison, Wisconsin) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
You can almost hear Tim Gunn's distinct voice as you read this book. His thoughts translate as well on paper as they do on television.

In the "Who You Are" chapter he sets you at ease with his characteristic warmth as he tells you that you are who you are for a reason and he is here to help you accentuate your positive features and mitigate the negative ones. He recognizes that there is a connection between inner and outer beauty and encourages you to think hard about who you are.

This book doesn't contain lots of details about what to wear or not to wear. He zeroes in on the basics - he provides a top ten list of wardrobe essentials (he convinced me that ballet flats are necessary, for instance) - and doesn't overwhelm the reader. There is a chapter devoted to posture and walking. A chapter devoted to style icons ranging from Katharine Hepburn to Kate Moss to Patti Smith. Instructions for how to dress for various special occasions. There's a chapter about the challenge of finding the right fit. There's much more to style than merely the clothes and his book addresses this very well.

The most helpful section is the one that addresses Creeping Closet Syndrome. He gives specific instructions about editing your closet and every woman should heed them. The New York apartment in which he lived for 15 years had seven linear feet of closet space so he knows how to edit.

He praises stores like H&M and encourages quality over quantity. Every woman would do well to read his chapter on shopping before succumbing to the urge to go on a shopping spree. He says, "The most important part of your expedition should take place before you leave home. The salient question to ask is: 'Why am I shopping today?'"

I finished this book with regret, wishing for more, which is how I imagine I would feel after finishing a conversation with him over lunch. Now, I'm off to buy some ballet flats...
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217 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Gunn - The Master of Style and Elegance, April 9, 2007
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
The only reason I watch Project Runway is to see Tim Gunn "make it work". The only blogs I read on the Project Runway web site are those by Tim Gunn. His blogs are so insightful into what transpired on each episode. Tim is an incredibly unassuming, elegant, stylish man. You just want to sit and talk to him about fashion for hours on end.

There are so many books about style on the market - most of them by thirtysomethings who are telling us how to dress hot, keep up with the fashion trends or imitate well known celebrity fashions.

It is a joy to read Tim's book about identifying and capturing your own definitive signature style. I love that he includes "Blind Spots" - things we do to sabotage our fashion wardrobe.

Tim starts by helping you define your style and the pitfalls we often make in choosing and wearing fashions. He takes us shopping, warns us about the "it" bag while we choose accessories and the right outfit.

At the end of the book we are treated to a little fashion dictionary and a list of fashionista movies that are fun to watch.

I highly recommend this book over all the other fashion guides for its classic take on being your authentic fashion self and its timeless advice.

Be sure to watch Tim Gunn's new show on Bravo - which continues his take on style and taste.
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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Gunn, I love you, April 14, 2007
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
One of the best things about Project Runway is Tim Gunn and he's offering witty advice and commentary on style, taste and quality in this delightful book. One of the things I was most surprised about was Gunn's maxim that you should forget about clothes size. Sizes vary depending on where the clothes were made and when. The important thing is to make sure the outfit fits you. He talks about how to buy quality clothes and how to shop. He also discusses appropiateness. A 60 year old looks like a fool when she dresses like her granddaughter and the 13 year old looks all wrong dressed and painted up to look like a matron.

A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style doesn't assume that the reader is rich and points out that looking good isn't about spending a fortune. It's a light hearted, charming guide and is as smooth and sophisticated as it's author. I loved, loved, loved it.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not especially helpful, August 14, 2007
By 
This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
Amazon recommended Tim Gunn's book to me, and I decided to check it since there were some very positive reviews about its content. Nevertheless, I really did not find it that helpful.

First of all, when I pick up a style book, I do expect there to be some discussion of selecting clothes for your body. Even if the book is helping you to cultivate your personal sense of style, it should be honest about what kinds of clothes are just not going to be flattering on you. Gunn dealt with the body problems in two pages, and one gets the impression that his body "flaws" were more for models, instead of the everyday woman. A woman with a very curvy hourglass figure, for example, would need to dress in head-to-toe dark colors, according to his advice.

Secondly, the chapter on fashion icons had a great deal of potential, but it fell flat. This section would have greatly benefited from pictures. The icon descriptions were woefully underdone, so that I had to read the chapter three times to make any sense of them.

However, on the positive side, Gunn does offer some excellent suggestions for shopping, closet purging, and fit, which are well-worth a glance through. The tone is rather elitist, but in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

Overall, I would recommend checking it out from the library, skipping the sections on style mentors, and heading straight for his information on fit, your closet, and shopping. Grade: C-
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful Advice for the Fashion Challenged, October 27, 2007
By 
K. Knolls (San Leandro, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
I started watching Tim Gunn's Guide to Style on Bravo a while ago and loved the show so much, I decided to buy his book. I think it's one of the best purchases I have ever made.

Some of the other reviews say this book is a waste of time, that it's all such obvious advice. That may be true for some people. But for me it was not. I felt I was stuck in a fashion rut. I'm 22 years old, almost 23, about to be married to a graphic designer, and I feel like I look like I just walked off my high school campus. I'm a jeans and tank top kind of girl. As wonderfully comfortable as those clothes are, that's just what they are: "comfort clothes", items I wear because I'm afraid to step out of the box. When I get married I want to be able to be the stylish wife on the arm of my husband, not someone that looks like a teenager. I want to be taken seriously.

Well, Tim's book was an easy to digest read. He has a lot of great advice that even made me feel better about myself. Like his views on being a certain size. He says, buy the dress that fits well and makes you look great, don't beat yourself up about the fact that it's a 10 and you're "supposed to be a 5!" He says, go home and cut the tag out if you must, but you're going to look so much better in something that actually fits, than something you try to squeeze into simply because you don't want to admit to yourself that you have to wear a 10. And he has some good information on department store sizing that makes a lot of sense.

The book flows a lot like the style of his show. He teaches you how to cull the clothes in your closet, explains how things should be fitting your body while offering tips for ladies who want to minimize their large bust, or downplay their tummy, etc., offers some style inspiration from some famous ladies, and then preps you for shopping by explaining the 10 most important and basic items you should have in a wardrobe, he goes on to explain the different places for shopping (the mall, the outlet, boutiques, etc.) and what each store does best, he ends with fashion ideas for special occasions (weddings, funerals, cocktail parties, etc.) and in the back their is a glossary of fashion/fabric terms, so if you don't know what blouson means, it explains it there.

Bottom Line: I found the book extremely helpful. It was like having a good friend counsel me and hold my hand the whole way. If you fancy yourself stylish and in need of no fashion help, then this book is not for you. But if you're like me and interested in trying to update your look by learning how to form a basic wardrobe and what works and doesn't, then I would highly recommend the book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hurray! It's okay to be over 50 and aspire to style!, August 9, 2007
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
At first I found this an odd little book. It felt more like an idea that Bravo had--to help kick off a new Project Runway season and Gunn's new show as well--rather than the author's idea. Quite a variety of topics, and it feels a bit random in spots. But the language is certainly reflective of the author, and it's ultimately a lovable book. I'm a fan of Tim Gunn--love his detached irony and wit--and that he's found his niche while shaking his head at the wonder of it all. Good for him. With a book like this, I feel that if I can take away 3 or 4 good tips, I'm happy. For me, those included the posture one (keeping your shoulders far away from your ears, or something like that--it definitely works) and the repair pile rule (you now have 5 days to get it to the tailor or dry cleaner--or maybe you don't care about it that much). How true.

Gunn was not so well served by his publisher. The layout and illustrations aren't wonderful, and the editing, well, we have "discreet" in place of "discrete," "illicit" in place of "elicit," "suitablity" [sic], and Collier rather than Collyer (anyone editing in New York should be able to spell Collyer brothers). If you're going to include a glossary, be sure you spell the words correctly (e.g. dupioni and passementerie). That's already a lot of errors in such a short book. But my over-50-year-old heart was warmed by all the fondness for women of a certain age. I wish he didn't hate flip-flops so much, but I'll continue to wear them--nothing else shows off a pedicure quite as well. And I'll try not to waddle.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never again look at your closet the same way., April 23, 2007
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
Don't open this book expecting "before" and "after" photos or expecting body shape descriptions. Instead, this book is like spending a few days in the very good company of Mr. Tim Gunn. Having met Tim on several occasions, I can tell you Project Runway fans that he is every bit as kind and generous with his time in person. An utterly delightful, humble man who seems honestly surprised at his new celebrity status. But back to the book - with Tim's distinctive voice, it takes you through the elements of style, as opposed to fashion or trends. "Quality, taste and style" will become your mantra whether you're shopping for a raincoat, theater tickets, wedding china, or a paint color for your living room! Yes, there is advice you've heard before - buy the best quality you can afford, keep it simple, have your clothes tailored - but there is also plenty of new things to ponder. I loved his advise of, once determining which clothes you really love, that you wear them for the next week. You quickly discover whether you are buying clothes that are appropriate for your current lifestyle. Frankly, who could ask for fresher eyes to look over your wardrobe that the inimitably elegant Mr. Tim Gunn?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and well written, June 24, 2007
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
This was a lighthearted afternoon read.

I don't have much interest in fashion, but I did enjoy Tim's role on Project Runway, so I thought I'd pick this up.

Some of Tim's advice was old hat, but he made some old fashioned advice feel fresh and inspiring. I had recently cleaned out my closet, but after reading his book, I did it again, giving away a lot of nice pieces that honestly never "worked" for me. Yes, it did feel good to have permission to give away some expensive pieces that I was never going to be able to wear well.

The nice thing about Tim's philosophy is that it's about enjoying what you have, rather than making yourself feel guilty about not meeting any particular standard. If you're itching for some inspiration, this is a pleasant read.

One last bit of praise. It's impeccably written, which immediately puts it head and shoulders over a lot of the pulp out there.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But can I make it work for me?, September 22, 2007
By 
Rebecca Huston "telynor" (On the Banks of the Hudson) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
I confess, sometimes I like those makeover/reality shows that come a-creepin' across my television screen. Sometimes, when it is the show that progresses by attrition, I get a smug look when some lout who truly deserves it gets booted off. But where I really enjoy it is when I can learn something. And when I heard that the advisor to the contestants on Project Runway was coming out with his own book on fashion, I was certainly interested.

Tim Gunn works with Kate Moloney to produce this slender little book of fashion tips, designed pretty much for women, especially those that have overflowing closets and nothing to wear. It gets worse when you realize that not only don't you have anything that looks good, but you're not even inspired to do anything about it, and keep on wearing clothing that makes us look dumpy, flat, and wide. And most of all, where do we even begin to figure out what is going to work, and what isn't?

Each chapter has a little note at the start, explaining what The Lesson is going to be, then the text, often with various line drawings inserted to either instructor or to amuse, and a note at the end titled The Blind Spot that mentions where things can go a bit haywire.

The information is pretty much what can be found in most books on clothing and fashion, working from getting to know yourself, tackling your overstuffed closet and culling it down to the necessities, figuring out a fashion style that will work for you, getting inspiration from famous fashionistas from the past, how to minimize problems with your figure, the importance of self care, an entire chapter on accesories, and especially the handbag, and how to shop using your brain and eyes instead of just emotion and advertising. What I found most useful was the chapter of various items that every woman really needs to have in her wardrobe, and how to keep things to a minimum without losing your mind. The final chapter goes into special occansions and how to cope with them.

One really fun touch comes at the end, with a list of movies on style and fashion that mostly focus on what we think of as classic and timeless. I wasn't surprised at all to see several of my favorite films on that list. There's also a brief snippet on the use of perfume and scent without going crazy with it. Finally, a glossary about all sorts of topics dealing with clothing, cloth, trims and terms that will help to sort things out a bit.

Throughout the book, I found myself chuckling over Mr. Gunn's observations about modern life, and the role of style that affects everyone. He's canny, but not cruel, in pointing out that everyone makes mistakes, and gently suggests what might work instead. Co-author Kate Moloney is a bit harder to detect here, and I suspect that she was ghosting and editing in spots. It's a minor quibble -- what really matters in this book is what Tim Gunn is saying, and it's very sensible, logical advice as well.

Summing up, I found this to be an interesting book to read, but not exactly the sort of book that I could actually use. While I am not at all in question of Mr. Gunn's taste and style -- he is immaculate and very well turned out -- there are some mighty big holes for the reader to fall into. It's not the perfect book on fashion, but it is certainly a keeper of a book, and one that I plan to go back to now and then to give myself a good kick in the fanny and to stay focused on the essentials. By all means, be certain to take a look at Tim Gunn's Guide to Style on BravoTV, where he puts much of what this book is about into actual practice.

About three and a half stars, rounded up to four, as I can't give half-star rates. Drat.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Helpful, November 11, 2008
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This review is from: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style) (Hardcover)
I looked at this book a couple of times at the bookstore but passed it by because it didn't have a lot of glitzy photographs. Then I ordred it anyway. To my surprise, it is chock full of great advice. Tim Gunn writes with humor and humility. He NEVER speaks down to the reader. In fact, he's very encouraging as he tells the reader to celebrate our flaws and to not be so hard on ourselves. He doesn't insist that everyone run out and buy the lastest fad, in fact, he discourages it. He urges simplifying one's wardrobe and continuously emphasizes scale and silhouette. Just because an article is a great piece doesn't mean it is right for everyone of every shape and size. Mr. Gunn discusses quality vs quantity...but he's always on the lookout for a bargain. He touts buying those few really great pieces and filling in with basics from you local discount store....IF you can find good quality for a good price. All in all, I was very happy with this book and the advice given by its author.
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Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style)
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