This book is fantastic! It's personal, visually rich and emotionally satisfying. The author, Stacy London, takes nine women of different ages, sizes and ethnicities and radically transforms their appearances. However, they don't just dress better; they all seem to glow - as if they'd discovered something amazing about themselves.
The most striking transformation is that of a 57-year-old executive from Silicon Valley who looks like a mature tech nerd. Initially, she is wearing mom jeans, a saggy cardigan and has a platinum mullet. By the end of her chapter, though, she is drop-dead gorgeous! She looks so chic in a velvet suit, bold jewelry and a modern short haircut. (She also looks about forty pounds lighter just by dressing differently.)
The author works with all different clothing budgets, too. The Silicon Valley womn is steered toward designer suits while in the 19-year-old UT student's makeover shot, she's wearing straight-leg jeans, a fitted blazer and edgy boots. There's also a plus-size African American woman who goes from frumpy to chic. Then, a breast cancer survivor has a whole different set of specific body issues, so she comes to look sexy, feminine and comfortable. There's also a tiny (4'11") 26-year-old who goes from wispy and faded to having a real presence, a zing; her hair color also changes to a deeper, richer tone which really brings out her facial features.
One chapter transforms a plus-size 39-year-old who is trapped in Mommy Syndrome - subsuming herself in her family - and dressing only in black. The author pulls her from her black clothing doldrums into a tailored career mom look. Another participant has issues with her extreme height. She's 5'11" and curvy, yet she almost fades into her "before" photo background. She absolutely comes alive with fitted, colorful clothing and a good haircut. Then, there's the Missouri redhead who also retreats into all black. The author styled her, so her delicate features shined. Finally, there's a cute 48-year-old divorcee who is ready to jump back into the dating pool, but first must overcome her addiction to blah-black and wrap herself in colors that really flatter her and make her look about fifteen years younger.
While the tone of this book is similar to Stacy London's approach on her TV show, "What Not to Wear," this book adds something more. There's a gentleness and a depth. Stacy shares her own early struggles with psoriasis, a visible chronic skin condition, which makes it easy to understand how she oozes empathy for so many other women and their struggles with self-perception and style. This book feels luxurious; the pages are glossy, the pictures abound, there's so much depth and careful analysis that one can reread at will so as to understand the approach to each style situation. The actual layout - fonts, insets - are so visually pleasing, too.
This is a must-have book for any woman who wants to be true to herself and her style!
I don't get to watch it often enough, but Stacy London is one of the best parts with her great sense of humor and obvious empathy.
Reading her weighty hardcover book- The Truth About Style- is still a pleasure, but hardly a guilty one.
Mind you, at the start, when Stacy shares her sometimes rather painful early life, it's hardly fun, but it is fascinating reading, none-the-less. I really feel like I know her now.
She then takes eight real-life women and gives them a fashion "start-over' which does more than enhance their looks and style, it helps them regain their self-confidence.
Now sure, I personally have the style sense of SpongeBob SquarePants, but I know a good read when I read it. Fashion tips and life tips, all combined with a personal story and her fun personality. Fantastic!
on October 12, 2012
For fans of Stacy London: This book's got everything you love about her, and more. For everyone else: Get your hands on a copy of this book. This is valuable inspiration and guidance that explains the why, what and how of looking great. And looking good is not just a superficial value -- it's the cause, as much as the result, of having a healthy self-image and life.
Anyone who's seen Stacy London on TLC's "What Not to Wear" can tell you that dressing well isn't just for skinny women who want to look fancy. We all deserve to look and feel our best. Stacy London is stylish and smart (in fact a bona fide intellectual), which can be intimidating. But she's also a perceptive, expressive writer with a gift for getting to the heart of a person -- both their hang-ups and their potential. Her new book walks nine women through the process of finding their style. It's similar to the television format, but with more depth and less drama: These contributors selected themselves, so they are eager to learn. These makeovers involve more compassion than sass. The women present a broad variety of body sizes (including true plus- and petites) and ages (two are nearing 60). There is common-sense style advice (size, fit, color!) But more importantly, the "what to wear" tips are woven closely with the "why." Eating disorder survivors, perfectionists, busy working moms - her examples capture all the typical reasons that we can't or don't want to care about how we dress. I was particularly moved by the story of Janis, a cancer survivor with reconstructed breasts. Stacy is at her best - dear and deft - as she calls out post-cancer body issues for what they are and gives us real tools for feeling better about them. I've been through cancer myself, and know how a "new lease on life" can come with tremendous trepidation as to HOW to live. It can be hard to get out of sweats when you feel weak and scarred. It's hard to dress up when you're feel like an alien in a world of healthy, whole women. Janis is a serious role model, and props to Stacy for including her in the project.
My favorite story in the book, however, was this one: The woman who grew up with her psyche crippled by psoriasis - who struggled with food so much that her weight dropped to skeletal one year, then doubled the next - the woman who sobbed uncontrollably on the subway as her job was falling apart. This is Stacy's own story. As an autobiography, the book is as candid and poignant as any you'll find. If you've ever been curious about Stacy, she answers some easy questions (what's with the grey streak?) and the hardest ones (No husband and kids, girlfriend?) No wonder Stacy is so empathic: She really has been there.
Lucky for us, she's also tireless and takes immense pride in her work. While she could have cashed in with a half-baked book, she took this opportunity to bring out her best. Stacy connects the process of shopping and styling to the process of being our authentic selves. Such a valuable adult life skill, but so hard to find truly talented and kind mentors to walk us through it. "The Truth about Style" is a beautiful hardback, with poignant photographs and heartfelt request letters from participants. The text includes data boxes and footnotes, which allows for dialoging without interrupting the narrative. Each section has a summary of the challenges, solutions and next steps. The style pictures are invigorating. Of course, we can only see whether they'll look dated ten years from now -- I'm definitely saving this book for my daughter to read as a teenager.
on November 4, 2012
Ok I don't have TV so I didn't know who Stacey London was....what a wonderful friend to women she is. I have had this book 24 hours and already cleaned out 35% of my first closet. She's talking to me about the JOY of style...what makes joyful dressing...and she knows the emotional issues around weight gain, breast cancer (I'm a survivor), aging, working motherhood - and she hits the nail on the head. It's really about the excuses we make.... I mean, you can find style in Target and Walmart and you can find courage in this book. There are so many things I could quote from this book.....but I love it when she says "if you don't take a step the path won't appear". These are STARTOVERS not makeovers. It's a journey of discovery and you can change, change, change, make mistakes, have fun, change again. It's about joy, and about letting people see you...even if just with one handbag, one pair of shoes...one step at a time. Anyway, get this book, enjoy this book, share it with a girlfriend. Shop together, be joyful!
on May 19, 2013
I have always been a fan of WNTW, and when I saw Stacy talking about this book on Anderson Cooper, I ordered it right away. The book covers the style and fit problems of a variety of women - all different ages, shapes, and sizes - and includes some little bits of info about Stacy's own life. It's easy for a skinny woman to tell a fat woman what she looks good in, but the advice becomes 100x more valuable once you find out that skinny woman once WAS a fat girl, and knows the fit issues you're facing.
on October 18, 2013
I'd give this book 10 stars if it was possible. I'm a longtime WNTW fan and fan of Stacy in general. I got to meet her when I was on the show(I wasn't the nominee, a friend of mine was & I was just one of the friends on the episode). She was just as funny, charming, down to earth, and insightful when the camera's weren't rolling. I was so excited to recieve this book as a gift and it didn't disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Learning about Stacy as a person is reason enough to buy the book if you're a true fan. She's open about her own struggle's w/ body/eating issues(a chapter I cried during having a history myself) which I think just about any woman could relate to in some way. She's also extremely open about her struggles w/ psoriasis which in many ways framed her early life and inadvertantly led to her getting more serious about her love of fashion. She starts out the book(ironically)w/ a chapter on what the book is NOT. Then goes on to debunk many fashion myths to get to the "truth about style". One example: Style is Not a Privalege, It's a Right. I chose that one b/c it's a theme of WNTW(I have to assume that most of Stacy's fans are like me, fans of the show...which incidentally is ending tonight! Sad face.)The theme being that every woman has the right to take time for herself and discover her own personal style. Not just for the sake of "style" but for all the possibilities that it can represent, as well as the joy it can bring. The main point of the book is something she sums up right upfront(and I quote), "Style can change your look, certainly, but it can also change your LIFE." After sharing about her own journey, she then goes into making over 9 different women, each getting their own chapter. Each of these women are completely different...they range in age, race, size, etc. They each have a very specific problem and depending on who you are, you're bound to see yourself in at least one of these women. She helps them to find their own personal style to flatter their bodies but also goes deeper into who they are as people, their insecurities, etc. The book touches on deep subjects but is written w/ Stacy's usual wit and humor. Ultimately, I found it to be uplifting, touching, and insightful. The truth about style is that it can transform us and that's the truth about this book as well! :)
on December 2, 2014
At 25, I've been shifting my style to crossover more between home and the office - I like to think of my style as "polished casual" but I was feeling a little lost in terms of finding things that flatter my shape while still being stylish and not busting my budget. I have watched WNTW for years and love it so I didn't hesitate in buying Stacy's book. What surprised me most about this was the insight Stacy gave into her own style journey and life. She shares some very personal things here and I really enjoyed learning more about her back story. You'll find everything you love about Stacy in this book and then some. The writing style is fun and authentic and there are great visuals to go along with each story. While I couldn't relate to each and every woman in the book, I did find several I really identified with and picked up some great tid bits from the other. This is a book I'll always keep around to go back to when I'm feeling lost style wise. A great purchase!
on April 29, 2016
What a wonderful book, from a caring and classy lady! I had enjoyed watching Stacy London on her wonderful television show, what not to wear, but this book told me a lot about this sweet lady that I did not know. Yes, this is a great book , illustrating style revamps on everyday people, but it also goes deeper, and i really appreciated that. I suffer from psoriasis, and Stacy wrote of her own experience with this horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking disease. It really helped me to see that someone i admire such as she could recover and still be the beautiful, stylish role model she is today. Bravo for being brave enough to tell your story, Stacy. you really made a difference in this girl's life.
on April 1, 2013
I ordered this book on a whim along with some other items and I don't regret it. It was an excellent read, insightful, humorous, heartfelt. You really get to know Stacy London, who I really didn't know all that much about, and I discovered she is very bright, raucously funny with a wonderful understanding of human nature, self esteem, and of course style. I am not sure how much I will refer back to it, but I will be loaning it out to friends. Many of the makeovers were absolutely jawdropping and even better was the emotional work that was done to achieve them. She chose a selection of women that many people will identify with which is also awesome. Can't wait for her next book.
on October 8, 2012
Having gone through Breast Cancer and Tamoxifen myself, I was surprised and thrilled when the book flopped open to Janis's story. I have to say I think that working out a style during this time is paramount in feeling better. In fact, aside from the obvious, I never looked better than I did when I was in treatment, because I took such care with clothes and makeup.
BUT, there are changes after BC, and it helps to have a stylist to navigate them. I'm so glad Stacy London addressed this issue in her book, and Janis seems like such a positive person, she puts me to shame.
Here's hoping none of you will need this advice, but if you do....
And by the way, the rest of the book is fabulous too.