- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (April 24, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 060960645X
- ISBN-13: 978-0609606452
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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10 Steps to Fashion Freedom: Discover Your Personal Style from the Inside Out Hardcover – April 24, 2001
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"This is an EXCELLENT resource . . . lots of good info." -- The Charlotte Observer
An excellent book specifically designed to help women develop their personal style I highly recommend reading it. -- Sherry Maysonave, founder and president of Empowerment Enterprises
You can't tune into your personal style until you first tune into yourself. It's a fashion meets Freud thing... -- Chicago Tribune
From the Inside Flap
ke to make a better first impression? Would you like to feel more comfortable in your clothes? Though your closet is full, do you still have trouble finding something to wear? Renowned image
development consultants Malcolm Levene and Kate Mayfield are here to help in 10 Steps to Fashion
Freedom, a groundbreaking guide based on their exclusive ten-step image therapy program.
Malcolm, dubbed the Freud of Fashion by The New Yorker, and his partner, Kate, have written a practical, engaging book that breaks through trends, hot looks, and instant makeovers to get to the heart of how you can develop your own style. Instead of trying to figure out the must-have items of the season or where you fall on the color chart, you will get help from Kate and Malcolm in facing your worst image fears and uncovering and developing a style that is totally your own.
As they do for the top executives who go through their personal style developm
Top customer reviews
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Which clothes you choose that reflect your true self will apparantly become clear to you once you do the inner work. I say apparantly because I did all the exercises and the vision never materialized - or at least it didn't seem any different from what I all ready wore, which may be something in itself.
The most important things I got out of this book were about fit, determining quality and how it is necessary to practice discipline when shopping. But I can see that for others who feel a disconnect between themselves and the world can benefit from working on some personal issues related to their style of dressing. You are what you wear.
For people who are employees, which are most of us, you may or may not be allowed to express your creativity, because your idea of style might not send the right message to the company's target audience. Think Danny on last season's The Apprentice--his attire is very common and accepted in his field, but doesn't work everywhere else. The key here is that as long as you are working for someone else, you *will* have limits placed on how you can dress, either personally by your employer, by your field, unless you are so successful and in demand that you can do as you wish, and to heck with everyone else.
I felt this book, besides being geared toward the British, who tend to be more formal anyway, was also geared toward the east coast of the US. There was no discussion of regional clothing/style preferences--I didn't expect talk of Texas Big Hair, etc., mind you, but you're wearing completely different clothes and footwear in say, the Pacific Northwest, where it rains or is threatening to rain most of the year, and sidewalks are not as prevalent.
And I found their discussion of what constituted "extraneous additions", to be irritating. Many people happen to LIKE elastic in a waistband, provided you can easily replace it when necessary, or the little cinch straps in a waistband even though you still have beltloops--not everybody likes to wear belts. The authors don't like leather patches on sweaters--well, they can no doubt afford to trash an otherwise still-in-excellent-condition sweater with holes in the elbows--most people can't. Oversize pockets are another no-no to them. Sorry, many of us prefer useful pockets to dragging around purses.
I got the distinct impression that neither of them have ever actually *worked* in the clothing they wear, sell and recommend, if you know what I mean. However, many of us DO have to perform physical work in our clothes, so practicality does figure into our clothing buying decisions. Most, if not all of what they discuss requires drycleaning, handwashing, or at least ironing, and who has the time or money for that these days, especially when in most cases you are not provided a clothing allowance for your job?
But the last straw for me was in "Session 4: Your Inner Style Inventory" when they described a visit from Emma Thompson, in very casual wear, to their store. Not only did they praise her manners to the skies, they went on to say that inner style will go beyond clothes you wear, or words to that effect. Well gee, is that so, and if so, what then IS the point of this book? But it gets worse. Further on in the chapter, they then describe meeting with some executive (very well-dressed), in Los Angeles. Later, they meet him again in Beverly Hills and he's gone all Casual Friday on them (oh, the pain, the pain!), so now they've lost all respect for him. Again, do clothes matter or not? Two conflicting views, and in the same chapter, no less. If it were MY company, yes I would expect to be able to wear what I wanted and to put my feet on the desk whenever I wished, without caring about what someone I was in a position to hire was thinking.
They then go on to bemoan the fact that some companies now seem to be in Casual mode Monday-Friday. You could almost hear the whine of "Waaah, we're losing potential business left and right, waaah!" Maybe that's why this book is out, and why they teach/taught through The Learning Annex, because people have come to their senses and don't require or desire this type of service for the exhorbitant money they charge.
Bottom line, this book is an interesting and useful read for a very limited audience, or a great read if you're just interested in an explanation of how this sort of thing is done (try to borrow from the library first, before buying, as I did). I bought it used through Amazon. If you need something to help you get put together fast, for women I recommend "Does this Make Me Look Fat?" and "The Lucky Shopping Manual". For guys, I can't think of any books because they can just go into any quality store (e.g. Mens Wearhouse) and come out looking great because the tailoring is figured into the price of the suit.
I am disheartened by some of the reviews for this book. The same reader above is full of excuses as to why fashion just won't work for her - having an "image" is for artists, for entrepreneurs. Not for mere employees who risk the wrath of a pink slip for wearing a new belt. How ridiculous. I'm a doctor - there are few professions as conservative as that. There is no job I can think of in which expressing your creativity to some degree is a bad thing. We all have "limits" placed on how we dress; nowhere in the book is there a recommendation to fly in the face of common sense and decorum.
The same reader takes offense to the authors' assertion that elastic waistbands, oversized pockets and patch pockets are unfashionable. Well, they ARE unfashionable. But, the reader laments that they are comfortable, useful. Maybe. But fashionable? That's why the book isn't called Ten Steps to Comfort Freedom. This reader assumes that the authors don't know what it is to really "work" (presumably like she does). And she laments that style may take time - even ironing! - "and who has the time for that these days?" she asks. I guess the answer to that would be: someone willing to put aside a bit of time because they think their appearance matters. This reviewer has already decided that she can make no wardrobe or image changes because of the extreme physical demands of her job, the dictatorial condemnation of her bosses, and a belief in comfort and convenience at all cost. What this reader needs is not a new style. She needs a new life!
Another reader claims that the authors "insist" on shopping at high-end stores. That just isn't true. However, there's few of us that won't admit we wish we'd saved for a really good pair of shoes, rather than the four cheap and trendy pairs we now never wear. I have used this book to transform my way of dressing and shopping - I still shop at Walmart; I just shop there smarter now. This book isn't for everyone; if you're looking for pictures, be advised that there isn't a one. But if you're looking for photos of fashion, buy a magazine. Rest assured, if you're motivated and willing to do the work, you WILL find your unique personal style - and that has nothing to do with whether you shop at Walmart or Rodeo Drive.
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