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Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body Paperback – September 13, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
The spunky hosts of TLC's What to Wear present a fashion guide that's empowering, friendly and exceedingly useful. No gimmicky, fruit-related body shape names here—Kelly and London keep things simple. For each of their female body types—"bigger on top," "bigger on the bottom," "a little extra in the middle," "curvy," "not curvy," etc.—there's advice for petite, average height and tall women. (The men's section is equally straightforward if shorter: "tall," "athletic," "barrel-chested," etc.) Kelly and London use positive reinforcement (there are many more "dos" than "don'ts"), and sprinkle "universal tips" applicable to any body type throughout. Each type's section opens with a photo of an average-looking model sporting a basic swimsuit, along with comments from the model and the authors. Although they don't cite brand or store names, Kelly and London give plenty of specific advice: e.g., a straight dress will accentuate curves on an hourglass shape; a jacket with a moderately low "stance" (v-neck) will help the upper body appear longer. Ladies and gentlemen, start your shopping engines—and don't leave home without this book!
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The sweet yet knowledgeable and even assertive fashionistas who are the hosts of the hit cable TV show What Not to Wear set their precepts down in print in this delightfully upbeat and decidedly informative primer for both men and women. Their firm, understandable, and workable advice is underscored by their desire not to change anyone's body type--no preaching about dieting here--but simply to get people to understand their own body types and dress appropriately for the best effect. Kelly and London take 15 real women and 8 real men as "subjects," representing all types of bodies, from "bigger on top" to "barrel-chested," and with both illustrations and text, they suggest, for each subject, three outfits to wear for work, weekend, and evening. This book should be regarded as fun reading, not as a chore; the authors' approach to fashion is not as an arcane code capable of being grasped only by certain enlightened people. In their hands, fashion is not only about looking good but also about having a good time while doing so. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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You may browse other sections and learn from them, but the real value will be in just eight pages of this 250 page book.
They happen to be very important eight pages. For me, this book was worth buying. And -- though this may sound like sacrilege for a bibliophile -- I'm tearing out the pages that interest me, and storing them in my style notebook. They're pure gold.
For women, this book is divided into body types/issues: Bigger on Top, Bigger on the Bottom, A Little Extra in the Middle (I love that discretion), Curvy, Not Curvy, and Extra Curvy.
Within each body type, you'll find three sections: Petite, Average Height, and Tall. You'll find yourself in one of them, with good advice from neighboring chapters. Four pages of text and four illustrations -- laser-focused on your best looks -- tell you what's essential to look for (and avoid) when choosing what to wear.
I especially liked the photos of the models in black leotards, warts and all. Honestly, if I hadn't seen some of those "before" photos, I'd never believe the "after" styling could transform them so completely.
It made the women real. It removed all doubt about which body type matched mine. For me, it was kind of, "Wow... I can look that good, too, if I make better clothing choices...?"
So, while you may balk at the idea of buying an entire book for just eight truly useful pages, compare the price of this book with how much you've spent on clothes you never felt really good about.
Instead of buying the next blouse, skirt, or jeans that your mom, sister, daughter, or (jealous) friend tells you looks "so cute on you," buy this book. It will give you far more confidence when you open your closet door, or head to the mall to update your wardrobe.
Regarding the reviews which suggest that only a few pages are relevant to any one person - this is not true! Many tips which are relevant to everyone are included in the body types which may not exactly match yours. I found all the examples interesting and informative.
No one style book can do it all. For fantastic information regarding fit, I recommend The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr. For figuring out your style and many other organizational tips, I suggest Nothing to Wear? by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo. With these three books, you are set to transform your wardrobe no matter what your body type and save money by minimizing the wrong purchases.
It is most likely that the reader, no matter much how closely she/he can identify with one of the models in the book, her/his body shape is still very different from that model! Myself for example, I am a petite, I am an hourglass shape (with shoulders and bottom same measurement, bust slightly smaller and a well-defined waist) and a size 0. The "matching" models would be either 1) Petite, Curvy, who is a size 6 to 8; or 2) a Petit, not curvy, who is a size 0 but a complete rectangle without curves...
There isn't much information given to each body shape either. Although it gives you reasons for why a model is dressed such ways, it does not state alternatives. For example, it says that you should wear cap sleeve to make your shoulders look broader, but it does not say what other sleeves you can wear; or it says as a petite size 0 (not curvy), you should wear white matching suit for work (as opposed to black) to increase impact, but it does not say what shapes of jackets, skirts or pants you can wear, and what colors other than white.
In conclusion, I will suggest "The Science of Sexy" by Bradley Bayou (see my other review). It is the best of the best!