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Showing 1-10 of 38 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 56 reviews
on April 12, 2010
At first glance the book might seem a bit subjective. Like one of the reviewers has said it's all about ME. I went to the book store after reading the reviews and got the same impression after flipping through the pages of the book for the first time but I ordered it anyway for entertainment purposes. I mean, if I am willing to read someone's memoirs or biography about their life or work accomplishments, why not read someone's fashion history, especially someone as stylish as Amanda Brooks.

But I have to say, the book turned out to be much more than I expected and I did pick up plenty of inspirations from there.

Especially i enjoyed the part where Amanda gives advice on how to find your style. Some find it irritating how often Amanda changed her look and style, but isn't it the best way to find who you really are? How can you ever truly know unless you've tried nearly everything outthere? For some style comes naturally, during the first couple of decades of life, but for others it takes a lot of soul searching and a lot of changes.

Amanda recommends go through books and magazines and make cut outs of what you found the most appealing. Out of those images one can create a fashion book where you could see how your style and taste evolves over time. Will you like the same thing a year from now, 5 years from now etc.

According to Amanda, there are 6 style types, 3 definable: Classic, Bohemian, and Minimal and 3 undefinable: High Fashion, Street, and Eclectic. She describes different periods of her life when she identified with each one of the above, illustrating it with photoes of herself, people she knew and various celebrities, whom, she believed, reflected particular style the best.

I wouldn't say it's a story of Amanda's life, more like a guide to finding your own style, illustrated by exaples from her life and her experiences.

Last part of the book talks about types of shopping: Basic, cheap Chic, Designer and Vintage. Unlike other books, this book tells us that our basics do not have to be classic, but more of a reflection of our particular style. If basic item is a t-shirt, it does not have to be classic black or white t-shirt, it could be ripped or torn etc., whatever suits one's particular style and personality.

I must say, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely keep it in my style library.
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on January 29, 2012
I enjoyed looking at all of the photos in this book, but I can't say I learned that much. The book is written almost too subjectively that there is a lack of real style advice for most readers. For example, Amanda goes into her childhood memories of fashion, about her parent's fashion, etc. and it's not that helpful or applicable for the reader. I wish there was more balance of personal stories with objective advice for all readers looking to improve their fashion style. It felt like more of a memoir than helpful style advice. Again, I enjoyed the photos, so it's worth buying, but overall I rate it a 3 star.
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on April 23, 2017
This is one of my favorite style books -- and I love style books. The author presents a holistic picture of owning one's own style instead of prescribing what one should wear to a certain place or at a certain age. I love the approach she takes. One's style does not always remain constant. This is represented beautifully in the book. Though she's a big name in her own right, she's also down to earth. I am constantly looking back through and gaining little pieces of inspiration from her own life & examples from various iconic figures.
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on December 19, 2011
This book is unique and will speak to you no matter where you are in your style journey. The information in this book applies to all women and is timeless in its approach.

This book is great for if you're looking to define your style, or to style your looks beyond the basics of looking 'good' to looking 'styled' and 'stylish'.

The author discusses a few traditional styles - such as classic and bohemian, which she calls 'identifiable styles'. Each chapter shows examples of clothing and styling for that style. The chapter also shows different variations of each style - for example in bohemian she covers off different kinds of bohemian - vintage bohemian, rock goddess bohemian, ethnic bohemian; to show you the different takes on each look.

There's a wealth of info inside this book. I often think of the information in this book as I prepare for my day.
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on March 16, 2015
As a fashion consultant I really enjoy that book. It is really no nonsense and it's very inspiring selection of images and fashion advice from very personal experience. This book does not intimidate you or does not try to convince you that great style can be only achieved when you have the financial means. The other way round, it shows you that it is really up to your creativity and learning from mistakes you make. Amanda Brooks' book is really a lot of fun and she offers great resources in terms of further reads or movies to watch that can make your style even better. I highly recommend it!
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on December 17, 2009
I bought this book for my younger 'fashionable' sister for Christmas but since it didn't come wrapped in plastic I found myself flipping through the pages and reading Brooks' words avidly. As most reviews would have stated. It's a wonderful, personal read. I've flipped through Nina Garcia's style guide and found it too cold and dictative. Brooks manages to keep her tone warm, helpful and not condescending at all. As mentioned, she also does not impose guidelines on you but mentions other people's style tips, preferences, and encourages you to wear clothes in a manner that suits you, not in a manner that mimics supermodels. Say, for example wearing a crisp white office shirt slighly rumpled instead of pressed. She divides the book into a few sections, such as Minimalist, Bohemian, High Fashion, etc. The pictures will definitely interest and intrigue you, even if that's not your style. This book will not tell you what to wear, but how to wear clothing to flatter your personal style.
What else can I say? This one's a keeper.
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on May 23, 2016
I love Amanda's blog and this was a good read...Unlike most of the style and fashion type books I own, I don't tend to pick this one up as often as others. I think it was a great launching place for Amanda's writing and work though, and look forward to adding additional books to my collection by her. I highly recommend Always Pack a Party Dress if looking for a really fun, well written, book by this author.
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on December 13, 2009
I have read every book on fashion since the 60's, and own most of them. I know the rules, and follow them (mostly), but somewhere along the way I had forgotten how much fun getting dressed used to be. There are a lot of books that go back over the same old basics but this book helped me rediscover the fun of putting new looks together.
As another reviewer stated the pictures show tall, model thin women. I am neither, and no longer young, but I got excited about style again. This book is about developing my own look, not about copying anyone else, including the women in the pictures. As I was reading each chapter my imagination was racing. I had to get up and start putting together things from my closet in new ways. I'm having a wonderful time playing with what I already own. When I go shopping next time I plan to try on everything in the shop, and to try some new stores too. My husband's closet is no longer safe from my search.
You should know that the author is an unabashed advocate of wearing fur. If you can't get past that this may not be the book for you.If you want specific rules you won't find them here. But you will have a lot of fun and start looking at clothes differently.
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on April 7, 2017
I really didn't relate to the book, photos, or suggestions. Sorry.
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on March 2, 2015
I wanted to give this a one star review because the shipper claimed it was in excellent condition and it came with food stains all over it. GROSS.
It was disgusting.

As for the content, it is OK, didn't really speak to defining your own style but rather more showing pictures of celebrities and naming their styles anf giving recommendations of books on how to get that style.
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