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Plus Style: The Plus-Size Guide to Looking Great Paperback – September 1, 1996
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This author writes very clearly, and in an interesting, readable style. The color photos of plus-sized models are FANTASTIC. The drawings and diagrams included in the book are extremely informative and helpful. I learned so many things in this book. For example, the reason many plus-sized clothes in stores (or sewn from certain patterns) don't fit is that they are not designed for the TRUE shapes of plus-sized bodies-they are just sized up by two inches from sizes designed for small-sized bodies. Also, when ordering from many catalogs, they give various measurements (such as arm length or hip), for which I have never quite figured out PRECISELY where to measure. This book explains VERY precisely and exactly IN PLAIN ENGLISH, in a clear way that leaves no ambiguity. Now I feel really confident taking ALL my measurements, for the first time ever.
Aside from all I learned, the three MOST useful things, to me, in this book were as follows. First, I thought I knew how to put outfits together before I read this book. But this book taught me SO much more than I had known before. For example, it discusses how to put together a lot of things I had never even considered, such as two different patterns in the same outfit-how to tell which ones could be worn together, and which ones couldn't. Second, it presents the idea of "capsules"-not claiming the credit for this idea, but showing HOW PRECISELY to plan your wardrobe on a long-term basis, and how to intelligently decide what pieces you need to tie everything together. It suggests you get out your EXISTING clothes, AND A NOTEBOOK (I had never thought about using a notebook before, and it REALLY made a difference). You also get out all of your accessories, such scarves. Then, you systematically evaluate, for each piece in your wardrobe, what different combinations you can wear together, and WRITE THEM DOWN in the notebook-all the different possibilities. I didn't have time to get out my whole wardrobe in one day. But I did start with three or four skirts/dresses. I had one scarf I had received as a gift several years ago, and always loved, but had never figured out what to wear it with, or how to wear it. This scarf has a pattern of bright red, turquoise, and purple-kind of odd colors together. Following these suggestions, I suddenly discovered that a purple dress I had purchased recently was the same purple as in this scarf, and I remembered I had a turquoise turtleneck that I had also not really found anything to wear with for several years. I put the three together (even though I never would have DREAMED previously of putting together purple and turquoise), and suddenly, I had a smashing outfit. I wore it the same afternoon and got compliments from four separate people! Now I can hardly wait to go through the rest of my wardrobe with the same technique. By using the notebook technique, you can figure out EXACTLY what you NEED in your existing wardrobe to tie certain outfits together (for example, a red blouse, or a scarf with certain colors). Then you can go shopping intelligently for those particular items, instead of buying things on impulse, and finding you don't have the right things to go with them. She also discusses the concept of "cost-per-wearing." When you get things to go together in outfits, you wear them more often, and they don't sit expensively in your closet, seldom worn. Something else may have been expensive to buy, but if you end up wearing it all the time, then the cost-per-wearing is low-in other words, you are really getting your "money's worth" out of the piece. The third really helpful resource was the 19-page appendix at the back, listing clothing resources for the plus-sized woman (for UK readers, these are USA locations, but many/most can be found on the internet, and do mail-order business). My only criticism of the whole book was that while the author did list names, addresses and phone numbers, she did not list web site addresses, leaving the reader to search for those on her own. However, I was able to find the ones I needed right away. I would not have been able to find them had I not seen them listed in this book.
In summary, while is the best book I have ever seen for plus-sized women and fashion, I feel it is also one of the best books I have EVER seen on ANY SIZED-women's fashion. No matter what your size, you can benefit from this book. Enjoy!!!
It hasn't been updated, so the styles are dated as well as some of the perceptions of plus-size women.
That being said, I still like this book because it contains some valuable information that can actually be applied to women of all sizes. I would recommend it.
This book isn't just for and about plus-sizes, it's for every woman who wants to make her clothes work for her, regardless of budget. I have spent over $100 on a sweater that I feel more frumpy in than when I wear my $11 sweater I bought off of Ebay.
It's so good, I loaned it to two friends who are not plus sizes. It took me days of begging just to get it back. One friend even told me she was getting compliments on her commuter train on how "different" she looked. Why? She followed Suzan's advice on how a bra should fit. And I admit, my friend DOES look 100% better with a good fitting bra.