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Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase Paperback – May 4, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Funny girl Lancaster has crafted a successful career by honing the breezy, bloggy style she first exhibited in Bitter is the New Black; her latest, in part a backhand to the resurgent 80s fashion trends, is sure hit resonant, hysterical notes for anyone who came of age in the era of the Preppy Handbook. Authorial voice is at the heart of Lancaster's charm, and she chronicles her early 20s-blunders from fashion and finances to academics and retail jobs-with a candor that few will be able to resist. Lancaster confesses to a fascination with plastic (the material, not the credit card), gloating over her impressive new Liz Claiborne bags, and difficulty finding faithful friends, even (especially) in her Greek affiliations ("Even though I read Seventeen and Glamour every month, I'm already thought of as the Jean Jacket Jackass in my rush group"). Falling somewhere between David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro, Lancaster's goofy charm will no doubt continue to win fans, as well as influence the next generation of sardonic, winning, self-effacing memoirists.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Pretty in Plaid
“After three laugh-out-loud memoirs chronicling her adult adventures in unemployment, city living and weight loss, Lancaster looks back at the poignant moments of her youth and what she was wearing while living them.”—People
“Scathingly witty.”—The Boston Herald
“Laugh and cry at this hilarious collection of essays that chronicle Jen’s fearless fashion faux pas through the ages, her 11 (yup) years of undergrad, and her not-so-glamorous entry-level jobs. You’ll revel in the lessons she gleans from her travails: primary among them, that the ability to laugh at your mistakes is the best skill you'll ever learn.”—Redbook
“She pegs her memories to outfits—a green dotted swiss dress, some stylin’ Jordache jeans, crocodile skin pumps—in a way that will win the hearts of all of us who still remember the dusty green of our 1980s-variety Girl Scout uniform (with its fetching beret and knee socks!).”—San Antonio Express-News
“[A] hilarious look at the poor fashion choices that can, so sadly, define and saddle us with ridicule far beyond our formative years...Lots of readers will find her brown tasseled clogs a disarmingly perfect fit; you can laugh at your own fashion foibles as Lancaster pokes fun at herself.”—The Sunday Oregonian
“A powerfully frank, mutant strain of chick-lit that resonates.”—Charlotte Observer
Top customer reviews
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This book is a nice walk.... jog... no, it's a stumble through Jen's childhood into teen angst and many years of college (really Jen? how many years? Party much? LOL) as she finds her way to the book where we all made her acquaintence for the first time. If you are from the generation before Jen's or the one after ours, then you probably won't care for her story or her voice much. However, for those of us born in the early '70's (or so) Mrs. Lancaster's journey rings true on many levels, for many reasons. Not the least of which is the burning need to fit into a size 6 Jordache jeans with no panty lines and making our mothers understand that spending the same for a pair of said jeans as she spent on two week's worth of groceries was not unreasonable. Her European trip as a junior was a SCREAM! Oh and thank you for reminding me of the awful first car - the Toyota Tercel and it's evil GM twin, the Geo Prizm. I love that we now have a glimpse of the real reasons Jen is who she is.
Granted, parts of this book aren't quite as funny as her previous efforts and in fact there are sections that do feel rushed and stretched, but heck, no author is perfect and when you have multiple books out, there will always been one that isn't as good as the rest. Hopefully her next one will be focused again on the present which is where her current observations on life and people are their snarkiest and thus funniest.
The chapters about Jen's first "real" job are laugh out loud funny; I could see so clearly the frumpy blue suite with the business blouse and the dreaded fax machine. When Jen gets promoted, you cannot help but to cheer her on, even though you have a pretty good idea about what will happen!
Pretty in Plaid is a great book, well written, insightful, and very funny (I forget to mention the bits about her parents--wickedly funny!). Reading Pretty in Plaid reminded me of so many forgotten adolescent / young adult mortifying moments that are humorous now only in retrospect. Like the other three books by Jen Lancaster, you hate to come to the final chapter.
This book will make you LOL throughout each chapter. I'm always sad when her books come to an end. It's nice to escape everyday life and get a sneak peak into someone else's dysfunction for a moment. Pretty in Plaid may be my absolute favorite and I've read all her work. Thank you for putting the F U in FUN!!!!!
I found this book delightful and HILLARIOUS! Now, that could be because I think Jen and I are about the same age, with a very practical, middle class up-bringing, therefore have we have many of the same experiences and perspectives. If you are a child of the 70's & 80s and remember Kristy McNichol, Jordache Jeans, Polo shirts and Michael Jackson, you may relate too. She walks readers through her real first job and how she though she was RICH! Didn't we all? When you hit the 20k's in salary.. woo hoo!! until you have to pay rent and a car payment. Then the first time you heard people talking about "Their Lewie" - not know ing it wasn't a dog or an uncle, but a Louis (As in Louis Vuitton).
Jen feels like a Facebook friend I don't personally know very well, but because I read her posts and see her photos, I feel like we are BFFs. I think this book is worth the read. Just be prepared to remember who you were at that time. The entertainment lies not only in Jen's story, but who the reader was at that time in their own history.