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Secrets of Style: InStyle's Complete Guide to Dressing Your Best Every Day Hardcover – October 1, 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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  • Secrets of Style: InStyle's Complete Guide to Dressing Your Best Every Day
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  • Instyle the New Secrets of Style: Your Complete Guide to Dressing Your Best Every Day
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  • The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

InStyle's phonebook-sized issues burst with images of superstars in fabulous clothes and jewelry, hair perfectly coifed and nails meticulously manicured. The magazine's editors have taken a different tack with this book, however, as they attempt to make "fashion understandable, achievable and, maybe most importantly, fun." In chapters covering everything from shopping and storage to specific clothing items (like suits, shoes and lingerie) to particular occasions (e.g., traveling and maternity), the editors share tips many readers would never even think they needed to know. (For example, to keep denim dark, turn jeans inside out before washing them and never put them in the dryer; and take pearl earrings off before spraying hairspray and perfume, since the chemicals can destroy pearls.) Often emphasizing different styles for different body types, the book shuns models, opting for simple photos and drawings of the clothes (although the editors do throw in a few welcome movie star shots for reference). The result is an all-embracing, comprehensive manual on all manner of women's dressing.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Time (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932273042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932273045
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If I looked like Halle Berry I wouldn't need a guide like this one. This book is so full of posed photos of celebrities looking wonderful in their size-2 clothing that it doesn't have enough room to help me figure out how to camoflage my less-than-perfect derriere. The focus is SO heavy on the celebrities -- not nearly enough time is spent on what to do when you have two figure flaws that work at cross-purposes to one another. For instance, I'm short and small-busted. Short women are advised to avoid double-breasted styles...but small-busted women are advised to go for double-breasted. There's not much in this book about how to solve these sorts of issues. Instead of showing me Nicole Kidman in a $10,000 suit, why not show me a woman with a figure problem in side-by-side photos showing clothing that enhances her positives and hides her flaws and clothing that doesn't?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book "Secrets of Style" describes itself as, "the complete guide to dressing your best everyday" and it does not disappoint.
Jam-packed with detailed information, fine illustrations and beautiful color photographs, the book is a treasure for the woman who wants to look great.
"Secrets of Style" is an offshoot of Instyle Magazine. The magazine's fashion coverage over the years has been extensive. The author, Lisa Arbetter and the editors of Instyle, have compiled the information from the magazine and transformed it, into a working guide for the reader.
The beauty of the book is the information will not become dated. This is not a book about clothes. This is a book about style. By reading the book and visually seeing the examples you will learn how to develop, expand and enhance your sense of style.
We all want to look good. To wear our clothes and not let them wear us. To build a wardrobe of garments that meets our needs, gives value for our dollar and makes us look our personal best.
And within these pages you will learn how to do exactly that.
"Secrets of Style" includes chapters on selecting the clothes to best flatter your figure. How to spot quality. Vintage shopping. Best fit for jackets, pants, skirts and more. A look at lingerie. Picking shoes and bags. Care, repair and storage of items. There are sections on a stylish pregnancy and tying a scarf. The editors have done an exhaustive job to cover everything from head to toe and more!
The color photographs are lush and telling. Nothing like seeing a picture to gain a clear view of what looks great. Many of the photographs are from issues of Instyle and these are classics. Kate Hudson glowing in her champagne Versace. Jane Fonda booted in a scene from Barbarella.
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Format: Hardcover
It's easy to be impressed by all the gorgeous outfits they've put together, but I found this book short on helpful advice on how to do this oneself. I was hoping for more basic suggestions for what shapes and styles look good together.

And some of their advice about "must-have" basics just isn't universally applicable. Half of their "6 figure-flattering classics no closet should be without" are not great. As a curvy woman with tendency towards pear-shape, I have yet to find straight-leg pants than don't make my legs look like tree trunks; I do much better with bootcut. A straight-cut turtleneck? Completely hides my waist and makes me look boxy. And flesh-colored pump? Yuck: double yuck. How about you show us *one single example* of an outfit in this entire book with flesh-colored pumps, and then I'll agree that this is an important basic.

So after buying and reading this book, I feel like I wasted my money. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know from reading fashion magazines
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By A Customer on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I re-arranged my entire closet based on this book's advice and took (most of) the drama out of getting dressed in the morning. I used the figure flattery charts and finally figured out what works for my body type, and more importantly, what DOESN'T work for me. I cleared out a lot of stuff that only served to make my small closet crammed, and now, when I open those closet doors, I see options that I actually like. And I feel like I'm going to be a much smarter shopper in the future. The celeb pictures are very fun -- the classic style setters inspire but the book is really about developing a personal style that works for the reader. Highly recommend!!!! As a regular reader of the magazine, I hope In Style publishes more books.
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By TT on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I liked this manual much better than the Lucky shopping guide. While the information isn't that "new" it was presented very well and made for interesting reading. Also,I really enjoyed how hey featured many different body types rather than just the usual: big bust, small bust, short, tall, straight...
I would rec. this to everyone!
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By A Customer on October 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book! The photos and drawings are very yummy and of good quality. I was looking for a "Fashion 101" book that would explain the basics. I thought this book might be a little too advanced or trendy for my needs, but it does an excellent job of making fashion accessible for the everyday gal. While it does contain some trends, most of the book discusses timeless classics that will last.
I especially enjoy the practical tips for dressing by body type, organized by each piece of a wardrobe. It also has neat how-to tips for tying a scarf, choosing accessories, etc.
There are a couple things that the book lacks, which would be handy. It could use a glossary to define fashion terminology. Some terms are defined in the book, but many are not. Maybe those things are self explanatory for most people, but I kind of need it to be spelled out. It would also be nice to have sections devoted to specialty sizes, such as petite and full-figure. Each section does briefly cover dressing different frames, but it would be great if that could be expanded a little more.
Overall, this is the best book on fashion that I've seen.
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