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We all know that reading is good for us, and as we are at home much more than usual, now is a great time to indulge in a good book.
There are literally hundreds of books out there about Fashion and Style. Everything from the stories of how the big designers rose to fame, to the art of haute couture, to sustainable fashion, and the “how to”s…” to help you create your own fashion and style statement.
To save you scrolling through book listings for hours, not knowing where to start, keep reading for my top picks of the best fashion and style books of the literally hundreds I have read over the years. They cover various aspects of fashion and style and so there is something here for everybody.
And not only do they make a good read, they also look fab on your coffee table, so you can use your style books to help you and your home be more stylish…what’s not to love!
History Of Fashion
“Fashion, A Timeline In Photographs:1850 To Today”
In my opinion the best coffee table book ever, full of beautiful photographs of fashion right through from the 1850’s.
This is not an intellectual read to further your knowledge about how we have arrived at today’s fashion, but more a beautiful, indulgent photo album of every fashion look throughout the last 150 years.
An absolutely stunning book to browse through with your coffee and biscuits on a winter Sunday morning.
“High Fashion. The 20th Century Decade By Decade.”
This one is more of an intellectual read, but still very light and enjoyable.
If you want to learn a little more about the major players of the last century and how fashion has evolved around the events of the time, this is for you.
Detailing the lives of some of the better known designers, including their rise to fame and the barriers in their way, this is a fascinating book.
It’s also really easy to dip into, if you have an interest in a particular decade. I wanted to learn more about the 40’s and 50’s recently and found it had enough information to help me understand the fashion of that era, whilst not being too detailed to lose my interest.
Overall, a book I would highly recommend to anyone with more than a passing interest in fashion and how it has evolved.
“Look Like The Leader You Are”
I am often talking about how much of a difference what we wear makes to our business success.
If you feel stuck in a rut with your business style, or find getting dressed in the morning very stressful, this book will really help.
How we present ourselves plays a hugely important role in our success in business, so getting this right should be a vital part of our business strategy.
This book takes you through the steps needed to make sure you look like the leader you are.
In this highly readable book, Jacqueline Whitmore talks about the etiquette of being successful in business.
If you are aiming to be at the top of your game in business, you could do worse than heed the advice in this book.
Whilst some might see it as a little old fashioned, I think it is actually worth taking the time to take Jacqueline’s advice on board and put as much of it into action as you can. The people you meet may not be able to pinpoint exactly what it is about you, but they will definitely notice a difference.
Covering everything from how to dress for success and creating your own Personal Brand, to networking tips and business relationships, and onto how to be more professional, this small but mighty book will set you up well for the future.
The next two books are by the same author, my good friend Jules Standish. Jules is a colour and style expert, author of two books, head of colour at the London College of Style, and is regularly featured in the media talking about colour related topics.
In my opinion these are the best two books on colour available on the market and Jules’ expertise on the subject is unparalleled.
This is a self help book for women, covering the psychology behind why women wear black.
Women around the world wear black for various reasons. For some it is expected for them to hide themselves behind black, others believe it to be slimming, chic, smart and easy to wear, particularly for work.
This book guides the reader through how to determine for themselves, if black is indeed a good colour for them to wear for their skin tone and personality.
A very readable and practical book which not only guides you through how to find out your best colours, but then gives you all the information you need on how to wear those colours, even if black isn’t your best colour!
“The Essential Guide To Mindful Dressing”
This, Jules’ second book, takes a different look at colour from the perspective of colour psychology.
The first few chapters go through the effects of colour psychology and how you can mindfully use colour to affect your mood.
The rest of the book then goes into quite a lot of detail about each colour, what it means and how to use it to your advantage.
I talk a lot about colour psychology in my business, and this is my go-to book for any information I may need.
Again a highly readable and very enjoyable book that will arm you with new skills to help you achieve the success you want in business and in life.
Most of the women I speak to would like their wardrobes, or closets, to be more organised. Most, however, don’t really know where to start to achieve that state of bliss they so desire when they get dressed in the morning. The dream of opening the wardrobe doors to an amazingly well organised and tidy wardrobe, where everything is where it should be and outfits come together with ease and calm, is just that, a far off dream.
This small, but incredibly practical little book, takes you step by step through the process of decluttering and reorganising your wardrobe.
The author, Marie-Anne Lecoeur, also talks about the reasons why our wardrobes become cluttered and the reasons why we rarely manage to get on top of it, despite all of our good intentions.
She talks a lot about the disadvantages of clutter and how it affects us, plus giving you all the benefits of a tidy closet.
If you follow Marie-Anne’s steps from beginning to end, you will end up a beautifully tidy and organised wardrobe.
A slightly different angle on the wardrobe organising topic, Anuschka Rees takes you through the steps needed to figure out what you need to have in your wardrobe, as well as talking about the actual organisation.
Anuschka starts your journey with looking at your Personal Style and how to discover what that might be. She then takes you into building the wardrobe you have always dreamed off. One that not only is a pleasure to go to every morning, but more importantly is tailored to your lifestyle, before finishing your journey with some tips on how to shop well and wisely.
There is even a nifty little guide at the start called “Closet Diagnostics” which will show you why you feel like you don’t have anything to wear!
This is a fab little book that will take in stops on the journey to look at colour, fit and making the best use of the budget you have available.
Overall, a best buy book for everything wardrobe.
This is one of the best books I have on my bookshelf, on how to dress to flatter your figure.
It is timeless, and covers all aspects of style, from figure flattery, dressing for your age, and how to choose various garments and accessories, and is full of inspirational quotes and great pictures.
As you can see from the photo, mine has been well used, and I think yours will be too! The definitive style bible in my humble opinion.
“The Little Dictionary of Fashion”
A very useful little book to have in your tool kit, Christian Dior reveals the secrets of style in this charming little handbook.
It covers everything from Accents and Accessories to Young Looks and Zest, and absolutely everything you could possibly need to look up about fashion in between.
Definitely one to pick and dip into from time to time…I guarantee you will always pick up a useful new tip.
“Parisian Look Book, What Should I Wear Today?”
If you have ever admired a French Woman’s effortless chic looks, you are going to love this book.
Covering every event you will ever need to dress for, but without having a bulging overstuffed wardrobe, this beautiful book gives you the basic garments you will need to achieve the same chic Parisienne look every day of the week.
Never again will you have to say “what should I wear today”
“How To Dress Like A Princess”
Most people would agree that the Duchess of Cambridge is one of the most stylish women of our time.
This book is a fascinating insight into Kate’s wardrobe, and how she shops, puts outfits together and accessorises her looks.
With beautiful photographs and drawings, this is an indulgent read for those rare moments on your own to dream.
I hope this has given you some inspiration to brush up on your fashion knowledge, whilst also giving you some steps you can take to take your own style up a notch.
If you feel like you are stuck in a style rut and think you might need more personalised help, my blog post “How much does it cost to work with a stylist” will help you decide if working one to one with a stylist is the right way forward for you. Click here to read.
Until next time, happy reading…