In "Nina Garcia's Look Book," style guru Nina Garcia solves this universal quandary with an inspired and unbeatable combination of fashion knowledge and common sense. She shows us the pieces, the accessories, and the strategies to create the looks that will take us from the first day on a job through the day we ask for a raise and beyond, from the first time we meet our boyfriend's parents (or his children) through the day we see our own children walk down the aisle. With Nina by your side, you can't go wrong. You'll have all the tips you will need to navigate every day looking your best. "True style is not about having a closet full of expensive and beautiful things--it is instead about knowing when, where, and how to utilize what you have.
This week was full speed ahead girly mode: bought new shoes, looked at a lot of fashiony pictures online and read Nina Garcia's Look Book. In case you don't know who she is, Nina Garcia is one of the judges on Project Runway and is the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine. In short the woman knows fashion and from what I've seen is pretty good at being practical without compromising style. So naturally I was curious what her choices would be when it comes to all of those instances when we stand in front of our closets trying to figure out what the perfect outfit would be.
Ms. Garcia covers it all: the job interview, the casual Friday and the not-so-casual rest of the work week, the first date, meeting the significant other's parents, various holidays and vacations and even the occasions most of us mere mortals won't ever have an opportunity to attend (a white tie dinner, anyone?). And she knows that it's not just about the clothes, the hair, makeup and underpinnings matter too.
I liked the easy, familiar style of writing, the fact that the author shared little tidbits about her own anxieties and insecurities (yes, apparently even the high-profile fashion editors have those) and gave examples of the stylish women we've all seen on TV and in magazines to illustrate her suggestions. I also liked that she stressed how important it is to always stay true to yourself and not try to be someone else when it comes to fashion choices, and everything else for that matter. Generally speaking Ms. Garcia's suggestions were very common sense - dress for the occasion, keep propriety in mind, and remember that there are times when it's important to not sacrifice comfort.
I would have preferred if the book was illustrated with photographs rather than artist's conceptual drawings because while a drawing is great and Ms. Garcia's references to design houses and trendsetters were helpful, seeing what the author is talking about right there on the page would have been much more fun. After all, not everyone is so well-versed in the work of various couturiers as to immediately understand the references. I, for one, was very happy to have the internet at arm's reach.
With my girliness temporarily satisfied I return to Drawing In The Dust, which is proving to be a lucky bargain find. I'm about half-way through, so stop by next week to see what the verdict is.