Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Inspiration and A Book Talk

As I mentioned, I keep a color wheel on my closet door, and a running collection of photos copied from my favorite bloggers (Hi Kristen, Sally and Sheila). I also have a folder full of pages torn from magazines and catalogs. Vogue is occasionally useful; more for color combinations than for actual clothes, since I can't afford anything in its pages. The Sundance and Anthropologie and J. Crew catalogs are clipped regularly.

There's also a fantastic website called Go Chic or Go Home that in part, is a vast clipboard of looks on a theme (like colorful tights), submitted by a zillion different women. My favorite thing about this site is the wide array of ages and shapes as well as style. I can usually find "myself" in the images. An iPad would be handy here, to prop up on my dresser while I rummage through my closet.

Of course, I like to read about clothes and fashion as well. Here's a list what has been on the nightstand in the last year (and of course I borrowed them from the library):

Autobiography of a Wardrobe by Elizabeth Kendall: too brief, in that I wish she had expanded on her thoughts about clothes reflecting a time or state of mind. The book is a little precious in its narration by the author's wardrobe, and though I bet the author is fascinating (a dancer, an author, a New Yorker), this doesn't really come across in this slight book. I recommend instead Love, Loss and What I Wore, by Ilene Beckerman, which is beautifully personal and wry.

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff: Charming and thoughtful not-quite-romance about a woman opening a vintage clothing shop in London. Her history makes her wary of love, but the people she meets while estate shopping and hunting for vintage garments encourage her to open her heart once more.

The House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden: A generally successful attempt at straight journalism is cheerfully run down by the sheer personality of the book's subjects. Mistresses! Murder! Movies! The three Gucci sons live large enough for a dozen glamorous families.

The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant: An extraordinary writer contemplates the relationship between clothes and women, including aging, plus-size clothing, women in retail, the mere notion of "dress", even the fashion world's reaction to 9/11.
What I Wore by Jessica Quirk: I gave (forced) this book on my sister-in-law for Christmas, as one of those presents we give because we like it so much. A lot of fashion books have too much design and not enough practical advice, but I really liked Quirk's approach to building a basic wardrobe for each season, remixing elements for work, weekends and parties, and particularly her clear, sensible drawings (no over-produced photo shoots here). Ms. Quirk has a long running blog by the same name. It's a Tumblr site, which doesn't play well with Google Reader, so I don't follow it as regularly as I could.

And here's what I wore Thursday. Talbots cord jacket, Talbots camel skirt (purchased solely for the back ruffle), and Jones Wear top underneath. I am delightedly clutching the first season of Boardwalk Empire.

The bits and bobs are a ring from my dear mother-in-law, years ago, a big honking Skagen watch from eBay, some crystal earrings that MIGHT be Talbots, and of course, my Rotary pin, because it was Thursday.



  1. I like your book list.

    I'm wearing a fuchsia pink cashmere sweater, a short stretchy brown skirt, tall brown boots and matching pink tights. Funny thing - my colleague is wearing pink tights, pink sweater dress, and brown boots. We're pretty matchy - but at least not at the desk together.

  2. Fabulous blazer- such a great colour. The colour wheel is a good idea too!