read: i love your style by amanda brooks

I'm very fond of reading lists, have been since I was introduced to them by my school, which optimistically handed them out right before our mid-year holidays in June, and never asked how we fared on them, perhaps to spare themselves the heartbreak. Books I discovered through these lists are typical of "young adult" lists, including "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit" by Jeanette Winterson, "The Endless Steppe" by Esther Hautzig, "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson, "Z for Zachariah" by Robert C O'Brien (which really scared me).

Anyway, that's a digression. The point was that I recently compiled a list of fashion-related books and finished several. One was borrowed on a whim from the library, two were purchased, and they gave me some nice food for thought.

The first one is "I Love Your Style" by Amanda Brooks.

This one was surprisingly good, but then given my scepticism towards style guides, I suppose I'm easy to surprise. Amanda Brooks is the sort of person you'd be familiar with if you read a lot of US Vogue and paid attention to the socialites who work in fashion with vague job titles. Not sure if that qualifies her to dispense style advice, and I admit snarky thoughts entered my mind, but hey, it's nice to be surprised.
The book is full of seriously great photos (see Jodie Foster looking awesome below right), nicely organised, and I find her advice realistic and charmingly enthusiastic - she makes the search for style feel fun, educational, and inspiring. She throws in a personal narrative as well, which makes the style principles she describes come alive.

There are no rules, no lists, no must-haves, no age and size sections. Each chapter may be marked by the usual style categories (classic, etc) and include a few recommended pieces but she explores the aesthetic rather than dictate how to pull them off - I especially love the lists of books and films she suggests for inspiration of each aesthetic.

The substance of her actual insights were beside the point for me; it's more the friendly, comfortable tone and the genuine interest in dissecting style beyond just discussing what clothes to buy that I enjoyed. It's a great starting point for people who are interested in how to go about exploring personal style, rather than a practical how-to for an instant transformation.
Pictures from cat party


Ammu said…
Great seeing you yesterday!

I generally find visual books more interesting than "how to dress" books. That said, the Cheap Date guide to style is quite fun and irreverent. One of my most inspiring buys though is this little book of Andy Warhol's fashion illustrations -
The colors and proportions are so inspiring!
thank you for the tip, i'm so going to buy that book!
Looks like an interesting read, I'll keep an eye out for it.
Victoria said…
I loved this book, in fact I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked that she encouraged you to find your own style rather than dictating the essential pieces every woman should own (black dress, trench etc) which a lot of style books tend to do. Amazing pictures too, very inspirational.
Jbird said…
I love Amanda Brooks' book 'I Love Your Style' so much that if i interviewed book authors (and I may), she'd be at the top of my list.

The book is groundbreaking, and fresh.

I agree, I never heard of her before the book came out.

Best, Jillian
lin said…
Ammu: Glad you had fun :) I'll definitely check out the Andy Warhol book. What I like this book is that it brings the visuals with the content together very nicely.

Dead Fleurette: Hope you enjoy it when you do! I'm going to buy a copy too (I got this from the library).

Pret a Porter: Thanks for starting me on my recent plough through style guides, it's a nice companion to magazines.

Victoria: I was surprised to. I wonder if my expectations being low had something to do with how impressed I was in comparison :)

Jbird: I would read that interview. I have read profiles of her in magazines, but I think her book's voice feels more genuine.

Popular Posts