A while ago I was telling you why I think literature plays such a major role in your personal development, and in that of your style. And today I want to dive deeper into the subject, and share with you 5 key books for your personal style development!
Of course, this can be considered just the tip of the iceberg! And while these 5 books make for amazing steps in the journey of discovering, owning and elevating your style, there are many other useful ones. So let me know in the comments if you’re up for a second part, because I would love to bring it to you!
P.S.: I will be linking all the books below from Amazon’s Audible, as that’s how I manage to find the time to enjoy books lately. But rest assured, they are available in paperback!
Bunny Mellon. The Life of an American Style Legend– Meryl Gordon
This book acts as a biography for one of the most famous style icons of the 20th century United States. The heiress to the Listerine empire and wife of philantropist and art collector Paul Mellon, Bunny (real name Rachel) grew to become a beacon of classic, elegant, understated Americana style.
Her style is almost like a secondary character in the book- always present, even when not overtly discussed. Bunny’s motto was “nothing should be noticed”- with the extravagant jewelry she favored being the only exception. Her autobiography beautifully showcases her penchant for classy and classic looks, horticulture, shabby chic interiors, and the fine arts.
The Designer– Marius Gabriel
An absolutely fascinating read, The Designer is part fiction and part history- half truth and half enchanting illusion. The action is placed in the late 1940’s Paris. It’s where the brave and quippy American reporter Copper Reilly finds herself smack dab in the middle of the French fashion renaissance post Second World War.
Acting as muse for non other but Christian Dior in the book, Copper inspires him to break away from the house of Lalonde and strike out on his own. The most impressive scene in the book to me was the launch of Dior’s New Look collection- it has truly inspired me with its vivid descriptions of gorgeous, feminine, impossibly rich and luxurious silhouettes born out of Dior’s fashion genius!
There must be a thousand and one books, blog posts and magazine articles out there dedicated to the “French Chic” female stereotype. And while most of them are truly poor copies, peddling the same tired information, I found this book refreshingly different!
It starts off by detailing how the concept of “chic” was born and evolved up to modern times. It teaches so much about what French women truly value when it comes to style: skin care before makeup, chic as a synonym for refined, stylish, not overtly sexy, item coordination instead of a “matchy-matchy” look etc. And at the end of the book, we are treated to a list of movies that have made history with their chic costumes!
Fashion – Philosophy for Everyone– Fritz Allhoff, Jessica Wolfendale, Jeanette Kennett
This one, I have to say, was not the easiest read/listen. But it is highly rewarding; the book- which is actually a collection of essays from different writers and philosophers- is brimming with ideas, information and interesting views on the subject of fashion, rooted in philosophy concepts.
Throughout the book, you will learn in depth how fashion has evolved in connection to the human society. You will find out how the concept of design originated, read more about being a “slave to fashion” (in more ways than one), and you will ponder apparently incompatible aspects- such as being a fashion lover and a feminist!
Staying Stylish: Cultivating a Confident Look, Style, and Attitude– Candace Cameron Bure
The main thing I love about Candace’s book is how she defines personal style in relation to nurturing your soul, cultivating yourself and growing as a human being. This is a view I fully share, and I felt like her book is definitely a style & fashion must-read!
Candace takes you through the classic wardrobe basics, sharing tips on how to elevate them, as well as exemplifying some must-have investment pieces. She consistently reminds us that the purpose of fashion is to help us highlight our strong suits instead of constantly obsessing over our flaws- again, something I completely agreee with!
And there you have it: my top 5 books for a great start into the study of your personal style. Whether you’re looking for actual applicable information, or you’re just interested in a good read that caters to your love of fashion and style, I’m sure at least one of these books will be perfect for you!
I’m of course curious to hear if you have any favorite reads that have inspired the way you view, grow and own your personal style! If you do, share them with a fellow book lover in the comments below 🙂
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