When it comes to personal style books, I feel like everything has been done before. I’ve read quite a few over the years from celebrities and top stylists but they always feel like I’m reading the same book over and over. I never seem to learn my lesson though, and I always end up checking out the latest how-to style guide. When I saw How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer, I was hopeful. A costume designer should have different tricks than the average fashionista, right? Plus, the back cover states, “Instead of repeating boring style ‘rules,’ Alison breaks the rules.” Was this actually going to be a fun fashion book that gave me new ideas or would I be duped again?
First of all, the book itself is very cute. It has lots of gold and black details including gold edges and striped pages. The chapters make sense and cover a variety of fashion topics: Movie Magic: Or, Why Movie Stars Look Like Movie Stars, Fit: The True Enemy of Great Style, Alter Your Clothes, Alter Your Life, Be Your Own Costume Designer, Dumb Fashion Rules That Were Made for Breaking, Wardrobe Tools to Keep Your Look Together, Dressing for Success is Dead, Closet Hacks: Store Your Clothes Like Wardrobe Girls Do, Underthings: You Really Only Need a Few, Laundry: You’re Doing it Wrong, Shoe Care for All Your Footwear, Old Stuff: A Guide to Shopping Vintage and Thrift, and Dudes, This One’s for You. There are also very helpful stain and fabric glossaries at the end.
As for the content, Freer writes in a fun and charming way. The book is very detailed and goes into a lot of depth but it’s not boring. Most of what is covered are things I already know, but this would be a great book for beginners. I only wish Freer had been a little more creative and unique with her advice. For example, most of her comments regarding fit are basically: go to a tailor if you want things to fit better. Being a costume designer, I feel that Freer should have had more insight and given suggestions for how to alter clothing by yourself. Other suggestions from Freer: use thin velvet hangers, use a lint roller, wear slips, and don’t fill your washer to capacity or your clothes won’t get clean. Pretty much tips you would find in any style book. Still, I prefer How to Get Dressed to many of the other books I’ve read as it does go into more detail. There are a lot of useful, just not very creative, tips and the sections on removing stains and taking care of your shoes were nice to see.
3 out of 5, very in-depth but there’s nothing new here.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.