Thursday, July 14, 2011

reviewed- what I wore, the book...

It's really exciting how varying industries, not only fashion, have embraced what style and fashion bloggers have to offer. If you're one of those people with a keen, quick eye for style and deliver unique content through a well-versed, captivating blog, the opportunities to get your opinions out there are really quite vast. One such girl is personal style blogger Jessica Quirk of What I Wore.

Photo Credit: What I Wore (the book website)

I've been a regular follower of Jessica's blog for about a year and 1/2 now, though she's been posting her outfits and writing when, why, and where she's worn them for just over 4 years now. (Makes my 1 1/2 year-old blog a baby still!) From our computer screens to actual paper, I was excited when Jessica announced last spring that she was working on a book to be published.

Photo Credit: What I Wore (blog)

Flash-forward a little more than a year later and you have What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes For Personal Style landing on my doorstep one day after its July 5 release date. I immediately dropped everything to read the 130 charmingly illustrated pages of Jessica's book.

What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes For Personal Style is a guide that provides extensive advice on how to build a practical, but stylish wardrobe season by season. The books is full of suggestions of how to build on the clothing basics, what are the must-haves for every woman's closet, how to make sensible purchases toward expanding your wardrobe, and how to remix what you have to make your wardrobe go the distance. Jessica's book is an effortless read that is presented in the cute metaphor of a cookbook as she suggests step-by-step how to put together the perfect wardrobe similar to how you would follow recipes to cook up a fantastic meal.

Photo Credit: What I Wore (blog)

My true critisims are few: and they are more related to the construct of the book rather than the actual core content. The illustrations are awesome, but the outfit photos of Jessica at the beginning of each season appear a bit grainy. My only other criticism was just with the ease of referencing the descriptions in the text to particular outfit illustrations. Despite the fact that the written content itself is an easy, interesting read, sometimes you have to flip forward or look back a page to discern which group of images she is referring to. For a more seamless flow between images and the text, the illustrations could have benefitted from subtitles/labels.

Now I'll get to the positives about the book, because overall I really did enjoy What I Wore and thought she did an awesome job in her written composition and her beautiful illustrations! 

My favourite aspects and advice from What I Wore, the book: 
  • She provides perspective on what percent of your clothing budget you should spend on each season (and it's not divied up to be 25% per season..)
  • Before purchasing a new article of clothing, Jessica makes the great suggestion that you be sure it can be worn with at least 3 items already existing in your closet.
  • She provides basic check-lists of what you should have in your wardrobe and what to add to it
  • She reminds us where to spend and where to splurge.
  • As a girl that sports vintage herself, she gives the down-low on what exactly classifies as vintage and how to shop for quality items second-hand.
  • She gives helpful hints on how to measure yourself and prepare to shop successfully online.

Photo Credit: What I Wore (blog)

If you're familiar with Jessica's blog you'll start to recognize that she made an interesting move and illustrated her own wardrobe on the models- as a fan of her blog, it was interesting  to recognize and remember  items her outfits! Although following these step by step instructions to a T will build you a wardrobe just like Jessica's, if you're not the type to dress fairly girly (with lots of full, longer skirts), you can still get many excellent pointers out of this book.

I'd say What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes For Personal Style is worth a read, no matter if you are building a wardrobe or forcing your overflowing closet doors shut. Jessica's got some pointers that will even give the seasoned fashionista a few things to think about.

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