Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nina Garcia's Little Black Book of Style

Nina Garcia (yes, that Nina Garcia) has branched out from magazines and television and lent her expertise to the book world in the form of The Little Black Book of Style and I'd like to get down and kiss her Manolo Blahniks for doing so.

I received this book at just the right time in my life. My daughter is no longer a clingy baby and I no longer feel the need to wear to wear my mommy uniform - khakis and a dark t-shirt (to hide stains) - any longer. I want to look good again. I want to feel attractive and put together. I want to be a hot mama.

But less about me and more about the book.

Between the size of the book (portable, small enough to fit in your tote), the heavy weight of the pages and the timeless illustrations by Ruben Toledo, I know this is a book I'll want to keep for a long time. It feels like a potential heirloom, something I'd want to pass down to my daughter one day.

And speaking of mothers and daughters, Garcia starts the book by sharing her very first fashion inspirations: her mother and her father. Her stories about her mother and father really made me open my eyes and recognize that the me I show to the public is also the me my daughter sees. I don't want her growing up believing the epitome of style is crew neck tees, jeans from the Gap and flip flops. With Garcia's ten rules that every fashion icon knows, I'm already on my way to making my daughter proud to be seen with me.

I'm on a budget and you probably are too, so lest you think the Fashion Editor at Elle is only pimping names like Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, think again. Okay, she does mention those, but she also mentions Hanes (As in t-shirts! Purchased two already and she was so spot on! They are must haves.) and Target. It's not always about the designers but working with what you can afford and making it fabulous. Garcia even writes favorably about the L.L. Bean tote bag, and being a woman from New England that thrilled me to no end. I've been fashionable all these years and didn't even know it! But, Nina, lay off the duck boots, OK? You can't wear three inch heels when there's a snow storm.

In case you're concerned that this review is favorable just because I received a free copy of the book through the Parent Bloggers Network to review, don't be. I have reread this book three times and it sits on a place of honor near my bed, where I can grab it when I some courage while skimming my closet for something suitable to wear. And I've already put some of her advice to work. I've already mentioned the Hanes t-shirts, but thanks to The Black Book I'm also more discriminating when I go shopping. No more throwing my money away on that fifth pair of khakis.

One tip I took away from Nina Garcia's Little Black Book of Style - fashion is not all about the essential trend according to the latest fashion magazine but what's essential to your own personal style. Buying the "it" bag this season is ridiculous, but finding that perfect piece to compliment my entire wardrobe for a few years to come while creating my own style? That's priceless.

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Blogger Major Bedhead said...

I reviewed this, too, for Mother Talk. I really enjoyed it and really loved the pictures. If I hadn't liked the book so much, I'd cut them out and frame them.

2:11 PM  

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