By Mrs. Ann Seeton (TX) -
“Personal style is a wink at the fashion world. Your style says, I’ve got control over you, and you’ve got nothing over me.” –from the introduction to It’s So You
IT’S SO YOU by Mary Sheehan Warren, New York, Scepter Publishers, 2011, originally published by Spence Publishing, Dallas, TX, 2007; reprinted with permission.
We all want to enjoy having control over fashion and often do not know how to do it. Fashion is ever changing and usually totally wrong for anyone outside of the model walking down the runway. IT’S SO YOU by Mary Sheehan Warren is a marvelous answer to this problem.
I cannot be the only woman to struggle with my clothing. I shop and shop and often the item I purchase because it fit ends up at the back of the closet, a serious waste of money because I don’t wear it. Sometimes I would have no clue WHY I did not wear it, but there it was, sitting on a shelf, on a hangar, accusing me of wasting my money.
Enter IT’S SO YOU. In her book, Mary Sheehan Warren speaks to women in a casual friendly style about that ever so elusive concept: personal style. From the introduction where she guides the reader in How To Read This Book [pg3] through the examples in chapter one which encourage the reader that this book is for ordinary women, and the essentials of the elements of style as applied to YOU, the reader, all the way to how to shop, being frugal, accessories that fit your style, planning a wardrobe, and the encouraging last chapter’s parting words, this book is designed to be comforting, encouraging and positive.
The chapters on the Elements of Style [Ch. 1-4] cover such interesting concepts as body type, fashion personality, and color palette. It makes so much sense to know that there are concrete reasons for those nice pieces of clothing that I do not wear! It may be the wrong color but the right fit and personality, or the right fit and personality but the wrong color, or any other combination. A comfortable personal fashion style will fit your body type and flatter it; it will fit your fashion personality so that you will ENJOY wearing it, and it will fit your color palette so the colors flatter what God gave you.
What do you do once you have purged your closet of those items that fail on body type, fashion personality, or palette? Wardrobe Planning! Wardrobe planning [Ch. 5 & 6] focuses on applying what you learned about your style in the earlier chapters to your wardrobe needs. Here you plan your wardrobe (or wardrobes) so it serves YOU. Office work requires different wardrobes than does weekend camper! Wardrobes can be very use specific or more generalized. Next, wardrobe planning turns out to be marvelous fun with such design options as mix & match, monochromatic, and spectrum. In addition, in chapter 7, attention is given to accessories and making certain that these fit your personal style and serve their proper function in your wardrobe as well.
Getting What You Need [Ch. 8] is all about shopping smart. Here the advice is about sensible and frugal shopping. Once I got through the purging of the wardrobe and all the work (fun though it was) of discovering my style, I did not want to go out shopping and waste money. This chapter covers shopping strategies, list making, choosing when to shop for certain items, and other advice on sticking to a budget when building your wardrobe.
Poise is the theme of the second to last chapter [Ch. 9]. Here is a collection of advice on presenting your new image, staging yourself as it were with hair style choices, make-up, body language, choosing the right suit for an interview, manners, and other little things that bring the entire effort to fruition.
Lastly, the author wraps it all up with a chapter about the impact your personal style can have on the people around you. You liking how you look is essential but a nice side effect may be how proud your husband or children are of your appearance, or the increased respect your efforts earn you at the office. Your personal style efforts help to give you credibility as you guide your daughters or granddaughters toward their own styles and help them avoid the “floozy factor” common in so much of the fashion world. Good advice. Excellent book.
I highly recommend it!