A trip to the public library may not be our first thought when we want fashion advice for women. Here are some good reasons why the library is a fabulous place to research the latest fashion trends.
The more books about fashion you consult, the more likely you are to realize that your unique style starts with you not what designers trumpet.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, and First Lady Nancy Reagan are known as classy dressers and fashion icons. Yet, as we look at their wardrobe choices over the decades, we see that they updated their fashion style – but did not radically change it.
Body type and face shape will not change much with age. Books with fashion advice for women emphasize creating your look, rather than following the crowd.
Style is about more than wearing the latest fashion. Biographies of fashion icons and designers teach us that glamour and beauty really are an inside job.
Reading about fashion icons introduces us to their lifestyle philosophies. These women not only have fashion style, they have class. Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway report that First Lady Jackie Kennedy used her charm persuasively for donations to refurbish the White House with appropriate antiques. She and second husband Aristotle Onassis famously helped her cousins make livable a dangerously run-down Gray Gardens. She dressed down when she became a book editor, consciously choosing not to flaunt her wealth as she assumed a new role in life. Branch and Callaway share these memorable anecdotes in their entertaining book of much more than fashion advice, What Would Jackie Do?.
The best fashion photography is not available on the Internet.
Absorbing the best fashion photography can be inspiring, unleashing your creativity, as well as offer lessons in fashion cycles. Few of us can afford to purchase these expensive tomes. Take one home and bathe in the visual luxury. By the way, you can find a lot of great books with full-colored photos about home decorating and gardening at your library.
Teach yourself to get creative refurbishing your wardrobe.
Do-it-yourself fashion and craft books abound. The latest fashion may literally be at your fingertips – not at the mall. Get ideas for transforming out-of-style garments into fresh new looks. Crochet or knit yourself a winter muffler and cap. Be more ambitious and tackle a sweater that would cost hundreds of dollars in a specialty store. Add ribbon and buttons to an inexpensive blouse to give it a handmade look. Beading and jewelry-making remain an effective way to create unique accessories. You can even transform old shoes with a glue gun and trim.
Find fashion advice books and magazine articles you cannot get any other way.
Your library will, most likely, be able to order a book that’s not in its collection through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). If you cannot find what you want in the catalog, ask a reference librarian for help.
Articles about the latest fashion and expressing ourselves creatively through style turn up in unusual places. Psychology Today had some articles about fashion and personality in 2008. You can find and read these articles for free on two popular databases that index Psychology Today – EBSCO and ProQuest. A database is an index of articles that have appeared in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and large-circulation newsletters. The bible of the fashion industry, W for Women’s Wear Daily, may be available if you want to keep up with insider industry trends.
Fashion and style magazines and books cost a small fortune. We can glut ourselves on as many as we want at the library, instead of toting home just one guilty pleasure from the magazine rack or bookstore. And think of the money we save by spending a few hours at the library instead of at the mall to scout out the latest fashions. Here are some specific reading suggestions.
In conclusion, the next time you’ve simply got to learn about the latest fashion advice for women, skip shopping and prowl the library. Magazines are designed to persuade us to buy. Fashion books, including fashion advice, basic wardrobe planning, fashion photo collections, and biographies of designers and fashion icons, teach us that the more fashion changes, the more unique, personal fashion style remains the same.
Enid Sefcovic, Ph.D.