Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks and the Pursuit for My Own Personal Style

I recently finished reading I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks and it was a delightful read! A lot of people question why I read so many style books and I understand why they would... It's not like any one style book has all the answers or makes you instantly thinner... Nothing like that. And a lot of people say they rely strictly on street style blogs and no longer read style books. I get that too, but I personally love style books - I guess you could say I collect them. I have read loads and have a whole stack on my to-read list that I'm working through one by one. 

Personal style is something that's become important to me lately - maybe it's because I'm getting a little older (and wiser - who wants to waste money on clothes they don't wear?). I have always been keen to try new things, wear trends when they suit me (and sometimes when they don't) and dress more for occasions than for myself, but I've changed somewhere along the way. I've become more interested in who I am and what I want to look like instead of what's on trend. It's not the reason I bought this book, but what a coincidence since that's basically what I Love Your Style is all about! There are two things I love about a good style book: 1. We all need a refresher from time to time to brush up on things we've forgotten about whether it's the magic of a crisp white shirt or creative ways to wear that necklace we spent a fortune on and never wore and  2. A fresh take is always good and no different than scrolling for hours on a new street style blog we just found, but in a book things are generally more carefully explained and justified. Amanda Brooks has a take on style that's different to mine and different to any other gurus whose books I've read... If I take one new thing away from a fresh point of view in a style book, the sticker price has paid for itself.

What I loved about I Love Your Style is the layout - the book doesn't require being read cover to cover, though that's how I read it. It's broken up into sections by style from classic to bohemian, minimalism to street and everything in between. What I found as I suspect many people would find is that I'm a mix -I'm probably 45% classic, 45% minimalism and the other 10% is made up of small bits of boho, high fashion and street. I can also be described as "Cheap Chic" which doesn't at all imply that I'm cheap or only buy cheap clothing, but that I am a savvy shopper who will mix high and low, sometimes buy something that's very low-end, sometimes buy high-end cheaper than intended via sample sale or vintage stores and always good at avoiding retail prices! I would say in this day and age, most of us are "Cheap Chic" so thank goodness Brooks shares her secrets for scoring big on the cheap!

I also loved all the personal anecdotes in the book about how Brooks came to love and work in fashion, what she's worn through the years, her fashion mistakes & successes and how she's dressed in a variety of high fashion scenarios. 

One of the suggestions Brooks gives in the book is to start an inspiration board for personal style and to re-evaluate it regularly to see what you still like. I've always meant to do this and I do use Pinterest, but after reading I Love Your Style I decided to make my own style inspiration board with the magazines I had in my flat. It's definitely a work in progress... I need to get some better photos and magazines, but this is how it turned out:

I've also started a new pinboard on Pinterest called Ashley's Personal Style Inspiration to keep better track of looks and bits of styling that inspire me personally in the way I want to dress myself. Feel free to check it out!

I love Your Style is a great book and I highly recommend it! I'll be keeping my copy as a reference as I do with all the style books I love. Amanda Brooks also has an I Love Your Style blog, which I highly recommend as well!


1 comment

  1. I found I was a mix also, after reading this book. I'm probably the same as you - half & half Classic & Minimalistic, with touches of boho. I didn't want to make marks in mine, so what I did was take slips of paper, and write down what I loved on that page, and use them as bookmarks. I have about 40 in my copy! :) I refer to her book whenever I start wondering what staples I should buy for work or what to wear to social events. It's such a great tool for those of us who aren't fashionistas! :)


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