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Hit the Books: Natty Gal Reading List

My parents and grandparents were avid readers and I am very thankful the gift was passed down to me.  While getting lost in a juicy novel before bed each night or stretching myself with a book club pick not normally in my comfort zone are pleasures, I have a few books to share with you that have helped me define my style and hopefully, can help you with yours.

       
  1. The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr – My personal holy grail of fashion books!  Any easy to follow format on dressing for your particular body type and cultivating a timeless and authentic personal style.  Chock full of fit tips/tailoring, closet basic checklists, best brands by price point, grooming/makeup tips, accessories and more. I refer to this book countless times throughout the year. Ms. Farr is also the author of Style Evolution, an “over-40” version of Pocket Stylist. While I have some pages earmarked, it seemed a bit repetitive of the information in her original book. 
  2. The One Hundred by Nina Garcia – A tongue-in-cheek look at the 100 pieces every stylish woman should own.  In many cases, spot on!  Fun, easy to read format with charming illustrations.  Useful tips on sourcing products; entertaining anecdotes and quotes interjected throughout.  
  3. Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh – Lovely pictorial on my (and so many people’s) favorite muse.  The woman simply never looked bad!  The photography is stunning and the story of her life will make you love her all the more. Inside and out, Ms. Hepburn is the definition of tasteful.
Bonus Pick:
 

Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott – My most recent fashion read although truly more of a lifestyle book.  This book helped me rediscover my gratitude/pleasure in performing day-to-day tasks.  Great for anyone who needs to simplify their life and recapture their joie de vivre!

“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.” – W. Somerset Maugham 

 

Stylist Secret: Leather Hole Punch

Any personal wardrobe stylist worth her salt has a kit of essentials that help ensure clients look their best.  Why not create your own at home kit to combat any potential wardrobe malfunctions?  Common kits include the usual suspects: lint rollers, safety pins, a sewing kit, double-stick tape, Static Guard, etc.  

One item that I haven’t seen on other’s lists but that is indispensable is a Leather Hole Punch ToolWhether modifying a belt for a spot-on fit or adjusting a sandal strap on those Stuart Weitzman’s you just bought, I love how this nifty, inexpensive gadget can both increase comfort and give a professional finish.

Wardrobe Building: Where to Begin Investing?

So, you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your wardrobe but are wondering how to start investing your hard-earned dollars!  

A great place to start is by focusing on pieces with low cost per wear ratios.  Cost per wear ratio is calculated by taking the price of the item purchased and dividing it by the number of times you will wear the item in a year.  For example:

  • $500 special event outfit at 2 wearings per year = $250 cost per wear
  • $500 seasonal handbag at 65 wearings per year (5 days/week for one 13-week season) = $7.69 cost per wear
  • $10 blouse bought on sale/impulse with tags still on a year later = $10 in the trash
Low cost per wear pieces often include:
  • Shoes and Boots
  • Handbags and Small Leather Goods
  • Jeans
  • For professionals: A suit in a dark color (black, charcoal, navy)
  • For cool climates: Outerwear
  • Sunglasses
As you elevate your personal style, choosing to invest in these items first makes a ton of sense as you will get repeated wear and a variety of styling options out of these pieces.
LOFT