Fashion Friday: Books with Answers

Hello to all my CoziNest followers. I am back from Italy and while I had an absolute blast, I have missed each and every one of my readers. There will be lots of posts to follow about Italy, a few about Italian fashion and things I’ve learned from my travels, but for today; I’m sharing some of my favorite books about fashion. I’ve mentioned some of them in the past, but there are a few new ones as well.

The first book I ever read about fashion was by Linda Dano. It was in her book that I first read about body shapes and how to dress a petite. As a 5’3″ 36-year old, I learned that I should wear straight leg pants, monochromatic outfits and heels to help me appear taller.

Looking Great by Linda Dano
Looking Great by Linda Dano


I read this in the 90’s and another thing I remember is that my body shape and size doesn’t fit with tweed, plaid or large patterns. I’ve not worn any of those fabrics since…with the exception of a tweed cape I wear in the winter. However, the collar on the cape is perfect for me since it draws the eye away from problem areas, so I’ve told myself that it’s ok.

The next book has become a coffee table staple that I pick up from time to time as a refresher. French Chic: How to Dress Like a Frenchwoman by Susan Sommers, is the book that helps me keep things simple.

French Chic by Susan Sommers

Susan has a list of essential garments for every wardrobe that is a great place to start. It includes seven pieces of clothing, one of which I still hope to own someday. Can you guess which one?

  1. A black straight skirt
  2. a V-neck or cardigan sweater
  3. a suit
  4. a pair of jeans
  5. a silk shirt
  6. a couple of white tee-shirts
  7. an Hermes scarf

The next book is Harper’s Bazaar Fabulous at Every Age.

Fabulous at Every Age


In chapter 2 of this book, “Smart Shopping” I discovered the industry’s best kept secrets about shopping with intent and a budget. Knowing yourself, your closet and your budget is key to smart shopping. As I used the tips in this book along with Linda Dano and Susan Sommers tips, I’ve found shopping easier. I’m not as impulsive, but much more intentional. Shopping with a list for groceries is expected, I’ve found lists for clothing, accessories and shoes works just as well. I’ve also begun shopping by season. I’ve purchased everything I need for spring and summer and won’t be shopping again until August or September for my Fall wardrobe. I made one purchase for Fall while in Italy that I’ll be sharing soon. It’s one of those things that every wardrobe needs and buying Italian was the best choice of all. I will wear it FOREVER.

And last, but not least is a recent gift called Paris Street Style by Isabelle Thomas and Frederique Veysset. One chapter in particular spoke to me from this book. “Making Cheap Look Classy” tells how to mix high end with mass produced cheaper clothing. I’ve read in other books and it was re-emphasized in these pages that there are places to skimp and places not to, with shoes being at the top of the list. If we purchase really good shoes, a nice handbag and designer glasses/sunglasses, the rest can be a mix of high end and Target – if you will.

And now, I must intentionally say TGIF. I’m so glad to be back with you and writing about one of my many loves once again.  Thank you so much for reading and have a fabulous Friday.

Day 30: Starting Over with a New Wardrobe


31 Days of Starting Over


Two of my favorite quotes about fashion are:

  1. “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous,” and
  2. “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Both are by Coco Chanel and both describe what my ultimate goal is for my wardrobe. However, for the last several years I’ve felt more frumpy than fabulous. I’m short, overweight and suffering from a complexity syndrome. I think I make things more difficult than they really are.

I’ve read Style Yourself Over 40, 50 and Beyond, French Chic, How To Never Look Fat Again, and Looking Great, by Linda Dano. Linda Dano was one of the very first women that caught my fashion eye. I read her book in 1998 and began attempting to imitate her style.

Looking Great by Linda Dano
Looking Great by Linda Dano

I watched “What Not to Wear”, followed Jackie O while she was living to get an idea of classy style; read articles about Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana. Yet, with all my education, I am rarely confident in my clothing choices. I’ve always wanted a makeover and dreamed of going to New York to consult with Stacy, Clinton and Carmindy.

Well, I will be having the next best thing and I am so excited. My friend, Linda (not Dano) is one of those ladies that always looks like she stepped out of a magazine. She has loved and rocked fashion in such a dynamic way, that one of her daughters is studying fashion design and dreams of having her own line someday.

Every time we get together, we talk about fashion because we both love it so much. Years ago, when our kids were little, we would shop together and I always felt like a million bucks in the outfits she helped pick out.

Well, I’m hoping to have her as a regular “fashion contributor” here on Cozinest. And as we get that going, she is going to be helping me get my own wardrobe in tip top shape. We have dedicated an afternoon to going through my closet and we plan to put several outfits together, and purchase a few things to round out my needs. Tops, pants, scarves, heels, boots and jewelry… oh my!

My friend, Linda, with her two daughters.
My friend, Linda, with her two daughters. (Photo borrowed from her Facebook page.)

Be on the lookout in the future for Fashion Fridays. We are hoping to showcase outfits for our age group that are simple, classy, fabulous and sometimes elegant, but always age appropriate.

If you have wardrobe questions, dilemmas or funny malfunctions, let us know and hopefully we can have some fun with this.