My fashionista bibles: Books I swear by for all things fashion

9/01/2015

Hi there, fashionistas!

Lately I've been searching for lots of outfit inspiration. Summer will be over in the blink of an eye, so I'm trying to hunt down some awesome outfit ideas for the fall. I am back to school now and need to start planning some great fall looks.

Besides looking for style inspiration at my favorite stores, my go-to is always Pinterest. You can check out what I am pinning by clicking the Pinterest tab at the top of my blog! I've been pinning a lot to my board "Perfect for Fall."


Since I've been all about inspiration lately, I wanted to do a post about the fashion books that I use most for style inspiration. Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I'm always coming across a stack of books that different fashion bloggers enjoy. So, I decided it was time to talk about mine!

I have had some of these books for a while, but nonetheless, they all played a part in pointing me where I am today. So, let's get started!

Book #1: Things We Love by Kate Spade New York



Kate Spade is one of my all time favorite brands. She has a way of making her items bright, fun and whimsical, and it's exactly the kind of feminine style I love.

This book is filled with colorful photos, quotes and notes that allow you to experience the brand and get inspired by their unique style.


The foreword begins with an intro by Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. She begins by saying, "I've long contended that fashion is a party to which everyone is invited. But the woman who expects more from an evening knows that a Kate Spade New York handbag is her ticket to the VIP section." And if you love the brand as much as I do, that statement is the utmost of truths.

Showing off twenty different things they love to represent twenty years of success, this beautiful coffee table read is the perfect glance into the world of KS. 

Buy it for yourself here.

Book #2: Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style: How to Find your Perfect Look by Ann Shoket and the editors of Seventeen 



I bought this book when it was released in 2011, and it quickly became my fashion bible. In 2011, I was still in high school and really looking to find my style. (Pre-junior year, it was t-shirts and jeans everyday, LOL!)

Although this book may be for a little bit younger of a crowd, I still refer to it often and love all the advice it offers. Seventeen is a great magazine, even for women in their early twenties. This book is just as fun and full of pictures like their publications.

Breaking down six different styles (girly, edgy, boho, classic, glam && indie), the style guide talks about multiple looks in each category and compares each specific style to a celebrity that rocks the category. There are also suggestions of places to shop depending on the style you like most! It's the perfect inspo book, especially if your style likes to change from day to day.


The book wraps up with an accessory guide and a fit guide, which are both very useful. I just love the pictures and graphics in this book and will continue to treat it as my fashion bible for a very long time. The perfect go-to!

Get yours here.

Book #3: Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty: The Best Hair, Skin, Nails & Makeup Ideas for You by Ann Shoket and the editors of Seventeen



Serving as the sequel to the previous style guide, this beauty guide was published in 2012. Since I loved the style guide so much, I had to get this book right away.

The beauty guide is broken up into three separate sections: makeup, hair and beauty. The makeup section breaks down makeup looks for five different styles (girly, glam, classic, edgy, boho), similar to the style guide. It gives you different makeup ideas and also shows photos of different celebrity looks.

The hair section gives a variety of different hairdo and styling ideas for all lengths of hair, including waves and curls, braids and twists, ponies, updos and buns, and sleek looks.


The final section serves as a beauty resource guide and talks about customizing your look, taking care of your skin, different nail ideas and special occasion looks.

Each section is full of numerous bright photos that will inspire you to try different makeup, hairstyles, nail art and skin care routines. Any beauty lover will adore this book.

You can buy it here.

Book #4: What to Wear, Where: the how-to handbook for any style situation by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power 



WhoWhatWear.com cofounders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power put together this fantastic "how-to handbook for any style situation."

The book first addresses eight fundamental fashion questions to ask yourself when planning an outfit, such as what is the location? Or, am I keeping up with current trends?

Then, the authors walk you through fifty different occasions from A to Z, offering style advice for weddings, date nights, funerals, etc, as they model different looks for each occasion.


I adore all of the colorful outfits in this book. It is the perfect reference guide when you are unsure what to wear for any type of event. Whether it is just a trip to the movies, or a trip to meet the parents, this book will help you nail down the perfect look.

Get your copy here. 

Book #5: Style by Lauren Conrad 



Let's be honest for a sec: Lauren Conrad is a fashion goddess! Looking past her days of reality television, this #girlboss totally made her dreams come true. I feel completely inspired by her style, which is why I love this book so much.

LC offers some perfect fashion, beauty and lifestyle advice in this book. From building up a wardrobe that suits your personal look and lifestyle to shopping smart and spending wisely, there are useful tips for the fashionistas out there, as well as for those completely in the dark when it comes to fashion.

She also touches a bit on hair and makeup tips, as well as explaining great ways to dress for work, school and special events.

I really love when she talks about shopping and how you shouldn't spend too much money on something that could go out of style relatively quickly. She advises spending a little more on good quality items that you know you will get lots of use out of.


I love that Lauren wrote this book, because she truly has a bird's eye view into the fashion industry. Her advice is what she has learned over the years, so I have already found it to be very helpful.

Take a peek here.

Book #6: Beauty by Lauren Conrad



LC came out with Beauty not long after Style was released. It serves as a guide that touches more on beauty and self-care versus clothing and fashion.

The book is divided into two parts: Prep and Play. The prep section talks about important hygiene advice, like skin and hair care, as well as dealing with stress, finding your beauty and fitness & food.

The play section is all about hair, makeup and nails. There are plenty of different ideas to inspire you for your next hair and makeup look. Lauren talks about everyday makeup and hair, which are looks you can use for work, school, etc. She also talks about party makeup and hair, which are more fun looks for a night out or special events. 



The book is filled with step by step pictures for the different looks, which is always helpful when trying something new. Beauty lovers will eat up this read. 

Snag your copy here.

Book #7: Penny Chic by Shauna Miller



I was browsing around Barnes and Noble last summer when I came across this book. I didn't even know who Shauna Miller was at the time, but man, am I glad I discovered her debut book!

Shauna Miller is the creator of the blog Penny Chic (www.pennychic.com) She believes in dressing for less, just like me! She wrote this book to give her best advice about finding great deals while still looking fabulous.

The book is broken up into three parts: finding your style, building your wardrobe and putting the pieces together. Any one interested in fashion will find this book helpful, but especially those who have a tight budget when it comes to clothing.


The finding your style section talks about finding inspiration for fashion, identifying your specific style and working the items you already own. 

The building your wardrobe section talks about shopping smart. It gives tips on how to "shop for free" (aka, dig through others' closets), how to DIY different fashion pieces, how to shop new, yet smart, and how to shop secondhand. This section is PERFECT for me, since I love shopping the same way Shauna does!

The putting the pieces together section gives advice on styling the pieces you have and turning them into awesome outfits.

This fashion guide is full of colorful pictures and great outfit inspiration. It's hands down one of my top favorite fashion books, and that is because Shauna's style and shopping methods really speak to me. Dressing for less is what I am all about!

Get your very own copy here.

Book #8: A Beautiful Mess by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman



Although this book isn't exactly a fashion book, it does have some seriously great photography ideas! If you are a fashion blogger, instagram-a-holic, or you just plain love taking pictures, you'll find this book to be very inspiring!

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, creators of A Beautiful Mess blog wrote this idea book of "95 ideas for photographing your friends, your world, and yourself." There are TONS of great ideas and colorful photos that fill the pages; you'll want to have a photoshoot as soon as you see them!


There is great advice when it comes to taking photos of people, objects, outfits, food, etc. Between the colors, fun angles and great shots, this is a book any social media savvy lady will love.

Take a looks-y here.

Book #9: Secondhand Chic by Christa Weil



I bet you can't even guess why this book grabbed my attention! ;) And believe it or not, I found this at a SECONDHAND STORE!

Although this book is a tad on the outdated side (copyright 1999!), I've still found that it has some great advice floating around it's pages. I mean, the first sentence of the book says, "If you've ever shopped at a consignment, vintage, or thrift store, you know that with good judgement, patience, and a little luck, you can get incredible value for your money." It speaks my language....! 

This guide gives advice on decoding the secondhand market, finding great pieces, how to take care of your clothing and how to get the very best out of secondhand stores. After reading through, you'll be a thrift store shopping pro!


Along with the great advice, there are even some great fashion history lessons mixed in, such as when certain fabrics first came about. It may be sixteen years old, but this book still has some valuable stuff to say. 

Take a look here.

Book #10: Style by Kate Spade



My mom JUST found this book for me at Goodwill and I was SO excited! Written by Kate Spade herself in 2004, this fashion lover's book is filled with bright illustrations. 

The book has three sections: Style and the World, Style, Start to Finish, and Maintaining Style. Each section is filled with so many tiny graphics that I just cannot take my eyes off of. 

Although I'm no expert on this book just yet, I already feel inspired by its colorful pages, and because, of course, it's Kate Spade. 


If you eat up fashion illustrations and can't get enough of Kate Spade's whimsical designs, you'll go mad for this one.

Pick yours here.  

Book #11: Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele

 


Well, in my opinion, I saved the best for last. Lea Michele is my daily inspiration, my hero, my role model, and a whole lot of other things in this world. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be the dreamer and the doer that I am. 

But enough about me; let's talk about this great book! Brunette Ambition is not only a look inside Lea Michele's life, but it's also a self-care guide when it comes to fitness, food, fashion and beauty. Lea covers it all, but most importantly, she emphasizes taking care of yourself. 

When it comes to fashion, it is also very important to take care of yourself. If you love what you're wearing, you'll feel better about yourself, and that is the most important part of getting dressed in the morning.  Lea walks you through her closet and talks about the clothing that makes her feel like her best self.


Besides the chapter on fashion, if you are crazy about fitness, food or beauty, this book features it all. Plenty of photos and plenty of wise advice from a woman who puts herself first, this book is sure to open your eyes to how very worth it you are. 

Don't miss this one. Get it here.

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In this day and age, inspiration is EVERYWHERE! Especially in the fashion world. Instagram is the perfect inspiration escape and Pinterest is a fashionista's best friend! I also get inspired by walking around the mall, checking out store windows. Just walking around at school seeing different clothing inspires me. 

But sometimes I just need a good ole fashioned book to get that style sparkle in my eyes. And the advice amongst the pages are an added bonus. 

I hope you're feeling inspired to buy one of these books, or maybe even check a few out at the library. Also, leave some comments letting me know what books inspire you! I'm always looking for new ones. 

As the summer comes to a close, I hope you are not only feeling inspired by your wardrobe, but are feeling inspired to finish the final stretch of this year strong.

My back to school outfit! Old Navy denim scalloped dress,
LOFT sandals, Fossil tomato red tote, Michael Kors watch.

Get out there and own it.

xoxo, 

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