Fashionable books to inspire your style

I’ve had this post saved as a draft for a very long time! This blog is a testament to my own personal interests of books and fashion mixing – and although I have covered lots of books individually, the two subjects don’t always blend so well. I thought a roundup of my favorite fashion books would be helpful (for everyone, but also as a reference to myself too, because people always ask me for recommendations!)

Please enjoy this list of my favorite fashionable books, click on the image to get to more information about the book!

The One Hundred by Nina Garcia – an amazingly stylish list of classic pieces, that are basic staples to a wardrobe, which a woman could own. A great book to keep around the house for inspiration, or for a young girl who may be interested in fashion. The Ruben Toledo illustrations are an extra nice element to this book.

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake – This was actually one of the first books I reviewed on my blog – an amazing and complicated account of the lives of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, and how they intersected.

100 Years of Fashion Illustration by Cally Blackman – Fashion illustration has been a key element to fashion and style for a very long time, as most fashions begin as a sketch by the artists (better yet, designers) hand still to this day!

Fashion Drawing in Vogue by William Packer – A quite old fashion (not old fashioned) book I came across in the library, hidden among all the new books (click here to see my old post about it with some photos of the pages). An extremely relevant book because of its retrospective of a time when almost all images in Vogue magazine were illustrations, and not photographs.

Fashion Now by Terry Jones – An A to Z list of must know fashion industry names. Gorgeous photographs to go with the information.

Fruits by Soichi Aoki – I can clearly remember the first time I saw this Fruits book back around 2003 or 2004; before street style was a huge thing around the world, the Japanese had been doing it right this whole time. The book is still just as influential!

Dressing Up Vintage by Tracy Tolkien – Another lovely book I found at the library (click here for my old post about it). It’s a great book for vintage fashion lovers as well as collectors, but also for anyone interested in the subject. Covers decades individually, and gives key names/brands to look for.

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi – I first came across this book a few years ago when I moved to San Francisco and saw it inside the Kinokuniya bookstore. The clothing constructed out of the patterns truly are magic as the title suggests. Now that I have dipped my toes in the world of sewing with patterns, I hope to eventually work my way up to one of these designs!

Biba: the Biba Experience by Alwyn W. Turner – I came across this one while I briefly worked at the art school library, a wonderful look into the rise and fall of Biba – a wonderful experiment in fast fashion that was elemental in changing how we wear our clothes today. (click here to see a past post where I spoke about it)

Influence by MK & Ashley Olsen – I have a love/hate relationship with this book. It is full of Proust questionnaire responses by influential people in the fashion industry. Some of the answers are very insightful about how professional creatives think. My gripe is that a few people they chose, are honestly not very interesting.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline – my last fashionable read. This book is amazing. It has really helped me understand this whole Made in the USA fashion movement, what it really means, and where we should hopefully be moving towards!

Everyone has their own, what is your favorite fashionable read?!

Sew U

My fingers are restless. A few months ago I challenged myself to do something new – I picked the tools to do a whole big embroidery project despite never having embroidered before. And then I finished! It’s awesome, and now I’m ready to go back to sewing – I haven’t sewn in a while, but I always just freestyled it.

So I’m ready for my next challenge. I want to sew correctly. I picked up a copy of Sew-U at the library, a book by Built By Wendy that includes patterns – but also the instructions on how to use them and how to adjust the patterns to make even more things!

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

I find the whole concept really awesome and can’t wait to find the right fabric to start making something, anything! You see the patterns, and learn how they work (which I knew very little about) – for these types of patterns, a good stretchy fabric will do, since they’re for items that don’t have buttons or zippers (zippers are very difficult to sew, so that’s a whole other book).

If the patterns don’t make much sense, it’s because some of the pieces are meant to be traced & cut over a piece of fabric folded in half so that the two sides match! Can you tell what these patterns will make?

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

Thrift Eye, Sew U Built by Wendy

The patterns that come in these books are thin pattern paper – because I obviously had to return the library book, I had to somehow save these patterns for myself. My mom had already told me that saving your patterns onto good sturdy fabric is the best way to save a piece you want to make over and over again. She suggested cutting the patterns onto denim because it is long lasting, but that’s expensive. I had actually been given a roll of stiff canvas fabric at a previous job and just used that! Now I can use them over and over again – where as paper patterns may (and probably) eventually deteriorate or rip.

I’d love if any of you seasoned sewing folk out there had any tips you’d like to pass along! I’m excited to do this, no matter how it turns out :)

I’m anxious to find a really nice fabric, taking the time to add some nice finishing touches. I even want to buy name & Made in the USA labels! Wish me luck.

Book covers into fashion 5

If you’re new to this covers into fashion series, you can catch up with the others HERE.

It’s been almost two months since my last Covers into Fashion series! I thought this installment I’d turn some recent and past favorites (and blockbusters) into sets!

I read The Fault In Our Stars a few years ago – I didn’t imagine it would turn into this crazy cinematic phenomenon! I have to tell patrons at the library every day that if they want to read the book, they’ll have to wait in a line of 300+ others waiting too! Yikes. This version turned into a home decor set!

The fault in our stars
Kaleen flat weave area rug / Sheepskin area rug / Urban Outfitters cotton bath mat / CB2 pouf

The Great Gatsby cover is just iconic from the moment it was conceptualized, it’s part of the story. There really isn’t much to say, except that I’m going to re-read it soon.

The Great Gatsby
Drop me a line if you have any suggestions for the next covers!

Best, last, longest: Nnenna Odeluga

Welcome to my “Best, Last, Longest” book series I will be running here – where I will be sharing the best, last, and longest books read by some influential and generally awesome people around the web!

This week, I have the lovely Nnenna Odeluga from Star Crossed Smile sharing her favorites!

Best book: Eleanor & Park – “It’s about two misfit teenagers who fall in love and it’s so heartwarming. I didn’t really know anything about the book going into it- I’d just seen the cover (which is adorable) and thought it looked like a good read. Not knowing what it was about, I was immediately captured by the story and delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s a YA book, which honestly I didn’t know until after I finished it and I think it touches on themes that affect adults too. There are funny moments, sad moments and touching moments, and I really felt what the characters were feeling. It was the first Rainbow Rowell book I read and it’s my favorite out of the three novels of hers that I’ve read. I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone!”

eleanor and park, what bloggers are reading

Last book: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club – “I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway and even though I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series from start to finish, I’ve been sneaking in a few outside books. This is a retelling of the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ fairytale set in New York in the 1920s. I love fairytales and I love novels set in New York, but I only thought this book was so-so. I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters in the way that I wanted. Although there are 12 sisters, most of the story is told from the perspective of the oldest sister Jo, who I didn’t find to be a particularly captivating character. I think it would have been a lot more interesting to have chapters from each sister’s perspective, although of course that would be a much more complicated novel to write. If you like the sound of a novel sent in the Prohibition Era in New York, I’d recommend The Rules of Civility instead- now that’s a really good read.”

girls at the kingfisher club, what bloggers are reading

Longest book: 2666 - “I read this book in college a few years ago and it’s certainly the longest and densest book I’ve read in recent memory. The underlying event is that there are a series of terrible murders in a small town on the border of Mexico. The book is divided into five different sections and each section is expertly woven together. I would say this book is not for the faint of heart (the murders are brutal and upsetting), but I do think it’s worth reading. I read this for class and I think that I got a lot more out of the novel since I was able to discuss it with others, so perhaps I would suggest reading this with a friend.”

2666, what bloggers are reading

Thank you Nnenna! I’ve personally read and loved Eleanor & Park too :) And even though she states it as the longest book she’s read, I really, really, want to read 2066!

What are you currently reading? I’m a big Freakonomics fan, and have finally gotten my hands on Think Like a Freak! Can’t wait to finish it!

Best, last, longest: Kelli Ryder

A few weeks ago, you saw my introductory post to the “Best, Last, Longest” book series I will be running here – where I will be sharing the best, last, and longest books read by some influential and generally awesome people around the web!

Featured first, is the lovely Kelli Ryder. Kelli wears many hats – she’s the associate editor at Rue Magazine (they just released their latest issue, read it now!) and writer over at Leopard & Lavender. Kelli is currently hosting a book club on her blog, which is awesome! And she’s doing something I find totally admirable and amazing. Along with her fiancé, they are raising $3,600 for the Avon Breast Cancer walk where they will be walking 40 miles! (support their team here). I’m also pretty lucky to have met Kelli a few times, and she’s positively charming with a warm smile just as you see her in her photos. So here are her best, last, and longest book choices-

Best book - To Kill a Mockingbird: “This was SO difficult to choose — I was such a bookworm growing up, and there were lots and lots of books that really resonated with me. However, I think my favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird. My dad read it to me once a year when I was young, and I’ve revisited it several times as an adult. It really taught me a lot about kindness, and in many ways— a lot about my father, who is a total Atticus Finch!”

Last bookWhere’d You Go, Bernadette: “I read this as part of my blogger Book Club with Better World Books. I made the mistake of starting the book at 10pm… and was awake until 4am when I’d finished the last page! I don’t always like quick & easy reads (I can get through them so quickly that I feel I’ve missed out on the details and experience), but they’re sometimes necessary. They hit that reset button in between heavier, more emotional books.”

Longest book - Devil in the White City: “I don’t think this is technically the longest book I’ve ever read, but it sure felt like it! The architecture portion was really difficult for me to get through. It really was interesting, but I still felt bored to tears with every chapter that focused on it. However, I admired the approach the author took to telling the story of Chicago’s World Fair, and I felt it would be somewhat disrespectful to stop reading it altogether. It took me months but I finally finished and was SO glad I stuck with it the entire way!”

Thank you SO much Kelli for doing this, and I hope you guys drop her a line! What did you think of her book choices? Have you read/not read them yet? I’ve personally read the first two, and they’re some of my favorites. Now I’m intrigued by The Devil in the White City! Happy reading :)