So I've made it my mission to become more well-read, which is to say reading something besides fashion mags. So naturally, to accomplish this I picked up the book A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style by Tim Gunn.
I've been wanting to read a style book for a while now, and I figured who better an author than the Project Runway guru himself. His "make it work" pragmatism and stately yet affable demeanor make him a totally fabulous sty-con, whose advice seemed worth a glance.
Suffice it to say, I was completely charmed by this book. It was a breezy read (only took a couple of days at minimal reading intervals) and yet had that Gunn-sian sophistication in it that lent a sense of importance to his words. For those fans of Project Runway who love Tim Gunn for his quirky grandeur, this book will feel very authentic. Phrases such as "de rigueur" and "milieu" pepper the text, but feel oddly natural and help convey Gunn's passion for style.
Now as to the actual content of the book, I was also quite satisfied. Tim breaks down a lot of different subject matter, but the core message is always about being true to yourself and what elements of style make you feel essentially 'you.' This is a refreshing theme, whereas many in the fashion world advocate fitting into certain molds and types. Gunn makes a definitive distinction between 'fashion' and 'style,' and cites the importance of the latter.
This is not to say that he doesn't parse out advice about certain styles and inspirational fashionistas. But his advice is meant to inspire rather than dictate. From basic pieces to perfumes, he has useful suggestions to increase and enhance one's personal style from head to toe.
He also tackles the ever-so-challenging issue of closet purging. His pleas for paring down the wardrobe are firm but fair. And realistically most people, such as myself, would not be able to stomach such a closet downsizing, but his advice definitely inspires one to take a critical eye to the closet.
My favorite topic was probably his digression on carriage and posture. It's true that no matter what your size, stature, or taste level, your presentation of posture has a huge bearing on your overall style. It definitely makes you want to walk around tall and proud!
If my gushings didn't completely give away my sentiment about the book, I will clearly state that I would definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for style reference, motivation for a closet overhaul, or those that just love a good Tim Gunn turn-of-phrase. Happy styling!