Wow, until I looked back on the blog I didn’t realize, it has been a long time since I have done a book review! Not that I have not been reading, just taking a break from the ‘fashion’ books in favor of chick lit I suppose. However, when I heard Nina Garcia was releasing a follow-up to her first book "The Little Black Book of Style" I of course had to drop everything and read it.
If you like lists then Nina’s second book, "The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own" is the book for you. It’s an A-Z list of one hundred fashion essential must-haves including everything from the a-line dress to the tuxedo jacket. As Nina would say "it is a tightly edited" list of her top 100 wardrobe, jewelry and accessory items she feels every woman should own. Nina covers couture and vintage, formal and casual, uptown and downtown, shoes and bags, jewelry and sunglasses. It’s all in there.
Thankfully you probably already have much of the list in your closet and drawers, but who doesn’t want to be reminded that they are already on the right path? Don’t worry, you won’t be made to feel you must immediately run out to Barneys and max out your credit cards, but you will learn that the basics are your foundation and you can build from there. The goal after all is to add timeless pieces to your wardrobe so you won’t feel compelled to purchase every trend each season. You too can have a style editor’s enviable and functional wardrobe.
Nina narrates through each item on the list, offering a brief
history of its evolution, suggestions how to wear each piece and
recommendations on editor favorite brands and in many cases, cheaper alternatives.
For those die-hard fashionistas, this book may seem a little sophomoric. Simple if you
will. I tore through it in a couple of hours. The downside is that it is a little too basic and doesn’t have enough meat. Additonally the fashion quotes (which we now see in every fashion book of late it would seem) are obvious space fillers and at times are annoying and misplaced.
The best part of the book? The utterly fabulous illustrations by the amazingly talented
Ruben Toledo. I seriously can’t stop looking at them. I want them hanging on my walls! However, leaving this book on my coffee table will have to do. Luckily, it can reside there awhile as this book is utterly timeless.
Order The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own (Hardcover) by Nina Garcia at Amazon for $13.97
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Illustrations by Rubin Toldeo, Copyright 2008, HarperCollins Publishers