Review: How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing

How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing
How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very useful book! As with everything I read, this book was borrowed from the library. It would be a good one to buy and keep handy – There’s so much in here to refer back to again and again. Worth it for just the tip on banishing static cling with a well-placed safety pin. Can’t wait to try that and see if it really works!

Freer’s approach to fashion is kind: Clothes should fit you, your body as it is now. If it doesn’t look good on you or feel good on you, buy something else. She gives lots of helpful clues for figuring out how a garment should hang, and emphasizes that celebrities look so good because each piece of clothing you see them in has been altered to fit their bodies. This isn’t to say that everyday people should give up on finding a flattering fit. Rather, we should get to know a skilled and kind-mannered tailor.

Freer also offers advice on finding your personal style: Approach it like any other investment. Put some time in. What do you like? What are you drawn to? What will make you happy when you wear it? Develop some principles and a signature style, and buy things because they look and feel great on you. Cut out pictures of clothes you’d love to wear, even if they’re too expensive. You’ll get good at spotting deals.

Of even more value (to me) are Freer’s chapters on caring for the clothes you love. How to store and hang them, how to wash them (yes, I’m doing my laundry wrong), how to get out stains. And, of course, how to measure yourself for a good bra fitting and how to tell if an item of clothing is likely to fit you without even trying it on! Very useful stuff.

Four stars instead of five only because there were several places where I felt the lack of a clarifying illustration.

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