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How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion

by Jackie Walker ; Pamela Dittmer McKuen ; illustrated by Shannon Laskey

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-58270-429-6
Publisher: Beyond Words/Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

For preteens confused by fashion and style, this informative guide will help introduce some basic concepts with a healthy dose of encouragement and self-discovery.

This lightweight work, filled with black-and-white illustrations, quotes from fashionable celebrities, quizzes and “real girl” stories, encourages readers to become Expressionistas, letting their personal appearances match their inner selves. This is achieved through Fashion Personas: “your personal identity as it relates to and is expressed through fashion, style and design.” Walker and McKuen identify only five Fashion Personas—Classic, Natural, Romantic, Dramatic and Trend Tracker—devoting a chapter to each persona. After determining their Fashion Personas, readers can learn about accessorizing, organizing their closets and how to shop for pieces to fit their personas. An epilogue gives a final pep talk for budding Expressionistas, followed by several appendices. Although some claims strain credulity (such as a better understanding of Fashion Personas leads to improved relationships with others), the positive messages will probably resonate with the target audience.

These messages, combined with the limited but practical fashion advice, will help preteens feel prepared for their next shopping trip. (Nonfiction. 8-12)