Quintessential Style by Janna Beatty

Quintessential Style

Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look
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This slim, to-the-point style manual helps readers become their own best image consultants.

Many style guides are prescriptive, insisting, for example, that every woman have a crisp white shirt and a tailored suit in her closet. But what if a woman doesn’t look good in white or a busy stay-at-home mom has no use for a suit? Rather than telling readers how they’re supposed to look, Beatty’s debut (written with White) takes a more individualized approach to developing personal style. “The depth of our beauty lies in our diversity,” she says. However, she doesn’t dismiss the importance of clothes: “Style is all about communicating who you are through the language of clothing.” Beatty focuses on helping readers express who they are through a signature style; in the process, they’ll improve their sense of confidence and self-empowerment. The book is aimed primarily at middle-aged women—the chapter on skin care focuses on the aging face, for instance—yet younger women just starting to discover their unique style can also benefit from Beatty’s clear, informative advice. The slim book can be read in one sitting, so readers can get to work putting the advice into practice right away. Simple work sheets, guidelines, and rules show readers how to craft a personal style statement, build a wardrobe, and become savvier shoppers, while inspirational quotes and anecdotes maintain reader interest. The helpful skin care chart guides readers through the dizzying array of available beauty products and helps them save money in the process. Yet some sections, such as the skimpy chapter on color, could use more explanation, and the body shapes chapter veers into the technical, requiring readers to take a lot of measurements to put the advice to work. Positivity dominates this style guide, urging women to enjoy dressing the body they have now rather than comparing themselves with celebrities or models.

A helpful starting place for women seeking positive advice on how to define their signature style.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1627871297
Page count: 154pp
Publisher: Wheatmark
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2015


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