Ask The Cheaping Girls - Part 2

The good news to come out of the fashion world lately is that you can make your personal style all your own -- following trends is optional. The bad news is that means that the amount of choices out there can be totally overwhelming. The tips this week are designed to help you narrow down all of those choices and most importantly, to make shopping fun!

Shopaphobic to Shopaholic Conversion Tip Two: Up Front Research
How appropriate that Nina Garcia's new book The 100 was released this week as our second tip focuses on some resources that we have found extremely useful in helping build out our wardrobes. We have read lots and lots of fashion books over the years and these are the ones that we have found to be the most practical and what we would consider to be classics. All of these books help you narrow down that big bad world of shopping by focusing on three areas:
1. Identifying Your Body Type
2. Defining the Shapes that Work Best for Your Body Type
3. Defining The Classic Pieces that make up ANY Wardrobe.
If I was going to choose one of these to start with, it would be The Lucky Shopping Manual. It is an excellent reference piece and is perfectly designed to have on hand as you shop.
Every time you dress, you assert your identity. With style, you tell the world your story. In that way, style affords you opportunities to think about your appearance as a quality of your creative character. The Little Black Book of Style helps you to explore your own fashion voice—the piece of you that joyously revels in the glamorous experience of creating your best self. From cultivating good taste to guarding against definite fashion faux pas, Nina Garcia offers readers the ultimate guide to follow when it comes to dressing their best. Including tips on how and when to wear an outfit, occasion-appropriate wear, advice on how to combine colors and textures, and inspiration on how to achieve your own signature look, you learn how to experiment, storyboard, archive, and play. Timeless and universal, this book seeks to remind women that eternal style is internal style, and that everyone has what it takes to discover themselves through the colorful palette that is fashion.

The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou

From Oprah to Eva Longoria, top L.A. designer Bradley Bayou has dressed women of all shapes and sizes and knows that every woman has her own natural combination of silhouette shape, height, and weight. Style is not about fitting into the size you think is sexy, it is about picking clothes that fit your body correctly and that create balance. In The Science of Sexy, Bayou helps readers identify their silhouette shape (triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, or hourglass) and combines that information with a height/weight chart to determine which of the forty-eight “fitting rooms” to go to in the book. Each fitting room has Bradley’s specific advice on the clothes and accessories to wear and avoid, and how to create balance using color, scale, proportions, and fabric.

What You Wear Can Change Your Life by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine

Here is the "bible" from the authors of the New York Times bestseller What Not to Wear. What You Wear Can Change Your Life shows you how to redefine your look and style from head to toe. Trinny and Susannah go over the basics of choosing colors that suit you best, what underwear to buy, which accessories to look for, how to store clothing, how to revamp your wardrobe at no cost, and how to make the sartorial most of being pregnant. This is a gorgeous, lavishly illustrated package--a resource to consult again and again. Trinny and Susannah anticipate the needs and questions of every woman and address them with the surefire style, self-deprecating wit, and friendly but firm empathy that have made them the last word in looking better.

The Lucky Shopping Manual by Kim France and Andrea Linett

What to wear, how to buy, where and when to spend: These are the topics covered each month by the exceedingly plugged-in staff of Lucky, whose circulation rocketed from 500,000 to 800,000 in just two short years. For Lucky's devoted fans, and anyone devoted to dressing better and shopping smarter, The Lucky Shopping Manual will be the ├╝ber-find. Finally, there is a book that does away with the inconsequential information in previous fashion books and presents only the most useful tips and imperative information for how to dress better for less.

Filled with tips that will appeal to shopaholics and disciplined bargain hunters alike, this enticing guide is packed with over 1,000 full-color photos and illustrations, with a ribbon marker and flexi-cover so women can take it shopping with them. With great advice on every uniquely designed page, The Lucky Shopping Manual includes features such as:

* Building a wardrobe you love, with cross-referenced sections on everything from skirts, tops, dresses, pants, and suits, to shoes, bags, belts, and what looks best for your body type

* How to spot great finds at the local flea market or the best boutiques

* What to spend your money on and where you can scrimp

* Cool stores coast-to-coast to check out when you're traveling

* Practical tips for fabric care, shoe maintenance, and stain remedies

Tim Gunn's Guide to Style by Tim Gunn and Kate Moloney

There seems to be no one more qualified or equipped to ponder or even, dare I say, dictate 'quality, taste, and style' than Tim." -Sarah Jessica Parker, actor/producer

Television has introduced the world to a new fashion authority: Tim Gunn. As Bravo's style mentor and Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Parsons The New School for Design, Tim delivers advice in a frank, witty, and authoritative manner that delights audiences. Now readers can benefit from Tim's considerable fashion wisdom in Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style. He discusses every aspect of creating and maintaining your personal style: how to dress for various occasions, how to shop (from designer to chain to vintage stores), how to pick a fashion mentor, how to improve your posture, find the perfect fit, and more. He'll challenge every reader-whether a seasoned fashionista or a style neophyte-to "make it work!"