A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style Review
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Lately, I’ve found myself assuming the “bistro position.” Wait, this isn’t what you think. I’ve actually been scrutinizing my pelvic alignment after delving into A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style. Tim Gunn, television style mentor and former Chair of the Fashion Design Department at Parsons The New School for Design, guides women in refining their individual style in his first book.

Gunn wants you to “consider your transformation to be an enhancement, not a new identity through a sartorial version of the Witness Protection Program.” After all, style is about “who you are.” It isn’t only the clothes you wear; it’s noticing the details of you. Therefore, he isn’t trying to change you; he’s just attempting to show how you can enhance your positives and soften the negatives. He also suggests finding a style “mentor” who fits your individuality.

Gunn stresses the importance of the total package: clothing, accessories, scent, walk, and yes, posture. However, he uses unique tools to convey the information. For example, his chapter on posture provides a simple approach to correcting one’s carriage and stance and exposes the “shoulder fallacy.” He dedicates several pages to perfume and stresses that you should educate yourself in noticing everyday scents. He also suggests an unusual but feasible method for embarking on the daunting task of purging your closet.

After clearing out the closet, you can start shopping. Gunn covers what you need to know when you shop at bargain chains, vintage stores, and outlets, as opposed to boutiques. There’s a section on dressing for particular events, including special occasion dressing, and he helps you translate the dress code on invitations. He also stresses silhouette, proportion, and fit. Since fit is paramount and sizing changes from maker and decade, he maintains that the truly stylish woman isn’t concerned with the size stated on a particular piece of clothing. Of course, if it really bothers you, just cut out the size tag once you bring it home.

This charming book serves as a wonderful reference guide and suggests many innovative ideas. We’ve all read numerous manuals on the subject, but this one is different. Though the book is packed with information, Gunn concentrates on style basics that won’t overwhelm the reader. I found that I was actually motivated to implement the suggestions, such as ridding my closet of sentimental favorites and heading straight to the mall to purchase my first pair of ballet flats. A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style would make the perfect gift for almost any woman trying to demystify the concept of style.

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