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Fashion For Dummies Paperback – 6 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (6 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470539267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470539262
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Fashion for Dummies

Learn to:

  • Put together outfits that work

  • Know your body type and personal style

  • Create a fun, functional wardrobe

  • Navigate the worlds of color, pattern, and texture

In Full Color!

Jill Martin

TV personality and fashion expert

Pierre A. Lehu

Put your best (dressed) foot forward and step out with style and confidence

Part reference, part tutorial, Fashion For Dummies gives you everything you need to take the guess out of dress! This full–color guide is packed with tips on creating a confusion–free wardrobe that works with your body type and personal style. Whether you′re a fashion novice or are searching for a new look, you′ll get straightforward advice on how to build a fun and functional wardrobe to dress well for any occasion!

  • Fashion, style, and you define your own personal style and discover how to make wardrobe decisions that work for your body type

  • Master the basics of fashion learn the fundamentals of fabrics and garment construction to pair colors, patterns, and textures with confidence

  • Stock your closet without stripping your savings make the most of your shopping excursions with practical tips on how and where to shop for a stylish wardrobe that won′t break the bank

  • Finishing touches discover how undergarments, accessories, and shoes can transform an outfit from simple to simply fabulous

  • Be ready for anything discover how to take a wardrobe essential like a little black dress from corporate to casual to cocktail in a flash

Open the book and find:

  • Tips on dressing for your body type

  • Ten fashion faux pas and how to avoid them

  • Color choices that work for you

  • Wardrobe essentials, from the LBD (little black dress) to the perfect pair of pumps

  • Ways to dress for comfort and style year–round

  • Looks that go from day to night

  • Words of fashion wisdom from designers and celebrities

About the Author

Jill Martin is a fashion expert and three–time Emmy–nominated television personality. She appears regularly on NBC′s Today show highlighting trends and must–haves, and is well–known for the popular "Ambush Makeover" segments. Jill lives in New York City and is developing her own clothing line. Pierre A. Lehu has worked as a publicist, literary agent, and writer. He is the coauthor of Sex For Dummies.

Inside This Book

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By TJ26 on 27 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Found this book really useful for teaching style to teenagers. Very straightforward and a great place to start for anyone wanting to know how to easily adopt a fashionable look.
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By madeline on 18 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Having good dress sense does not need to break your bank, some basic rules and easy to follow guidelines - all in one book for fashion-unsure like me.
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By Maria Mason on 19 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really informative about fabrics, how to dress for certain sizes
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By safe on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a good book, a lot of information for your money, but a bit american.
It's very, very limited on bodyshape advice, only covers apples and pears. No mention of inverted triangles or hourglasses.
My main complaint is that I ordered at 7am on a monday using First class delivery (1 to 2 business days) and it was dispatched wednesday pm using HDNL. It was not delivered until friday, it had been opened and the book was damaged. In future I will order from a supplier who uses Royal Mail or another decent carrier.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 33 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The BEST/ONLY read for those wanting to feel GREAT when you leave the house! 29 Dec. 2009
By A. Dean - Published on
Format: Paperback
I got this book as a gift from a friend who told me that I shopped too much! I am in the entertainment industry and seem to find myself shopping for every event I have though on an everyday basis I always feel I have nothing to wear. This book, which I read in one sitting, not only schooled me in what to wear for virtually every occasion, but also what to get rid of. I was able to dust off some items that I loved but never really knew how to wear and get rid of the old blah things that I hadn't worn in years but was still holding onto. The section on undergarments was a huge help as I NEVER feel as though I have the right ones to go with my clothing. After reading this book, I took a small shopping trip to get a few inexpensive essentials that I felt I was missing, donated a bunch of my clothing, and feel that I now have simplified my wardrobe into some key peices that make me feel GREAT! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is sick of closet confusion!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Frances 29 Nov. 2009
By Frances Scheick - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the fashion quiz (great place to start) to the purging of my closet of anything but 10's (something I will do) the book is a wonderful resource of interesting ideas (the 5 piece wardrobe for travel), informative tips (never wear white to a wedding), and helpful hints (what should be your wardrobe staples). I recommend this book for anyone interested in looking their best. Bravo to Jill Martin for creating a 10.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
somewhat disappointed 28 Dec. 2009
By shopper - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected so much from this book because of all the good reviews. I was disappointed not long after I started reading. I read on hoping this book would improve. I find some of Jill's advice is accurate and true. For example suggesting to go to a Tailor to make your cloths fit right, and teaches about different fabrics and quality and lists what sources to use to find out whats going on at the moment in fashion, for example which web sites and magazines to read.But some of the other advice in the book seems inaccurate and untrue at times when compared to other sources of information, and my own personal experience. For instance I am an avid watcher and fan of a show on TLC called 'What Not To Wear' Jill references the show in this book as recommended viewing.

Personally I prefer this book that Clinton Kelly and Stacy London wrote,
Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body} So much of the advice from the hosts of that show, which Clinton and Stacy give, is completely opposite of what Jill says in her book. I tend to rely on the advice from Clinton and Stacy more than this 'Fashion for Dummies' book because I've seen it work on TV before my own eyes, plus I've tried their advice and found it to be true myself. Just take a look at Stacy London & Clinton Kelly and see how wonderfully well they dress!! Then look at the photo's of Jill Martin and how badly she dresses. Her photos are on the front and back covers of this 'Fashion For Dummies' book. Who would you take advice from? {More on that later....}

Here are some of the the things in this book which contradict the types of things that Stacy and Clinton say. Jill says "Buy things you like. Even if you buy an item at a time, after a while they they'll start to match up." I think this is bad advice. Stacy and Clinton say something like this, 'always try to buy complete outfits, don't just buy single pieces that don't go with anything.' here's another one. Jill in her book says short waisted women should "avoid dresses with a WAISTBAND. If you do need a belt, choose a narrow one that's in the same colour as your outfit to minimize the attention to the waist area." What!!!! I don't believe this advice!!! And I know Clinton and Stacy don't either. I happen to be 'short waisted woman' myself and I wear wide belts and they look great! I get sincere compliments!! Clinton and Stacy are always recommending belts, even wide ones, {especially in COLOURS}for most ANY WOMAN weather she's short waisted or not to "cinch in" the waist. Is Jill saying in her book that just because we have short waists we should never draw attention to them with a belt?!! Hog wash.

There is also advice in her book saying that LONG DRESSES are good for women of SHORT STATURE/HEIGHT to make them look taller, {I believe this is bad ADVICE!!}Clinton and Stacy always discourage women, especially short ones from covering their legs to the floor. They say it will make short women look SHORTER. I speak from personal experience of being short and I find this to be true. I never wear long floor length dresses because it makes me look as if I have no legs and am 'standing in a bucket' or 'standing in a hole'.

There's an illustration somewhere in Jill's 'Fashion For Dummies'book showing someone wearing wide HORIZONTAL stripes on her shirt, and unbelievably JILL DOES NOT POINT THIS OUT TO BE A FASHION NO-NO, and most people know by now that it is a BIG ONE!! How could a fashion stylist suggest for anyone to wear HORIZONTAL STRIPES???? {Unless they are stick straight and waif like thin like Kate Moss.}There are more contradictions I found from what I Know to be true. But Jill Martin and others who agree with her advice are entitled to their opinion as am I, and I disagree with it. Personally, I didn't find this book very useful for myself.

I was also struck by how UNFASHIONABLE Jill Martin looks in the photographs of herself on both the front and back covers of the book. Isn't her look supposed to be representative of what it is to be fashionable?
Lets start with the Front Cover:
The white sweater she was wearing with dark jeans on the front cover make her look top heavy and thick in the waist area. The long necklace she is wearing is all wrong for that sweater, white on white.The style is wrong and so is the colour. The colour doesn't 'pop' at all, it just disappears boringly into the sweater. Some shine or an actual colour would have been a better choice, not white on white. The tiny sparkling blah coloured evening bag combined with the casual day outfit is sooo wrong! She needed a big leather bag with a pop of colour! Not that dinky little thing with a day outfit.

If you look on the back cover:
She's wearing a black dress that is both too long {it cuts part of her legs off in a rather 'Amish' way -which is just fine..if your Amish!} and the neckline is all wrong for her. The square neckline makes her look broad like a football player around the shoulders, which she's not but the sweater makes it look that way. And what about that ugly HORIZONTAL STRIPE sweater?? it looks bad #1 because it has horizontal stripes, and #2 because it looks straight out of the 1980's and not in a good way.

This is just my opinion, you may like this book and find it useful, some people do like it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For the Real Woman, this book & Glamour's Dos & Donts Is All You Need 2 Sept. 2011
By Kennesha - Published on
Format: Paperback
I check out this book from my local library. I read this whole book in 12 hours totally. I CAN SAY IT'S A MUST HAVE. IF YOU ARE A REGULAR WOMAN WHO WANTS TO LOOK GOOD, DOESN'T HAVE BAD TASTE, AND DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BEING SUPER OR OSTENTATIOUS FASHIONISTIA OR DESIGNER CLOTHES, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. TRUST ME, I READ OVER 20 FASHION BOOKS AND THOUSANDS OF INTERNET INFORMATION ABOUT FASHION. Fashion for Dummies and Glamour's Big Dos and don'ts book is all you need and you can go on with life. This is a person who loves fashion and can separate the difference in a realistic styled woman from a wealthy fashionista or celebrity.


*Its break down how to identify quality and quantity in fashion. (This what I had a problem in identifying)
*This book breaks down the classic fashion pieces that are versatile
*Its teaches how to identify appropriate fabrics and colors for each season
*Its breaks down the difference from mass production and designer fabrics
*Identifies the basic color scale such as non-colors, neutral, jewel tone, and pastels
*This only fashion book that teaches how to balance and how to accessorize your outfits realistically
*Separate the difference from single breasted from double breasted outerwear
*Learn how to dress casually and for each special occasion. What's appropriate and what not for each special occasion.
*How to avoid the most common fashion mistakes such wearing bottoms too tight and exposed bra straps
*Nice work of computer illustrations that represent the fashion examples that they provided


*I disliked heavily it's a typical fashion media that degrades certain body types like the pear shape. A pear shaped woman has to learn how to hides those hips and lower body, but thin apple and boyish body types can wear anything! Petite height isn't accepted either. Focus more to create an illusion of a body that pear shaped women doesn't have. Guess the illusion, this typical fashion people want women to portray? You guess, the tall, thin, boyish shape, long legged, and straight hipped fashion model.
*I wished this book shows illustrations on every fashion piece that its mention especially the designate fit styles such as slim cut and classic cut on blouses, tops, and polo shirts.
*Doesn't teaches how to spot bad quality and good quality in mass produced faux leather, real leather, faux fear, faux suede, and real suede particularly in accessories, handbags, and shoes. How do I care for these materials?
*What the hemline should hit on your body when you wear standard (none tunic based) tees or tops. Does the tee shirt should hit above the hip?
*Doesn't have Illustrations of how a rise should look like on various torso lengths. How do a low rise, mid-rise, natural rise, high rise, and high waist looks on short or long waist? Teaches of the importance what torso and what rise flatter it the most. What is the meaning of the "curvy" fit labels? What section of a female department has mostly a particular rise (like juniors bottoms are typical low rise and misses are typically mid or natural rise)?
*How do I take care of my clothes?

In update edition, I hope this book addresses

*A section about sport or workout bras, clothes and sneakers. Which one we need to look for?
*What styles of bras to wear under certain necklines such as crewneck, scoop neck, or deep V-neck?
*How to layer properly and what pieces aren't meant to be layer
*Can you make mass produced mall jewelry tarnish or rust proof? Any mass produced jewelry their tarnish or rust proof?
*What shoes to wear with certain widths and length in bottoms, skirts, one pieces, and dresses
*People who have allergic reaction to certain mass produced jewelry or fabrics
*Address the clear nail polish theory supposedly prevent tarnish and rusting on fake jewelry

By the way, do not expect this book to teaches and give in depth about personal style or any fashion styles influence. It's crazy, I read many reviews dissing the author fashion tastes, but no disrespect I didn't like Stacey and Clinton tastes as well on what they chose on their models.

Well, that my review! I hope it was very helpful! I'm going to edit any grammatical errors if I see it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great advice is always in fashion! 30 April 2010
By The Cheap Diva - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After struggling through yet another fashion book filled with "inspirational" pictures of celebrities in outfits that are both unaffordable and surprisingly unattractive, I was positively relieved to discover the Fashion for Dummies book. The book is so full of useful information that if you don't collect fashion books the way I do, just buy this one fashion book and feel free to ignore all the others.

Like all "Dummies" books the book is organized in a way that makes it easy to skip around and find the topics that are of most interest to you quickly. This comprehensive book covers everything from personal style, spotting quality, how to wear colors and prints in a flattering way, wardrobe building and how to dress for special occasions. Helpful illustrations throughout the book show you what works and what doesn't. At over 300 pages long, Fashion for Dummies is a smart investment for any woman who is more interested in looking her best than in looking like a celebrity wanna be.

Stephanie Ann, Author
THE CHEAP DIVA'S GUIDE TO FRUGAL AND FABULOUS LIVING: How to Shop Smart, Look Your Best, Decorate with Style, and Have Fun for Less Money!
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